Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of May 23, 2017

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Svalbardbutikken hires new staff due to empty shelves
Svalbardbutikken is hiring two additional managers to help keep goods in stock after the going through months of empty shelves in various parts of the store. In additional to staples such as meat, produce, daily, spices and coffee, there was also a notable shortage of holiday chocolates before Easter and the store made national headlines for running out of toilet paper. The store’s board of directors has hired a purchasing and warehouse manager, and plans to hire a strategic director in the near future. “The basis for this is that we see that the store has had little resources in management,” said Frigg Jørgensen, the board’s chairperson. “They have many tasks and we are vulnerable to key personnel.” The store, while planning an expansion and a shift in inventory to reflect a more tourist-oriented community, also plans to review how it receives its goods. Currently the store buys from its parent company warehouses in Bergemoen and Tromsø, which are transported by ship or air, with some items such as mineral water and candy purchased in Denmark.

Svalbard Airport triples solar cell panels, will use for cars

Svalbard Airport has more than tripled its number of solar cell panels following a successful experience with 70 panels installed last year. A total of 160 additional panels were installed last week, adding 45 kilowatts of potential power to the 20 kilowatts that already existed. A subsequent test of the panels was promising – in a way. “We came up with a production of 53 kilowatt of the 65 possible. Then the fuses blew,” said Dag Halvorsen, project manager of Power Controls, the company which did both installations. An airport electrician will adjust the fuses to handle all the current generated by the solar panels. Among other things, the panels will be used during months with sunlight to recharge two electric cars recently purchased by the airport, as well as being available to the public. Svalbard Airport spent 700,000 kroner on the most recent expansion of its solar power. Airport Manager Morten Ulsnes said he believes the money will be recovered quickly due to lower electricity bills.

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