Tag Archives: Monica Mæland

Higher price of failure: Shutdown of Store Norske mines will cost far more, take longer than thought, minister says


It turns out shutting down and dismantling the Svea and Lunckefjell is going to cost a lot more than expected. With Parliament scheduled to debate the issue Thursday, at what point does the cost get so high it would be more sensible to spend the money reopening the mines?

Apparently, never, according to the head of Store Norske.

Lots of fire, but no heat? Hundreds of torch-carrying protesters object to mine shutdowns, but trade minister stands by proposal


The government’s spin is the mines may be closing permanently, but there will be significantly more jobs locally during the shutdown period as Longyearbyen attempts to transition its economy. It doesn’t appear many locals are buying the argument.

Scrappy birthday: Government proposes giving Store Norske 244M more in funding, loans to cope with debt


It might not be the gift Store Norske wants, but it’s apparently the gift the company needs on its 100th birthday as the Norwegian government is proposing giving the company an additional 244 million kroner in funding and loans to allow the company to refinance existing debt.

Swampland in Svalbard? Norway buys Austre Adventfjord, ‘underscores the government mess in the archipelago’


So it won’t be a Chinese holiday village after all. And it seems implausible those 20 million tons of coal will ever be mined. So just what is Norway going to do with all that land across from Longyearbyen, assuming Parliament approves a deal to purchase it for 300 million kroner?

Home fires: Rentals continue to be scarce and costly despite layoffs; politicians point fingers at who’s to blame


There’s lots of newly-built housing, people are being laid off by the hundreds – yet places available for rent are extremely rare and costly

Dozens of Longyearbyen residents have scrambled to find housing on short notice during the past couple of months due to the destruction of 11 homes in the Dec. 19 avalanche and the 30 tenants at Gamle Sykehuset forced to suddenly evacuate their apartments last month. While most appear to have found at least temporary housing, the shortage has touched off a political feud about who’s responsible for the situation and how it should be addressed.

Random weirdness for the week of March 1, 2016


We’ve long stated Longyearbyen residents are a bit dim in a way since, while the first sunrise after the three-and-a-half-month polar winter was Feb. 16, we don’t actually celebrate the first appearance of the sun until March 8. But here’s a real mental fuse-blower as everyone gears up for this year’s nine-day Solfestuka festival:

High price of failure: Government recommends additional 749M kroner in aid, loans for Store Norske over four years


The price of keeping Store Norske barely alive keeps increasing, with the government now asking Parliament for 749 million kroner during the next four years to support operations at Mine 7 and maintenance of two larger mines in the hope coal prices recover.

A future on hold: Government agrees to give Store Norske up to 400M during next three years to ‘pause’ Lunckefjell, double shifts at Mine 7


The Norwegian government is recommending spending up to 400 million kroner so Store Norske can maintain inoperative facilities at its largest mines during the next three years and employ a double shift at Mine 7.

Down to 98…or 28: Minister says Svea and Lunckfjell will likely shut temporarily or permanently‚ Mine 7 will employ one or two shifts


It’s not exactly an answer, but anyone still clinging to the hope the government will help Store Norske be more than mere shadow of its former self should probably give up.

A best-case scenario of 98 remaining employees at the mining company and a worst-case of fewer than 30 now appears likely, based on statements by Minister of Trade and Industry Monica Mæland in a Dec. 6 letter to Longyearbyen Mayor Arild Olsen.

Will there be more? Gov’t announces 50M for local jobs; decision on 285M in aid for Store Norske apparently still pending


If it’s a supplement to Store Norske’s request for help it’s a blessing. If it’s a substitute it’s a curse.

An allocation of 50 million kroner for “restructuring measures” in Svalbard was announced Friday by the Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries. The funding includes 23 million kroner for job “innovation and development” through Innovation Norway, and 22 million to Longyearbyen’s city government for infrastructure maintenance and improvements.