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Equinor’s Melkøya LNG plant closure extended by a week

17 May 2022

Equinor has announced that while extensive repairs at its Melkøya LNG plant in Norway have been completed, the restart of the plant will take longer than expected. The plant has been closed since a fire at the plant in September 2020.

Image: Einar Aslaksen / Equinor ASA
Image: Einar Aslaksen / Equinor ASA

The start-up of the Hammerfest LNG plant on the island of Melkøya off Norway’s north coast had been scheduled for May 17. However, Equinor said in a statement that during the weekend of May 14-15, a minor fault was discovered on a compressor that needs to be rectified prior to start-up. The component is being replaced, and the stepwise process towards operations continues through the week, Equinor said.

"Hammerfest LNG has been prepared for production, but we are taking the extra time necessary to safely resume operations," said Grete B. Haaland, Equinor's Senior Vice President for onshore facilities.

The plant has undergone extensive repair and improvement work after a fire broke out on 28 September 2020. Initial surveys conducted shortly after the incident suggested that the facility would be closed for up to 12 months for repairs. Equinor said that in addition to the 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 of the fire had also damaged other auxiliary systems such as electrical equipment and cables in the plant.

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