An aluminium smelter in the south-west of Iceland, abandoned part-way through construction, is to get a new lease of life as an Eco-Business Park designed to bring together the strengths of the water, energy and food sectors, and to create opportunities for companies to convert waste streams into new value – with a strong emphasis on 100% circularity.
The former smelter site is located close to the Helguvík harbour, a few minutes from Iceland’s international airport and less than an hour by road from Reykjavík. The building currently has 25,000 square metres of floor space – with the option for this to be doubled by installing an additional internal floor level.
Placed in the Reykjanes region, the Eco-Business Park has extensive renewable hydro-electric and geothermal power on its doorstep, and is expected to benefit from the proximity of the nearby Resource Park in the Reykjanes where companies are striving to make full use of the rich local resources – geothermal hot water, cold water, steam, renewable electricity, and carbon dioxide.
One of the co-counders of the Eco-Business Park is the Iceland Ocean Cluster, located on the Reykjavík quayside and home to more than sixty seafood-related businesses. Ocean Cluster House has become a showcase of the ambition to fully utilise catches, with zero waste.
‘The aim of the Eco-Business Park is to extend this 100% ideology to a whole array of other industries,’ said Ocean Cluster founder Dr Thór Sigfússon.
‘The new Eco-Business Park will grow the existing co-working space of the Iceland Ocean Cluster by ten-fold, and the largest in the country where new and expanding companies can rent space for their offices, research, development, and manufacturing facilities. The Park will provide a much-needed platform for diverse industry players that have the ambition to move toward circular business models and the largest co-working space in the country. One of the central components of the circular economy is that waste is designed out of the system.’