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Home → July, 2008

Monthly Archives: July 2008 − News & Stories


Coal pro­duc­tion in Sveagru­va pro­fi­ta­ble

In 2008, about 2 mil­li­on tons of coal were mined alrea­dy until ear­ly July, more than 300 000 tons more than expec­ted. This tog­e­ther with rising pri­ces on the world mar­ket makes for smi­ling faces in the manage­ment of the Nor­we­gi­an mining com­pa­ny Store Nor­ske Spits­ber­gen Kull­kom­pa­ni (SNSK), which is making pro­fit – a rare event in the long histo­ry of the com­pa­ny. SNSK expects to have paid its debts back by the end of the year. The coal is expor­ted to Euro­pe, whe­re about 60 % are used in ener­gy pro­duc­tion and 40 % in the steel indus­try.

The area of Svea from abo­ve.

Coal production in Sveagruva profitable

Source: Sval­bard­pos­ten

New sta­ti­on in Ny Åle­sund

Ny Åle­sund is beco­m­ing incre­a­singly popu­lar as a base for polar rese­arch. The latest new­co­mer from the far east, after Chi­na and Korea, is India, which ope­ned a sta­ti­on in ear­ly 2008. Rus­sia has alrea­dy expres­sed inte­rest and may be the next nati­on to fol­low. Ita­ly, that has alrea­dy a sta­ti­on in Ny Åle­sund, plans to open a “cli­ma­te tower” to con­duct atmo­s­phe­ric rese­arch, which is expec­ted to be ope­ra­tio­nal in the sum­mer of 2009.

The Indian rese­arch sta­ti­ons in Ny Åle­sund. 

New station in Ny Ålesund

The Ger­man rese­arch sta­ti­ons in Ny Åle­sund.

The German research stations in Ny Ålesund.

Sources: Sval­bard­pos­ten, Sval­bard Sci­ence Forum

Pro­mi­nent visi­tors to the ice

Spits­ber­gen has had a lar­ger num­ber of pro­mi­nent visi­tors in June and July. In late June, mem­bers of the three Scan­di­na­vi­an roy­al fami­lies went on a crui­se into the ice on board the Swe­dish ice­brea­ker Oden, and minis­ters of a num­ber of coun­tries visi­ted Lon­gye­ar­by­en and Ny Åle­sund to meet col­leagues and to dis­cuss issu­es inclu­ding cli­ma­te chan­ge. The seed vault near Lon­gye­ar­by­en, ope­ned ear­lier this year, was also high on the wish­list, but the doors usual­ly remain clo­sed, even for high-ran­king visi­tors such as for­mer US-pre­si­dent Jim­my Car­ter, who wan­ted to visit the seed vault in ear­ly July tog­e­ther with CNN-chef Ted Tur­ner, mul­ti­mil­lion­aire Geor­ge Soros and Goog­le foun­der Lar­ry Page.

Accord­ing to the local news­pa­per Sval­bards­pos­ten, 76% of the local popu­la­ti­on con­si­der pro­mi­nent visi­tors unim­portant. 

The Swe­dish ice­brea­ker Oden with the Scan­dia­vi­an Crown Prin­ces on board.

Prominent visitors to the ice

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