Kings Bay AS is a corporation owned by the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment. The company was previously owned by the Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries, but was transferred to the new ministry on January 1st, 2017. The company owns and operates the town of Ny-Ålesund as well as the surrounding area. Kings Bay AS promotes and support research and research activities performed by research stations from other countries and contributes to the developement of Ny-Ålesund as the most important research station in the Arctic.
Kings Bay AS started as a coal mining company in 1916. Until 1963 the coal mining was the most important income for Kings Bay. In 1963 the coal mining was shut down and from 1964 facilitating of researchers, development of Ny-Ålesund as a center for Arctic research and conservation of present invironment with the nature and cultural heritage, have been the main tasks.
Ny-Ålesund has Svalbard's largest collection of automatically protected cultural monuments that date to before 1946, these includes 29 buildings and several other objects. One of Kings Bay's missions is to take care of the cultural heritages.
Kongsfjorden. Photo: Henning Vårdal