Norsk Hydro confirms it lost Greenland project to Alcoa

Norwegian industrial group Norsk Hydro acknowledged June 6 it had lost out to U.S. rival Alcoa to build a large aluminum smelter and hydroelectric project in Greenland.

Norwegian national broadcaster NRK said the US$3 billion project would be the biggest industrial development in Greenland ever and would be about twice the north Atlantic island nation’s gross domestic product.

“Greenland could have been an interesting opportunity,” Norsk Hydro aluminum business spokesman Thomas Knutzen told NRK.

Knutzen said Greenland could supply key North American and European markets from a relatively short distance.

Alcoa said in May that it signed a memorandum of understanding with Greenland’s Home Rule Cabinet to carry out a feasibility study to build a 340,000-ton-per-year smelter, a hydropower system of unspecified capacity, and related infrastructure. (HNN 5/24/07)

At that time, a Greenland official said Alcoa was chosen as a partner in preference to other interested aluminum companies. However, he did not specifically refer to Norsk Hydro’s January announcement that it planned to build a smelter and 500-MW hydro project.

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