Musings, politics and environmental issues

The PCC silicon metal smelter at Bakki, near Húsavik in North Iceland, was supposed to be started up in mid-December. Start-up was then delayed until January, then February, and then the end of March. Now it’s April 1 and there is still no sign or mention of start-up. However, their (Icelandic) webpage says that the final stage of development will start after Easter, and should not take more than two weeks. It will end with the initial start-up of one of the furnaces.

Considering that the initial start-up was supposed to have been in December, it sounds like the plant would not have been completely built by then. Which doesn’t bode well for the operation, in my opinion.

Meanwhile, in Reykjanesbaer, the nearest town to what was once United Silicon’s silicon metal smelter, town councillor Fridjon Einarsson says that local residents should have the final say if the plant gets bought by another company with a view to getting it operational once again. He says that local residents should not be experimental animals for heavy industry, and that most residents nowadays work in tourism so heavy industry is not needed from an employment point of view.

No mention has been made recently of whether the Thorsil silicon metal plant will be built. It has an operating licence and is designated to be built on a site opposite the plant once operated by United Silicon.

Update, April 21: The first furnace was switched on yesterday. The idea is to gradually increase the heat and then put raw material into it.

Update, April 26: Though the Icelandic media reported that the furnace had been switched on, it now appears that it wasn’t – or if it was, it was switched off again. The news pages on the site are annoying as they are not dated (except the URL gives the date away), but the latest news, from Monday, says there has been another delay and they are waiting for spare parts to arrive. They now say that it will be the end of this week or even after the weekend. Ho hum!

Update May 1: PCC announced yesterday that they would begin heating the first furnace that evening.


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