Norge; Vestlandet; Hordaland
Location of affected unit(s)
Bjølvefossen (Ålvik)
Manufacture Of Basic Metal And Fabricated Metal Products
Manufacture Of Basic Metals
24.1 - Manufacture of basic iron and steel and of ferro-alloys
New offshoring locations

160 jobs
Number of planned job losses
Job loss
Announcement Date
13 October 2006
Employment effect (start)
1 January 2007
Foreseen end date
1 February 2008


Elkem Bjølvefossen produces ferrosilicon and is part of Elkem, which is owned by Orkla Group. The cornerstone plant, located in Ålvik in Hardanger, was built in 1905 based on cheap water power contracts, of which the first will be terminated in 2007. The Board meeting on 13 October 2006 decided to close the plant and relocate the production to Iceland where power is cheaper. The Board decided to invest 270 million NOK (Norwegian Krone) in Icelandic Alloys - a new plant. Iceland is outside the European power market and can therefore offer power prices far lower than Norway, where power price is higher and subsidies are prohibited due to the EEA (European Economic Area) agreement. This Board decision has to be confirmed by the Board of the owner, Orkla. Bjølvefossen currently employs 160 people. The downsizing starts in 2007, but the largest part will take place in 2008 in parallell with the startup of production in Iceland, from 1 February 2008. Elkem has decided to invest 30 million NOK in a test plant in Ålvik for recycling of waste from the aluminium industry. If this is successfull they will invest furter 70 million NOK in a permanent plant. This may result in 50-60 jobs. The employees are reluctant to the plans as they are sceptical of how many jobs this finally will result in. They fear that the whole plant space will be used for an activity requiring few workers, making it difficult to create more jobs at the old factory site.


  • 13 October 2006: Stavanger Aftenblad
  • 14 October 2006: Bergens Tidende


Eurofound (2006), Elkem Bjølvefossen, Offshoring/Delocalisation in Norway, factsheet number 64247, European Restructuring Monitor. Dublin, https://restructuringeventsprod.azurewebsites.net/restructuring-events/detail/64247.