first electric buses in Iceland to come from China

Guðmundur Tyrfingsson ehf. of Selfoss will operate the first electric coach in Iceland, supplied by Yutong 宇通, according to an agreement signed in Beijing with the attendance of Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson, Iceland’s foreign minister (Vísir). The sale has likely been facilitated by the free trade agreement between the two countries, in effect since July 1.

Yutong sell (not only electric) buses in multiple countries, from Venezuela, where they plan to open a factory soon, to Ghana, where the vehicles have been crashing a bit too often. The company blames this on second-hand spare parts and poor maintenance. In Europe, they are focusing on the Nordic market.

Gunnar Bragi’s trip to China also included a visit to the PRIC (Polar Research Institute of China). Cooperation between the PRIC and Iceland includes the aurora observatory expected to open later this year in Kárhóll near Akureyri.

I’ve written a couple of times about the aurora observatory project. A ‘ground-breaking’ ceremony and toast was held for it last month.

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Xinhua: Iceland could process, reexport Greenland minerals

A Xinhua article from yesterday, mostly devoted to extolling the opportunities offered to Iceland by the FTA with China that took effect on July 1, at one point quotes Hafsteinn Helgason from engineering firm EFLA as suggesting some of the ore extracted from future Greenland mining projects could be processed in Iceland. While Greenland “wouldn’t be able to process those mineral resources without investing large sums in infrastructure, building power plants and attracting labour,” Iceland already has all of these and could thus become a “processing hub”.

The article also brings up the large deep-water port projected at Finnafjörður by Germany’s Bremenports, from which not just CNOOC’s oil from Jan Mayen, but also perhaps Greenlandic minerals could be exported to China. EFLA are involved in that project.

Islandsbloggen has recently written about the Finnafjörður port project and its discontents, nearby farmers unhappy with the idea. Construction could begin in 2018.

For those who care: Xinhua is transcribing Finnafjörður (‘Finni‘s fjord’) 芬纳湾 Fenna wan.