Financing the construction of the Helguvík project
Norðurál announced today that it has appointed BNP Paribas, Societe Generale and ING to serve as exclusive structuring banks for financing the construction of the Helguvík aluminum smelter. The banks will lead the effort to raise project financing from the international debt markets.
Through the recent Stability Pact between the labor unions, Confederation of Icelandic Employers, the Government of Iceland and the National Association of Local Authorities, the Government of Iceland have agreed to pave the way for major projects already scheduled in macroeconomic plans, such as those linked to aluminum smelter in Helguvík. Every effort will be made to ensure no obstacles on the side of the authorities will stand in the way of such projects after 1 November 2009. Local authorities and other public agencies shall ensure that deadlines for planning and all granting of permits are adhered to and that new investment is facilitated wherever possible
“Aligning with these strong banks is a positive step,” said Ragnar Gudmundsson, Managing Director of Nordural. “They have all worked successfully with Norðurál on the phased development of the Grundartangi smelter since 1997 and are enthusiastic about the prospects for the Helguvik project. It is important that the power and power transmission companies execute their respective plans in a timely manner to allow this critically important project to begin full development.”
The first hot metal from the Helguvik plant is planned for late 2011. “We are working as fast as we can to resume full-scale construction,” Ragnar added. “We are under significant pressure from all constituents to progress this project due to its positive impact on job creation and the Icelandic economy.”