MINE 7 TO CLOSE IN 2028: Last Norwegian coal mine to shut down when Longyearbyen’s coal power plant does; Store Norske will then dismantle mine and focus on ‘greener’ energy

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The “cornerstone” of Longyearbyen’s 115-year existence is set to reach its final end after a years-long phaseout, as Mine 7 is scheduled to cease operations in 2028 and be dismantled during the next two years, Svalbardposten reported Friday.

Store Norske’s board of directors approved the closure to coincide with when Longyearbyen’s coal-fired power plant is scheduled to be fully replaced by a new facility – likely natural gas or wood pellets – now in the evaluation stage, the newspaper reported. The dismantling of the mine and all related infrastructure will be similar to the work being done at the larger mines at Svea and Lunckefjell on the order of Norway’s government, which opted to cease operations after they suffered record losses that nearly bankrupted the company.

A new Longyearbyen power plant might be operable in as soon as two years, but the plan is to phase in the new facility in stages.

About 50 people are employed in Mine 7 operations, which as recently as last year were projected to last up to another decade since coal from the mine is sold to Europe as well as providing local power.

The 100 percent state-owned company – which also has operations in property management, tourism and logistics – has stated it plans to transition its mining operations to more environmentally friendly sources of energy, and is already utilizing solar and other alternative forms for small-scale and pilot projects.

Coal mining won’t cease entirely in Svalbard, as the Russian settlement of Barentsburg is continuing its state-owned operations in its mine and has indicated it will continue to do so until it is tapped out.

 

About Post Author

Mark Sabbatini

I'm a professional transient living on a tiny Norwegian island next door to the North Pole, where once a week (or thereabouts) I pollute our extreme and pristine environment with paper fishwrappers decorated with seemingly random letters that would cause a thousand monkeys with a thousand typewriters to die of humiliation. Such is the wisdom one acquires after more than 25 years in the world's second-least-respected occupation, much of it roaming the seven continents in search of jazz, unrecognizable street food and escorts I f****d with by insisting they give me the platonic tours of their cities promised in their ads. But it turns out this tiny group of islands known as Svalbard is my True Love and, generous contributions from you willing, I'll keep littering until they dig my body out when my climate-change-deformed apartment collapses or they exile my penniless ass because I'm not even worthy of washing your dirty dishes.
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