Contracts with Alcoa signed

18. March 2003

Government ministers Geir H. Haarde and Valgerður Sverrisdóttir signed on behalf of the Icelandic government; Chairman and CEO Alain J.P. Belda and B. Michael Baltzell, Director of Alcoa in Iceland and President - Primary Development, on behalf of Alcoa; Jóhannes Geir Sigurgeirsson, Chairman of the Board, and Managing Director Friðrik Sophusson on behalf of Landsvirkjun; and Mayor Guðmundur Bjarnason on behalf of Fjarðabyggð and the Fjarðabyggð Harbour Fund.

 From left, Alain Belda CEO of Alcoa, Friðrik Sophusson Managing Director of Landsvirkjun and Michael Baltzell, Director of Alcoa in Iceland.

The Chairman of the Board of Landsvirkjun, Jóhannes Geir Sigurgeirsson, said in an address at the ceremony that the company’s expenses due to the power plant and related construction would amount to about ISK 100 billion. He said that he had come to Reyðarfjörður straight from the United States, where he had been visiting the headquarters and an aluminium smelter of Alcoa. The journey west and relations with representatives of Alcoa during the negotiating process had convinced him that Alcoa would be a good business partner.

Alain J.P. Belda, Chairman and CEO of Alcoa, likewise expressed great satisfaction with this landmark and mentioned that the company would spend an average of one million dollars per day for four years on the aluminium smelter project at Reyðarfjörður. “It is your job to see to it that the greater part of these assets remains here with you,” said the CEO in his address.


Valgerður Sverrisdóttir, Minister of Industry, Garðar Ingvarsson, Managing Director of the Invest in Iceland Agency – Energy Marketing, and Bernt Reitan of Alcoa

After the ceremony in Reyðarfjörður and coffee and refreshments in the elementary school and community centre, proceedings moved farther out in the fjord to Hraun, where the aluminium smelter will be raised. There, CEO Belda and Smári Geirsson, Chairman of the Regional Association of Local Authorities in East Iceland, unveiled a sign that Alcoa had erected beside the highway. This sign is Alcoa’s first “construction” in Iceland, but the building to come will be rather larger in size.

When evening arrived, the guests went to Egilsstaðir, where Valgerður Sverrisdóttir, Minister of Industry, hosted a farewell reception in the airport terminal. Landsvirkjun presented the Alcoa representatives with symbolic sculptures as gifts and it goes without saying that the objets d’art were made of aluminium. CEO Belda expressed his gratitude on behalf of the company and said that this day in Iceland would remain memorable for him.

Friðrik Sophusson Managing Director of Landsvirkjun instantly arranged how hands could be shaken over the contracts quickly and easily at the conclusion of the signing.

Crowd outside the gymnasium in Reyðarfjörður

The contract signatories and the American ambassador to Iceland next to the informational sign that has been erected at Hraun, the site where the aluminium plant will be built.

Crowd inside the gymnasium, where over one thousand people congregated to observe the signing ceremony.


Alain Belda, Chairman and CEO of Alcoa, thanks Landsvirkjun for the aluminium sculptures that Alcoa representatives received from the company at Egilsstaðir airport shortly before Belda’s departure for New York on his private jet. Behind the CEO are Jake Siewert, Alcoa’s Vice President - Global Communications and Public Strategy and the firm's spokesman in Iceland, and Michael Baltzell, President - Primary Development as well as Managing Director of Alcoa in Iceland (on the left).


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