Pittsburgh-based Alcoa may expand into Greenland. Talks with Greenland's government began last year on building an aluminum smelter in their country. Now, Greenland's Parliament has agreed to enter the second phase of studies on the project.
Greenland is attractive to Alcoa because of its potential for hydroelectric power. A company spokesman says Alcoa is looking to expand to other countries as the worldwide demand for aluminum continues to rise. Greenland currently does not have an aluminum industry.
Alcoa has narrowed its focus in Greenland to the rural town of Maniitsoq. The company will study the feasibility of locating a smelter and hydroelectric power plant there, as well as the potential environmental, economic and social impacts of this kind of project. A similar project in Iceland has divided residents there. Some say it's providing economic benefits to the country; others say it's destroying what had been pristine land.