Equinor’s Hammerfest LNG plant on track to restart in May, CEO says

Norwegian energy group Equinor is still expecting to bring back online its Hammerfest LNG export terminal in May, following a fire that broke out at the facility in September 2020.

Equinor closed the 4.3 mtpa Hammerfest LNG plant on September 28, 2020, after the fire occurred in turbine 4.

In April last year, the firm said the plant on Melkoya island would remain closed until March 2022 due to the scope of the repairs needed to restore the facility to safe production.

In January, Equnior said it had again delayed the restart of its Hammerfest LNG export plant from March 31 to May 17.

“Hammerfest LNG is on track for a safe start-up on May 17,” Anders Opedal, president and CEO of Equinor, said in the company’s first-quarter report on Wednesday.

“With an energy crisis in Europe, Equinor’s top priority is securing safe and reliable deliveries,” he said, adding that Equinor has optimized its gas production to deliver higher volumes to Europe.

It appears that the 2006-built Arctic Voyager is heading to the Hammerfest facility to pick up the first cargo since September 2020.

The 140,000-cbm LNG carrier is expected to arrive at the facility on May 9, according to its AIS data provided by VesselsValue.

Hammerfest LNG liquefies natural gas coming from the Snohvit field in the Barents Sea.

Gas reaches Hammerfest LNG via a 160-kilometer gas pipeline which became operational in the autumn of 2007.

Equinor is the operator of both the Snohvit field and Hammerfest LNG with a 36.8 percent stake.

Prior to the incident, the facility supplied LNG mainly to terminals in Europe but also in Asia.

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