January 7, 2019 / 9:31 AM / in a month

Denmark plans nine new islands to expand Copenhagen industrial district

An illustration shows the proposed construction of nine islands in the sea just south of Copenhagen, Denmark in this handout released to Reuters January 7, 2019. Ministry of Economic and Business Affairs/Handout via REUTERS

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Denmark backed a proposal on Monday to build nine new artificial islands to expand the industrial district of Copenhagen and attract investment.

The new islands would make up around a quarter of a development project the size of 420 soccer fields in total. Construction could begin in 2022 and the project could be fully functional by 2040.

The government expects it to attract up to 380 new businesses and create 12,000 jobs, adding more than $8 billion to the economy, equivalent to 2.5 percent of GDP.

“We will stand stronger in international competition to attract business, investment and highly qualified labor” with the project, interior minister Simon Emil Ammitzboll-Bille said in a statement. “That could contribute to growth and development not just in the capital area but in all of Denmark.”

The proposal must still be approved by parliament. Business minister Rasmus Jarlov told reporters at a press briefing that the government expected the project to be self financed in part by selling lots on the islands.

One of the nine islands will house a plant converting waste from the capital to bio gas, cleaning waste water and storing green energy from windmills. Others will have space for industrial companies.

Copenhagen is located across two main islands, Zealand and Amager, and has already been expanded numerous times with the construction of small artificial islands.

In October last year Denmark also proposed building an island near Copenhagen’s harbor to create more space for the city’s growing population.

Reporting by Emil Gjerding Nielson; Editing by Toby Chopra and Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen

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