Water fears over Iceland RAS farm plan

Iceland’s national planning agency has expressed concerns over a plan by fishing and seafood giant Samherji to build a large land farm in the south west of the country.

It is questioning whether the water resources at Reykjanes, which is fairly close to the capital Reykjavik, are sufficient to support the £260m project.

Samherji unveiled the plan almost two years ago, and local residents gave it their backing at a public meeting earlier this year.

But according to the national broadcaster RUV, the planning agency has expressed concerns about the impact of the development on local ground water resources.

They came to light after a geologist from the University of Iceland Geoscience Institute was hired to carry out an examination of the area.

There is no suggestion at this stage that the project should be shelved but the agency believes that there is a case for close monitoring, increasing research and building the RAS farm in stages so the effects of each phase are known before the next one is started.

It also says local companies in the area should get together to monitor the collective impact of their activities on the eco systems and the sea area.

The project is subject to a number of permits from various agencies, says RUV.

Samherji has yet to respond to the planning agency’s concerns, but the company revealed earlier in the year that that it intends to produce up to 40,000 tonnes of salmon at Reykjanes.

The facility will create over 100 jobs and will include a hatchery, a rearing centre and a processing unit. Preliminary construction work could start this year.

 

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