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Figure 1. The number of visits to Alcoa Fjarðaál aluminum smelter and Fljótsdalsstöð power plant (Landsvirkjun) 2004 - 2014.

Before the aluminum smelter started operation, Alcoa Fjarðaál had a visitor center near the smelter site. Organized tours for the public are no longer offered at the smelter, and no new numbers are available.

Landsvirkjun's visitor center for the Kárahnjúkavirkjun power plant and Fljótsdalur power station was in the Végarður community center until 2013. In 2014 and 2015, no visitor center was open to the public. Groups were invited to Fljótsdalsstöð power station, and guided tours were available for guests at Kárahnjúkastífla dam twice each week, three hours at a time from June 18 to August 23. Information about the number of visitors is available in Figure 2.

Figure 2. The number of visitors to Fljótsdalsstöð power station and guided tours by Kárahnjúkastífla dam in 2014-2022.

* In 2019, only visitors to the station were counted.

Updated: March 1, 2023
Source: Landsvirkjun (2023) og Alcoa Fjarðaál (2005 - 2017)

Metrics, Targets and Monitoring Protocol

What is measured?

The number of visits to Fjarðaál smelter and Fljótsdalsstöð power station. (Project effect: induced).

Monitoring Protocol

Landsvirkjun and Fjarðaál monitor the number of visits to hydro and smelter sites.


Number of visits to Fjarðaál and Kárahnjúkar visitor centers increased after the initial spike

Possible countermeasures

Not applicable. Monitoring only.

Changes of indicator

This indicator was originally number 13.1d. It was then named Tourism Levels and can be found under that number in the project documents from 2005 and 2006.

The indicator number has been changed twice.

Table 1. Changes to the number and name of the indicator
Year Nr. Indicator name
2020 4.2.4 Visits to Fjarðaál and Fljótsdalsstöð
2007 3.1d Tourism


Table 2. Number of visits to Alcoa Fjarðaál aluminium smelter and Fljótsdalsstöð power plant in 2004 and 2005
  Fljótsdalsstöð Alcoa Fjarðaál
2004 11.601  
2005 11.881 2.300

Rationale for Indicator Selection

East Iceland attracts many tourists to see the area's wilderness, fjords, waterfalls, tundra, and landscapes. The projects will likely influence the number of tourists in the region through tourist interest in the projects, increased access to the area, and business travel. It is also possible that the projects will make the area less interesting to some tourists who feel the dam's construction will have a negative impact on wilderness in the highlands. Tourists can access East Iceland by car, on tour buses, or via plane. Egilsstadir is the location of the region's principal airport, supporting local and international flights. The airport is well connected with good roads allowing access to many parts of East Iceland.

From phase I/II report on indicators and baseline from April 2005