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Icelandic society has changed dramatically in the 50 years since Landsvirkjun’s foundation. This year, we looked back at the successes achieved in recent years but we also focused on the future and the many opportunities awaiting us.

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Landsvirkjun was established on the 1st of July, 1965. The establishment of the Company was preceded by five years of exploration and assessments which eventually led to the completion of contracts for the aluminium smelter at Straumsvík and electricity sales from the Búrfell Hydropower Station. Landsvirkjun now operates fourteen hydropower stations, a wind turbine area and two geothermal stations, across the country, within five operational areas. We are also constructing two new power stations to meet the increased demand for electricity.

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Annual Meeting to commemorate our 50th Anniversary

Over 700 guests attended Landsvirkjun’s Annual Meeting this year. The title of this year’s meeting was “A Valuable Future”.

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A Valuable Future – Annual Meeting to commemorate Landsvirkjun’s 50th Anniversary

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Our open Annual Meeting will, amongst other things, discuss the impact of the establishment of Landsvirkjun on Icelandic society. Why is electricity a valuable product? How much energy do we want to harness? When can we pay increased dividends? We face unique opportunities in creating more value for Iceland in the future.

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“The future could offer a new and extremely promising period of growth for the nation if we work intelligently and preserve our solidarity.”

Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson

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The President of Iceland, Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, addressed the meeting and spoke of the obvious watershed moment in Landsvirkjun’s 50th Anniversary year. He also mentioned the experience of neighbouring nations as an indicator for new opportunities.

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“I believe that this is the right time for Iceland to establish an energy resource fund, a sovereign fund, where all the dividends from energy created by the utilisation of Iceland’s natural resources would run to.”

Bjarni Benediktsson

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Bjarni Benediktsson, Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs also addressed the meeting and spoke of the need for an energy resource fund, a sovereign fund, where all the dividends from energy, created using Iceland’s natural resources, would run to. The fund would act as a reserve fund or stabilisation fund used to balance out fluctuations in the economy.

Hörður Arnarson, CEO of Landsvirkjun spoke of the broad consensus that could be achieved with regard to increased protection and utilisation including doubling the protection zone around Iceland’s glaciers whilst substantially increasing utilisation at the same time.

The Chairman of the Landsvirkjun Board, Jónas Þór Guðmundsson paid tribute to Mr Jóhannes Nordal, a former Governor of the Central Bank of Iceland and Landsvirkjun’s first CEO. Jóhannes was Landsvirkjun’s CEO for 30 years and retired on the 30th of June, 1995.

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A family day was held to commemorate Burfell’s anniversary year and participation was excellent. The first years of Company operations were commemorated by planting a tree in the newly established Jóhannesarlund garden.
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Documentary on the Búrfell Hydropower Station

The short film ‘Búrfell’ is a new Icelandic documentary about the construction of the Búrfell Hydropower station. The documentary, which was shown for the first time at the Annual Meeting, showed the history of the Company over the last fifty years and Company employees described its operations. Jóhannes Nordal, a former Governor of the Central Bank of Iceland, was honoured for his role as Landsvirkjun’s first CEO. He served as CEO for thirty years and the occasion was commemorated by announcing the opening of the Jóhannesarlund Garden at the Búrfell Hydropower Station.

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Documentary on the Búrfell Hydropower Station

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In 1965, Iceland began construction on the Búrfell hydropower Station, the largest structure built in the country at that time. The new documentary ‘Búrfell’ was shown in the Company’s anniversary year to celebrate this milestone and to show the history of the project. The documentary shows previously unseen footage from Asgeir Long and the people who worked on the construction of the station tell their stories. The documentary sheds a unique light on Icelandic society half a century ago.

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Interactive exhibition at the LjósafossHydropower Station

The new energy exhibition “Powering the Future” was opened at the Ljósafoss Hydropower Station to commemorate Landsvirkjun’s 50th anniversary. The interactive exhibition was designed by Gagarín Ltd, Tvíhorf architects and places an emphasis on play and experience where the nature and characteristics of electricity are shown in multiple forms and guests are led through the world of electricity in new and creative ways. Guests are also introduced to the renewable and sustainable energy generation methods used by Landsvirkjun and their importance in the context of sustainability and feasibility at the worldwide level.

The exhibition won the ‘Interactive Media and Advertising Design Award’ awarded by the Icelandic Association of Graphic Designers. The exhibition was also nominated for the Lúður Award – an Icelandic advertising award and the Culture Award at DV, a national newspaper.

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Open meetings

Landsvirkjun’s projects are diverse and require open communication with the public (Landsvirkjun’s owner), stakeholders and customers throughout the country. Landsvirkjun held a number of open meetings in its anniversary year focusing on issues concerning the Company and its operations. Landsvirkjun’s employees and a number of other professionals gave presentations at the meetings. Landsvirkjun has never held as many open meetings in one year and attendance was high:

Open meetings this year:

Almost 2000 guests attended the meetings and over 1500 watched the live link on Landsvirkjun’s YouTube feed.