On October 14, Ambassador Colella made an official visit to the city of Akureyri, the second largest in Iceland.
The Ambassador visited the Museum of Modern Art to visit the exhibition of paintings “Ultima Thule”, organized by the Cristoforo Colombo Committee of Genoa (co-financed by the Italian Embassy), and he had meetings with the city authorities (Mayor Asthildur Sturludottir) and academics (the Rector of the University of Akureyri, Prof. Eyjolfur Gudmundsson). The ambassador also visited the TDK Foil (formerly Becromal) plant, the most significant Italian economic presence in Iceland.
The visit eas concluded with a meeting with the small but active Italian community of the city.
With the Mayor and the Rector the Ambassador discussed in particular about Arctic issues. Akureyri, located a few kilometers from the Arctic Circle, hosts a Chinese scientific research station and will host a series of Arctic Council meetings in the coming months. From both sides a greater collaboration with Italian universities was envisaged – every year Italian Erasmus students attend courses at the University of Akureyri, specialized in arctic studies.
The Italian TDK Foil factory is the second largest employer and the largest financial contributor to the city. The factory was established in 2011 by Becromal Italy, a company founded in 1955 in Rozzano (MI) and still today a key player in the world market for aluminum foil for electrolytic capacitors. In 2008 Becromal Italia was acquired by the German ETCOS, which in turn, in the following year, was acquired by the Japanese TDK. From 2009 the Icelandic plant changed its name in TDK Foil.
Currently, the modern plant employs 92 people (three of whom are Italian); the management is also Italian. The turnover amounts to approximately 50 million euros per year, and it is consolidated in the balance sheet of the Italian parent company.
The managing director of the company, Emanuela Saiu, accompanied the Ambassador during the visit, illustrating to him the characteristics of the plant and the processes that take place there.