RAS firms projects close to volcanic eruption threat area

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At least three Icelandic fish farming companies will be keeping a watchful eye on the south west of the country today where the risk of a major volcanic eruption loomed large at the weekend.

The harbour town of Grindavik saw the evacuation of its 3,500 inhabitants on Saturday, after the government declared a state of emergency following a series of earthquakes.

The Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO) said at the weekend there was a considerable risk of an eruption. The magma flow around the mountain Fagradalsfjall is reported to have increased significantly over the weekend.

The town is between 30 to 40 miles away from where at least three RAS fish farms are planned.

The seafood group Samherji already announced earlier this year that it is pressing ahead with plans build a 40,000 tonne land farm in stages near Reykjanes. The project won the backing of local residents despite concerns over water resources.

GeoSalmo is also planning to build a RAS farm near Olfus which is only 30 minutes driving times from Grindavik.

One of the main attractions of the area is that it is rich in natural resources such as freshwater and saltwater that are naturally filtered by volcanic rock.

In July a third company, First Water (formerly Landeldi hf) has already announced plans to build a thermal heated farm in the same region. The initial capacity is 8,000 tonnes but the company said the aim is to reach 50,000 tonnes by 2028.

At the moment there is no suggestion that any of these projects are in immediate danger, but uncertainty over the future of the important port town of Grindavik, which is also close to the capital Reykjavik, has raised concerns.

Samherji Reykjanes – how the RAS plant will look

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