Plans for a new port in Finnafjord, northeast Iceland, have been boosted by the signing of agreements to found a development company for the project.
German port operator bremenports has entered into a contract to develop the new facility as a 66% shareholder of the new Finnafjord Port Development Company.
Icelandic consultancy EFLA is a 26% stakeholder, while Icelandic communities hold the remaining 8% of the company.
The launch of the Finnafjord company signals a formal end to negotiations over the past three years, giving a green light to the next stage of attracting investors.
Full completion of construction and commissioning of the port may take a further 40 years, according to the new development company.
Concessionaires will be sought to fund the installation of the port equipment, in addition to a significant amount of road, rail and energy infrastructure.
The Finnafjord project is being promoted due to the area offering an ideal location for a deep-berth container terminal.
According to bremenports, six kilometres of quay and 1200 hectares of hinterland can be developed in an uninhabited area with ‘excellent geological’ possibilities.
The bay is also protected by a promontory and, unlike most other Icelandic fjords, is surrounded by a relatively flat landscape.
Martin Gunther, bremenports director for economics, labour and ports, said: “The Finnafjord project offers solid long-term prospects, that will certainly continue for several decades.
“It creates conditions for sustainable development and helps to make the formation of new shipping routes safer. The project also offers great opportunities for the region’s economic development.”
The new Finnafjord development is being mooted to receive a boost from the opening of new routes through the Northeast Passage, if this becomes open all year round, with the promise of shortening journey times between the US and Asia by over two weeks.
Environmental considerations will also be crucial for the new port development, said bremenports Managing Director, Robert Howe: “Climate change is leading to economic development in this region, so it is of the upmost importance that this development is based on the strictest sustainability criteria.”