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Production starts again at Hammerfest LNG

Published by , Editorial Assistant
LNG Industry,

After extensive repairs and improvement work, Hammerfest LNG is back in production after the fire in September 2020. The first LNG is now on tank at Melkøya, Norway.

“With the start-up of Hammerfest LNG, we add further volume to the already substantial gas deliveries from Norway. This is of great significance in a period when predictable and reliable supplies are highly important to many countries and customers,” said Irene Rummelhoff, Equinor’s Executive Vice President, Marketing, Midstream, and Processing.

Norway is an important gas supplier to Europe, and the volumes from Hammerfest LNG account for more than 5% of Norwegian gas exports. During normal production, Hammerfest LNG delivers approximately 6.5 billion m3/y, equivalent to the annual gas demand of 6.5 million European households.

Safety has been priority number one during the extensive work process, from the identification of the extent of damage, to the planning of repairs and improvements, and the implementation of the project. Systematic and targeted work has been performed daily by approximately 1000 people, bringing the plant safely back online. A stepwise procedure has been followed in the process towards full production.

“I would like to thank all employees, suppliers, and partners that have done a great job getting the plant ready for safe start-up. This is a huge and complicated task, with much of the project work during a challenging pandemic,” said Rummelhoff.

Repairs of sophisticated equipment and compressors have been performed, in addition to a scheduled turnaround and ordinary maintenance. More than 22 000 components have been checked, and 180 km of electric cables have been replaced. To minimise infection spreading, extensive infection control measures and strict distancing rules have been implemented.

The plant is built for operation at -163°C, and a controlled and stepwise procedure is followed towards full production.

The LNG tankers Arctic Voyager, Arctic Lady, and Arctic Princess are anchored up outside Melkøya, ready to receive new cargoes from Hammerfest LNG. Normally, it takes four to five days to fill the storage tanks at the plant, before the ships are loaded with LNG for shipping to receiving terminals in various markets. In full production, a ship will leave Melkøya approximately every five days. Each ship contains approximately 1 TW of energy.

The partnership includes Equinor Energy AS, TotalEnergies EP Norge AS, Neptune Energy Norge AS, and Wintershall Dea Norge AS. Equinor is the operator of Hammerfest.

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