Chinese-Icelandic aurora observatory should start observing auroras next fall

The Chinese-Icelandic aurora observatory (CIAO), a joint Chinese-Icelandic project located at the Kárhóll farm in Reykjadalur, near Akureyri, is reportedly already under construction after local company SS Byggir won the contract for the main building. That, together with a recent visit to the area by the Chinese ambassador, augurs well for the project, that was already supposed to be ready more than a year ago.

Observation activities should begin in autumn 2016.

More on the observatory and the people and organisations behind it in my previous posts on the subject.

Chinese ambassador to Iceland visits aurora observatory site

Zhang Weidong 张卫东, China’s ambassador to Iceland, visited the site of the aurora observatory under construction in Reykjadalur, near Akureyri, during a tour of northern Iceland last week, according to China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The aurora observatory is a joint Chinese-Icelandic project being built in a farm called Kárhóll, where land was secured in 2013 by a foundation that featured Reinhard Reynisson, who as mayor of Húsavík had proposed to use crocodiles for waste disposal, and Halldór Jóhannsson, at the time Huang Nubo’s Icelandic spokesman.

On the Chinese side, the project is led by the PRIC, the Polar Research Institute of China (中国极地研究中心). It’s still ‘under construction’, despite announcements that it would be ready by October last year.

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.