Iceland’s environment and energy minister has opposed plans to transport sand by truck along the ring road from a proposed sand mine in southern Iceland. Residents have voiced opposition to plans for heavy trucks to drive around South Iceland’s ring road every 7-8 minutes, 24 hours a day. The mayor of Vik, just 15 km west of the proposed mine site, has proposed building a port in the town from which sand can be exported.

Road transport ‘won’t work’, says environment minister

“We all know that there is a lot of strain on the current infrastructure, and I don’t think there will be an agreement to put heavy transportation on top of it,” said Environment Minister Guzlaugur Çal. Charson said. “No matter how you look at it, going through these settlements on top of these roads is not going to work.”

Negative impact on transport, positive on climate

In 2020, the German company EP Power Minerals purchased a large plot of land of about 15 km in South Iceland. [9.3 mi] East of the town of Víkí Mýrdal. The site is mostly sandy, on which the company plans to build placers. The sand will be exported to Europe and possibly North America, where it will be used as an additive in cement.

A recently published environmental report on the proposed mine determined that the project’s impact on traffic and roads would be “very negative.” However, its climate impact was rated as ‘fairly positive’. This is because the manufactured material replaces cement clinker, reducing carbon emissions from concrete production by an amount equivalent to 800 million kg he CO2 per year.

The only seaside town without a port

Einar Freyr Elínarson, mayor of Mirdarşleppur Municipality (where Vik is located), proposed building a port in Vik where the mined materials could be exported.

“National Highway 1 passes through several urban areas on its way to Ollaksjefn. [the planned export harbour]So we, the municipality, are proposing to consider the possibility of shipping all this to the coast from here and building a port,” Einar told Vísir.

Vik is the only coastal town in Iceland without a harbor, but strong waves on the south coast pose challenges for such a construction project. The nearby Randiyarhofn harbor, where Westman Islands ferries depart, is filled with sand that needs to be pumped out regularly.

Einar says he pitched the idea to representatives of EP Power Minerals who had not expressed direct opposition to the idea. The port will not be built using public funds, Einar said, calling it an “exciting opportunity” not only for the municipality, but also for local tourism and fisheries.

Source link

Previous article13 evacuated from Aljunied flat fire that started with a candlelight
Next articleEmirates News Agency – Severe storm kills 6 in French Corsica