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Home* News and Stories → Natio­nal bud­get 2021: hundreds of mil­li­ons for Spits­ber­gen

Natio­nal bud­get 2021: hundreds of mil­li­ons for Spits­ber­gen

The Nor­we­gi­an govern­ment has published the sug­ges­ti­ons for the new natio­nal bud­get for 2021. The plans include seve­ral hundred mil­li­on Nor­we­gi­an kro­ner for Spits­ber­gen:

  • The labour inspec­to­re (Arbeits­til­syn­et) will be streng­the­ned with one mil­li­on kro­ner.
  • The mining com­pa­ny Store Nor­ske is to recei­ve 40 mil­li­ons to com­pen­sa­te for expec­ted los­ses in mine 7, which is suf­fe­ring from gene­ral­ly high cos­ts and addi­tio­nal pro­blems due to floo­ding with gla­cial melt­wa­ter after the hot sum­mer days in July. The govern­ment aims at secu­ring the sup­p­ly of Longyearbyen’s coal power plant with local coal.
  • 61.1 Mil­lio­nen are nee­ded for secu­ring Lon­gye­ar­by­en against snow ava­lan­ches and river floods – both are very important issues for Lon­gye­ar­by­en.
  • The com­pre­hen­si­ve clean-up of Sveagru­va and the near­by mines of Lun­ckef­jel­let and Svea Nord is expec­ted to requi­re 412.8 mil­li­ons in 2021.
  • Sval­bard­mu­se­um is in for a grant of 1.5 mil­li­ons, to “streng­then the muse­um and sti­mu­la­te more acti­vi­ty”, also in the light (or, rather, dark­ness) of the coro­na cri­sis.
  • Also the Sys­sel­man­nen will get increased fun­dings, among­st others for to crea­te a stil­ling for a lawy­er to work tasks that a public pro­se­cu­tor might other­wi­se take care of, when cases lea­ve the Sys­sel­man­nen – an insti­tu­ti­on that includes the poli­ce – in Lon­gye­ar­by­en.
Coal power plant, Longyearbyen

Lon­gye­ar­by­en has a lot of important issues to deal with and some of them will be taken important steps fur­ther with Oslo’s new bud­get for 2021. Get­ting a new power source on the way to replace the old coal power plant would cer­tain­ly make sen­se, to men­ti­on just one of many pro­blems that Lon­gye­ar­by­en needs to take care of.

The local tou­rism orga­ni­sa­ti­on Visit Sval­bard was dis­ap­poin­ted by get­ting an increase of only 100,000 kro­ner on top of the cur­rent bud­get of 3.05 mil­li­ons. Visit Sval­bard repres­ents many local com­pa­nies, all of which are hit hard by the coro­na cri­sis.

But com­mu­ni­ty repre­sen­ta­ti­ves expres­sed them­sel­ves most­ly satis­fied. Among­st others, Lon­gye­ar­by­en will now also get the oppor­tu­ni­ty to app­ly for fun­dings from “kli­ma­sats”, a public fund for for cli­ma­te pro­tec­tion pro­jects that was estab­lished for main­land com­mu­ni­ties alre­a­dy in 2016. Lon­gye­ar­by­en has very high per capi­ta CO2 emis­si­ons and elec­tri­ci­ty is very expen­si­ve. A new solu­ti­on might bring con­sidera­ble impro­ve­ment for both issues. Curr­ent­ly, a hydro­gen-based solu­ti­on is dis­cus­sed. Hydro­gen could be sup­pli­ed from north Nor­way and is expec­ted to redu­ce both CO2 emis­si­ons and the high pri­ces for elec­tri­ci­ty signi­fi­cant­ly.

The government’s bud­get plans still need the parliament’s appr­oval.



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last modification: 2020-10-08 · copyright: Rolf Stange