Norway’s Equinor restarts Hammerfest LNG plant after September 2020 fire

Norway’s Equinor has restarted its 4.3 mtpa Hammerfest LNG export plant, 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. The fire occurred in turbine 4.

The firm delayed the restart of the facility on several occasions due to “extensive” repair work and Covid.

On Monday, an Equinor spokesperson told LNG Prime that the plant would resume operations on Tuesday and produce LNG to tanks on May 27.

The plant has resumed operations and started cool down, an Equinor spokesperson said on Friday.

However, it is yet to produce the first LNG to tanks.

“We will issue a press release when we have LNG to tank,” the spokesperson said.

Three LNG tankers are still waiting in the vicinity of the LNG plant, their AIS data provided by VesselsValue shows. These include Arctic Voyager, Arctic Lady, and Arctic Princess.

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.

The restart of the plant comes at a time when European countries are looking to phase out Russian gas supplies.

LNG imports to Europe reached record highs this year and a big part of these additional supplies came from the US.

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