Internal restructuring
Norge; Nord-Norge;
Location of affected unit(s)
Mining / Quarrying
Mining And Quarrying
Mining Of Coal And Lignite
05 - Mining of coal and lignite

100 jobs
Number of planned job losses
Job loss
Announcement Date
25 November 2014
Employment effect (start)
12 December 2014
Foreseen end date
31 March 2015


Coal mining company Store Norske is restructuring, downsizing by at least 100 employees in Spitsbergen.

Store Norske has been a cornerstone of the local economy in the arctic town of Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen, but it is now struggling as the coal price is falling. Some 95 employees received dismissals in December 2014. Additionally, temporary contracts are not being renewed. The company is cutting costs, halting production in one coal mine and reducing production in another.

The state-owned company, which was previously heavily subsidized in order to sustain a Norwegian settlement and thus sovereignty over the Svalbard archipelago, is now negotiating with banks and the Norwegian government about economic support in order to sustain future production. The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries is expected to review the company's application for a loan at the earliest by mid-April 2015. Meanwhile, coal mining in Spitsbergen is currently continuing at a minimal level. Store Norske continuing its efforts to reduce costs, and expects that this will result in further job cuts.

Update, 23 April 2015: The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries has granted the company a loan and the state is prepared to buy some of its property to secure future operation. In total, the state is providing 500 million NOK in renewed financing to the company. The company states that the decision provides grounds to continue the coal production, but that a lot of hard work remains to be done. The financing plan will shortly be presented to the Norwegian Parliament (Stortinget) for approval. The case has sparked some political controversy, as it pits the interest of maintaining jobs and settlements on Spitsbergen against the need to scale back coal mining and reduce carbon emissions and impact on the fragile arctic ecosystem.


  • 25 November 2014: Fri fagbevegelse
  • 16 January 2015: Afteposten
  • 24 November 2014: Aftenposten
  • 28 March 2015: NRK


Eurofound (2014), Store Norske , Internal restructuring in Norway, factsheet number 79193, European Restructuring Monitor. Dublin, https://restructuringeventsprod.azurewebsites.net/restructuring-events/detail/79193.