Karahnjukavirkjun is a Hydropower plant in Eastern Iceland, designed to 4600 GWh annually to serve Alcoa's aluminium smelter east of Reydarfjordur in Northeast Iceland.
Visit this location on a self drive tour in Iceland.
The Karahnjukar plant takes its energy from the dam at Jokulsa a Dal/Bru glacier river and Jokulsa in Fljotsdalur with five dams altogether and three reservoirs. The largest dam is also the largest of its kind in Europe, 193 m high and 730 m long and comprised of 8.5 million cubic meters of material.
Former irrigation plans had aimed at the Eyjabakkar wetlands in the east highlands but those plans were aborted following strong protests. The construction of this dam, the largest of its kind in Europe, led to no less heated debates however. It is located in what was the largest relatively unspoiled wilderness is Europe and it was noted that important areas of land would go underwater, in addition to subsequent pollution. The most prominent critique of the Karahnjukar project was published in Icelandic writer Andri Snaer Magnason's book Draumalandid, which has been translated into English, and the subequent documentary Dreamland. Karahnjukavirkjun's main workforce is comprised of foreign workers, around 70%.