Equinor says Hammerfest LNG plant to resume operations in a week

Norwegian energy group Equinor is now expecting to bring back online its Hammerfest LNG export terminal next week, 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, Equinor said it had again delayed the restart of its Hammerfest LNG export plant from March 31 to May 17.

Compressor fault

Equinor said on Monday that it would delay the planned restart for a week. It now aims to restart the facility on May 23, according to data by Gassco.

“During the weekend, a minor fault was discovered on a compressor that needs to be rectified prior to start-up. The component is now being replaced, and the stepwise process towards operations continues through the week,” Equinor said in the statement.

Grete B. Haaland, Equinor’s senior vice president for onshore facilities, said in the statement that Hammerfest LNG is ready for production, but the firm is taking the “extra time necessary to safely resume operations.”

Two LNG carriers

The 2006-built Arctic Voyager is located near the Hammerfest facility, its AIS data provided by VesselsValue shows. The 2006-built Arctic Princess should also arrive in the area on May 18.

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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