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Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Friday

Robin-Ivan Capar
Robin-Ivan Capar - [email protected]
Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Friday
The "oil fund" has grown in value by more than 2,500 billion kroner within the initial five months of the year. Photo by Clyde Thomas on Unsplash

Norway's "oil fund" surpasses 15,000 billion kroner in value, mayors in northern Norway call for a ban on cryptocurrency mining facilities, and other news from Norway on Friday.


Norway's 'oil fund' continues to grow in value

The Government Pension Fund Global, also known as the "oil fund," surpassed 15,000 billion kroner in value on Thursday.

A weaker krone and rise in the stock markets in recent days helped the fund reach new heights, the newspaper E24 reports.

"The increase in value so far this year is due to a combination of positive returns, a weakened krone exchange rate and an injection of capital," communications manager Line Aaltvedt at the "oil fund" told the newspaper.

At New Year's, the value was 12,429 billion kroner, and the fund has thus grown by over 2,500 billion kroner in the first five months of the year.

Mayor in northern Norway calls for ban on crypto mining facilities

Several mayors in northern Norway say crypto mining facilities have negative consequences for their municipalities and are asking for stronger government regulation of the industry.

The newspaper Dagsavisen reported last week that the electricity consumption of such facilities in northern Norway corresponds to almost the entire annual electricity consumption for the Lofoten region.

The Stokmarknes data centre, located in Hadsel Municipality, is one of the facilities that mine cryptocurrency in northern Norway. Mayor Lena Arntzen (H) told the newspaper that the municipalities cannot do anything since Statnett grants the related licenses.

"We would rather have used the power that goes into crypto mining to provide energy to the already established industry in the municipalities," she said, referring to the company Nordlaks, which employs over 800 people but has had its application for a license refused due to a lack of power.

"The world needs food and proteins - not crypto. As mayor, it hurts that development in existing businesses is being slowed down," she said.

Mayor Marlen Rendall Berg (Sp) in Fauske says she is calling for a national ban on crypto-mining.


Norway strengthens cooperation with Great Britain on underwater safety

The United Kingdom and Norway are strengthening cooperation in the North Sea and the Atlantic in the realm of underwater security.

Defence Minister Bjørn Arild Gram and his British colleague Ben Wallace signed an agreement in London on Thursday.

The declaration is to strengthen and further develop the existing cooperation, the Ministry of Defense wrote in a press release.

"The sabotage against Nord Stream infrastructure has shown how vulnerable we are. We have to take that seriously," Gram said.

According to the British Ministry of Defence, the agreement will strengthen the countries' ability to work together to protect common interests in the North Sea.

"We are increasing our joint efforts to protect critical infrastructure on the seabed," Wallace said in a statement.


Norway provides long-range artillery and radars to Ukraine

Norway is providing eight long-range MLRS rocket artillery systems to Ukraine. In addition, three Arthur radars are provided, which can pick up where artillery is located.

The donations are made together with Great Britain, Defense Minister Gram stated during his stay in London on Thursday.

"We must continue our support for Ukraine so that they can continue their fight for freedom and independence. There is a need for more weapons, and these are capacities in high demand for Ukraine which we would not have been able to achieve without close cooperation with Great Britain," Gram said.

The Norwegian Defense Forces are in the process of replacing their Arthur artillery locating radars with new ones.

According to the plan, these are to be delivered to the military in 2024 and 2025. The MLRS is decommissioned and, therefore, not part of the Norwegian military structure.



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