Better preparedness at Svalbard

The "MS Nordsyssel" will soon be replaced by a new and top modern service vessel at Svalbard. Photo: Hannes Grobe/Wikipedia

Norway strengthens its management of the Arctic archipelago with a new state-of-the-art service vessel and better helicopter preparedness.


The new vessel, to be ready for duty in 2014, will have enhanced capacity to engage in rescue and emergency situations, a press release from the Norwegian government reads. It will be equipped with sophisticated environmentally-friendly technology, powerful machinery and top modern navigation facilities.

The ship is built by the Havyard company and will be leased to the Svalbard Governor’s office on a long-term contract. The contract sum amounts to 32,9 million NOK (€4,4 million) per year, the Svalbard authorities inform.

Today, the Svalbard Governor’s office applies the “MS Nordsyssel” vessel for management and preparedness operations at the archipelago.

In addition, the Governor’s office will get an enhanced helicopter capacity. From 2014, the office will possess two big-size helicopters. The local authorities today control one big and one medium-sized helicopter.

The Svalbard Governor is the Norwegian Government’s top representative at the archipelago. The governor’s office makes sure that all countries represented at the islands observes the Svalbard Treaty, the agreement from 1920 securing Norwegian sovereignty over the archipelago.