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In difficult territory – again

Project manager Arne Gunhildberget. FOTO: Christopher Engås

In difficult territory – again

This summer LNS Spitsbergen will renovate Norwegian Defense Estates Agency (NDEA) installations at Jan Mayen, Hopen, Bjørnøya and Ny-Ålesund. 

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There will be intense months for a large part of LNS' local staff in July and August. Equipment and other belongings of NDEA will be renovated in the Norwegian outposts of Jay Mayen, Hopen and Bjørnøya – in addition to Ny-Ålesund.

"Everything has to be planned to the last detail and the work has already begun," said Arne Gunhildberget, who will be the project's manager.

Environment and safety
At Bjørnøya, Hopen and Jan Mayen there are mainly repairs of the tank facilities in place that need to be done. NDEA Project Director Anders Martinsen explained the mission as follows:

"NDEA has stored fuel for helicopters in these places for many decades," he said. "The signs of time are there now and the facilities need to be upgraded. When we do that, we take both environmental and safety precautions. The environmentally related step is that we create a system that will capture any leaks from tanks. The tank systems shall also be moved into a new building, making it safer for employees at the site."

At Jan Mayen LNS Spitsbergen will also dig an eight-kilometer trench to replace the line of lights along the airstrip. 

All at the same time 
"There is a small window of time to do this and therefore we must be out at all locations at the same time," Gunhildberget said. "In addition, there is expected to much construction activity in Longyearbyen this summer, so we must be effective."

Including subcontractors, he calculates the group heading out on missions will total about 25 people. LNS Spitsbergen Administrative Director Frank Jakobsen assumes the company will need to increase its staff when they perform those missions.

"It will result in the hiring of some more summer temps," he said. "But any assessment of that we don't have yet." 

'Reference project'
Only days ago LNS learned they won the bid for the so-called POL facilities project for NDEA. They did so in competition with three other players. For a company with an annual turnover of 150 million to 200 million kroner, this project – with a value of about 35 million kroner – is significant.

"An assignment like this is right in our catchment area, because there are things like this we want to be good at," Jakobsen said.

The project is valued at 35 million kroner, but does he expect to earn money from it?

"Money is not the most important thing now," he said. "We are working towards getting an Arctic portfolio and in that context this is probably a good reference project for LNS Spitsbergen."

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Ny-Ålesund. FOTO: Audun R. Berdal

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