Hammerfest LNG back in production following fire in 2020

LNG June 02, 2022

After extensive repairs and improvement work, Norway’s Hammerfest LNG is back in production after the fire in September 2020, Equinor announced. The first liquified natural gas (LNG) is now on tank at Melkøya.

The Hammerfest LNG facility (Photo: Einar Aslaksen / Equinor ASA)
The Hammerfest LNG facility (Photo: Einar Aslaksen / Equinor ASA)

“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 around 6.5 billion cubic meters per year, equivalent to the annual gas demand of 6.5 million European households.

Neptune Energy holds a 12% interest in the Snøhvit field.

“Safely restarting LNG production from the Snøhvit field is a great achievement by Equinor and the key contractors on the Hammerfest plant,” Neptune Energy’s Managing Director in Norway Odin Estensen said. “Snøhvit is an incredibly important field and we have worked closely with the operator and our licence partners to safely bring it back onstream … This will boost production of much-needed energy to Europe and enhance security of supply.”

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 kilometres 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 minus 163 degrees Celsius, 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 4-5 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 about 1 TW of energy.

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

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