Laying the cornerstone of Kárahnjúkar Power Plant

12. May 2006

A large crowd attended the cornerstone laying for Kárahnjúkar Power Plant. The ceremony took place in the power station, where Icelandic President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson laid the cornerstone with the help of six children who had carried out energy-related projects. During the ceremony, Gunnþórunn Ingólfsdóttir, chairman of the local Fljótsdalshreppur district council, officially named the station Fljótsdalsstöð, or Fljótsdalur Station.

The Minister of Industry and Commerce, Valgerður Sigurðardóttir, declared in her address that she had found it a magnificent experience to participate in this tremendous venture. “No single enterprise has so profoundly impacted population developments and the quality of life in this region during recent decades. Moreover, this undertaking will have long-term positive effects on the economy of Iceland as a whole”, said Valgerður Sigurðardóttir.

Jóhannes Geir Sigurgeirsson, Chairman of Landsvirkjun's Board of Directors, delivered an address in which he stated, among other things, that he could assert this power station was being built to last for two hundred years and would prove capable of producing electricity profitably for at least that long. “I would however like to point out in this regard that if predictions of a warmer climate turn out to be true, there is every likelihood that it will take the reservoir not 400 to 500 years to fill with silt, as indicated by the meteorological data of the past 50 years, but a much longer period”, said Jóhannes Geir Sigurgeirsson.

In his speech, Friðrik Sophusson outlined the construction process, mentioning for instance that the initial ideas for power development in Fljótsdalur had emerged about 60 years ago, as suggestions appeared for harnessing the river Bessastaðaá.

Finally, the power station cornerstone was laid, and the reverend of the parish in which the station is located, Lára Oddsdóttir, gave the blessing.

Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, President of Iceland, being assisted
by six primary school children while laying the cornerstone

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