Alþjóðleg skautsmiðjuráðstefna haldin í Reykjavík.


Valgerður Sverrisdóttir,
iðnaðar- og viðskiptaráðherra.

Ávarp á skautsmiðjuráðstefnu
23. september 2003 á Hótel Nordica.

Mr. Chairman, distinguished foreign guest's, ladies and gentlemen: - Welcome to this second international conference on anode rodding plants.

For more than 40 years Primary aluminium industries have played a major part in the economic development in Iceland. Iceland's first aluminium smelter was established in 1966 - as a result of an agreement between the Icelandic Government and the Swiss company Alusuisse.

Now we have two smelters in operation in Iceland, - the first one in Straumsvík, which now is operated by ALCAN - and Norðurál at Grundartanga operated by Colombia Ventures. The construction for the third smelter is just at its starting phase in the Icelandic east fjords.

This is a positive trend for Iceland because we are not only getting the possibility of utilising our clean energy sources - but we are also seeing enrichment of industrial activities balancing well with our fishing and fish processing.

When it comes to light metals - Iceland has many things to offer. All our electricity production for power intensive industries comes from renewable energy sources or green power resources, hydropower and geothermal power. In addition, - we have well educated workforce available to companies that want to establish their business in Iceland. Icelandic companies have also been very innovative and active in services to the Primary aluminium sector.

I am proud to see that many Icelandic companies have an interesting contribution to this conference.

In the future we predict an increase in the use of light metals, - especially in the transport sector. Lighter cars are preferable from environmental aspects; - they use less fuel and are therefore more environmentally friendly. Production of aluminium and aluminium processing is developing rapidly, and we see this industry constantly becoming more and more environmentally friendly.

In an effort to stimulate and assist companies - the Ministry of Industry and Commerce did establish a Metal Park, - the Icelandic competence centre in the field of light metals in 1998. The Metal Park has as - an objective - to promote the development of the aluminium processing industry - and moreover it constantly evaluates new possibilities for further processing of light metals in Iceland. This conference is a good example of work performed by the Metal Park.

Dear participants, I hope you will have fruitful three days here in Iceland, - learning about how the operation in rodding shops are at it's best. I hope you will leave the country with a good vision about the future trends in this industry and I hope that you will have an opportunity to explore what our country and its capital, the city of Reykjavik has to offer.

By these words I hereby open the Second International Conference and Workshop on Anode Rodding Plants for Primary Aluminium Smelters.


Valgerður Sverrisdóttir