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Home → March, 2008

Monthly Archives: March 2008 − News & Stories


Deve­lo­p­ment of tou­rism in Spits­ber­gen

The­re were 86 097 over­night stays in hotels and guest­houses in Spits­ber­gen in 2007 (2006: 83 049, 1998: 46 201). The num­bers have been con­stant­ly gro­wing except from a minor decre­a­se in 2003. Most guests were Nor­we­gi­ans (ca. 68 %), fol­lo­wed by Swe­des and Ger­mans (both near 5 %), Bri­tons, Danes, French­men and Dut­ch.

Num­bers show pro­nou­ced peaks during the main sea­sons in March/April and during the sum­mer (late June-August). The local tou­rism indus­try aims for bet­ter use of their capa­ci­ties during the off-sea­son inclu­ding the polar night.

The lar­ge per­cen­ta­ge of Spits­ber­gen tou­rists who come on board major crui­se ships and do not stay over­night in any hotel is not inclu­ded in the num­bers abo­ve. 

The “Nord­pol Hotel­let” in Ny Åle­sund.

Source: Sval­bard­pos­ten 11/2008.

Plans about new coal mine

SNSK (Store Nor­ske Spits­ber­gen Kull­kom­pa­ni, the Nor­we­gi­an mining com­pa­ny) has announ­ced to open a new coal mine at Lunck­ef­jel­let in 2013. Lunck­ef­jel­let is bet­ween Sveagru­va and Reinda­len in Nor­dens­kiöld Land. Lunck­ef­jel­let is sup­po­sed to have explo­ita­ble coal seams with a thic­kness of around 2 metres, total­ling to appro­xi­mate­ly 10 mil­li­on tons.

Explo­ra­ti­on dril­lings have also been car­ri­ed out recent­ly in Cole­s­da­len (sou­thwest of Lon­gye­ar­by­en), alt­hough without eco­no­mi­c­al­ly signi­fi­cant results so far. Plans for fur­ther inves­ti­ga­ti­ons in Nathorst Land (bet­ween Van Mijen­fjord and Van Keu­len­fjord) have been announ­ced.

2007 was the most pro­duc­ti­ve year in SNSK’s histo­ry until now. More than 4 mil­li­on tons of coal have been mined in Sveagru­va (near-by Sen­tral­fel­tet, to be accu­ra­te); in addi­ti­on come almost 80,000 tons from gruve 7 near Lon­gye­ar­by­en. In 2006, the pro­duc­tion was 3,6 mil­li­on tons, 70 % of which were sold to Ger­ma­ny (main cus­to­mers: Eon (electri­ci­ty) and steel pro­duc­tion).

The pro­ject is not undis­pu­ted. Cri­ti­cism inclu­des inter­fe­rence with the untouched envi­ron­ment: amongst others, the mine requi­res a road to be built across a gla­cier. Also, envi­ron­men­ta­lists accu­se the Nor­we­gi­an government to app­ly dif­fe­rent stan­dards to the sta­te-owned SNSK than is gene­ral­ly com­mu­ni­ca­ted to the inter­na­tio­nal public. Oslo pro­mo­tes cli­ma­te-friend­ly pro­ce­du­res both for the main­land and for Sval­bard.

The posi­ti­on of the envi­sa­ged mine at Lunck­ef­jel­let.

For more infor­ma­ti­on, see: Store Nor­ske Spits­ber­gen Kull­kom­pa­ni (news­let­ter “bedrifts­nytt”)

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