Friday, May 23, 2008

Eternal Flame

There are two main factories still working in the Odda/Tyssedal area (besides the hydroelectric plant, but that doesn't need constant human labor) - both having to do with extracting metal from rocks that they mine locally. The one down the hill from where I live, in Tyssedel, is some kind of smelting factory - I think S7302319.JPG they make iron ingots that they then send all over Norway and Europe and maybe the world. Don't know much about it except that they run 24 hours every day. Here's a picture of the flame that comes out of the stack all day and night and year round unless the kiln breaks down.
Across the fjord are big holes in the side of the mountain, which I guess at one time were mined out, but now they are just holes to put the junk into. It's like the factory's own private dump - pretty handy. Keeps the neighbors from complaining. And it employs a lot of people.
S7302079.JPGThe other factory in the area is the zinc factory, just outside of Odda on the other side of the fjord. It's actually on it's own island, which used to be a farm before it was sold to the factory. Here's a picture I took when I was walking into town one day.
So these are the two main employers in the area, besides the hospital. There was another factory that was the largest employer earlier in the century, located directly in Odda, next to where the river empties into the fjord. But that's a story for another day.

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