Equinor says Hammerfest LNG to be closed for a year

Norway’s Equinor said Monday its Hammerfest LNG plant could be shut down until October next year following a fire at the facility.

To remind, the Norwegian firm closed the 4.3 mtpa LNG plant on September 28 following a fire in turbine 4.

Earlier this month, Equinor revealed it planned to restart the facility on January 1, 2021.

However, new surveys of the damage indicate that the repairs could last up to 12 months keeping the plant shut until October 1, 2021.

In addition to damage caused by the fire on the air intake on one of the plant’s five power turbines, large amounts of seawater from the extinguishing have damaged other auxiliary systems such as electrical equipment and cables in the plant.

“It is the scope of work of this consequential damage that are considered the most extensive,” Equinor said.

The firm added that duration of the shutdown will depend on the delivery time of necessary equipment.

Additionally, the current restrictions related to the Covid-19 pandemic will also affect the progress of the restart.

Maintenance and repairs

Besides repair works, Equinor will also use the shut down to carry out planned mainetance at the facility.

This includes both ongoing maintenance and a planned turnaround next spring, the firm said.

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.

The fuel produced at the facility mainly lands at LNG terminals in Europe but also in Asia.

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

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