The proposed solar silicon plant in Grundartangi, West Iceland, is proving controversial. The plant will be located on the north side of Hvalfjordur fjord, within the dilution area of the existing Elkem ferro-silicon plant and Century aluminium factory. The Planning Agency decided it did not need to be subject to an EIA but recently various individuals, municipalities and campaigning groups have spoken out about it and expressed distrust in the proposed development. Umhverfisvaktin have, for instance, said that Silicor Materials are intending to use a production method that has only been used on a small scale up till now and there is no guarantee that the method will work flawlessly in Grundartangi, where production is intended to be a lot more. Musician Bubbi Morthens, who lives near the south side of the fjord, has expressed his distrust in the matter, while at a meeting organised by the Planning Agency on environmental impact assessment a local authority representative pointed out that the plant would employ 460 staff and the fact that they would all need to be housed somewhere (presumably in new developments) is a matter of concern in itself.
The company say that some of the staff will be Icelandic, some foreign. Unemployment in the local area is negligible, so staff will have to move to the area.