Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of May 5, 2015


Longyearbyen’s first local brewery seeks summer debut
Longyearbyen’s first-locally made beer should finally be available this summer after six years of struggling with everything from changing a law banning the manufacture of alcohol here to testing brew recipes, according to Robert Johansen, owner of Svalbard Bryggeri. A ship carrying the beer-making and other equipment is scheduled to travel north from the mainland in May and it should take about a month after it arrives before the first can of beer is ready to be consumed. “We are engaging right now and negotiating with distributors,” Johansen said. “Initially, it will be sold in the surrounding area, meaning northern Norway, but eventually the rest of the country and the world tour.” He said some issues remain, including disposal of the large amounts of biomass from the grains, which he eventually hopes can be burned to produce heat during the brewing process.

Seven vying to be Svalbard’s next governor starting Oct. 1
Seven applicants are hoping to be Svalbard’s next governor, including two with significant previous ties to the archipelago. Kjerstin Askholt, 52, director general of the polar affairs depart of Norway’s Ministry of Justice and Public Security, and former Lt. Gov. Rune Bård Hansen, 57, are seeking to be appointed to a three-year term when Gov. Odd Olsen Ingerø departs Oct. 1. The other candidates are Inderpreet Cheema, 25, Louise Kavin, 38, Rolf B. Merckoll, 60, Inger-Marie Landfald, 48, and Erik Storelv, 54.

Conservatives pick Prytz as top local council candidate
Torgeir Prytz, project manager for  Kongsberg Satellite Services, has been selected at the top-ranked Conservative Party candidate for this fall’s Longyearbyen Community Council election. “He has extensive experience in Svalbard and know the challenges and, not least, the opportunities in the community well,” said  Kjetil Figenschou, the party’s local chairman. If elected, he would replace Deputy Mayor Geir Hekne, who is citing work commitments in his decision to step down from the position.