Iceland, the Ferro Alloy
Factory started its operation in 1979. The Icelandic government held
majority ownership with the Elkem-Spiekerverket of Norway and Sumitomo
in Japan until it sold its shares. Most of the workers of the factory live in the town Akranes
and its surroundings.
Agricultural activities in the area have diminished considerably since
the factory started. The harbour of Grundartangi was built at the same
time as the factory by the communities on the Whale Bay.
Aluminium (Century Aluminium) started its operation in 1998 with an average capacity of
60.000 tons per annum. In the year 2000 its capacity was
increased by 30.000 tons. It also uses the harbour to receive raw
materials (bauxite) and ship its products. The
smelter changed ownership in the first half of 2004.
The opening of
the Whale Bay Tunnel in June 1998 accelerated the development of Town
Akranes and the neighbouring communities.