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Gas leak at Europe's only large-scale LNG plant halts production

05 June 2023

A gas leak at Equinor’s Hammerfest LNG plant on 31 May has been stopped and normalisation is under way, the energy major has said. No injuries were reported as a result of the leak, however Equinor’s emergency response organisation was mobilised and emergency services were called to the site.

Image: Equinor
Image: Equinor

The gas leak occurred in connection with a valve in one of the plant’s cooling circuits. The gas is used for cooling during production of liquid natural gas (LNG). Equinor’s emergency response organisation was mobilised and the incident was handled in collaboration with emergency services. Relevant authorities were notified.

There were 98 people present at the factory when the incident occurred. All personnel are accounted for and no injuries were reported, Equinor said.

Equinor’s emergency response organisation has since been demobilised and emergency services have left Melkøya. Equinor said it was too soon to say when production at the plant can be resumed.

The Hammerfest LNG plant is Europe's only large-scale LNG plant and is located on the island of Melkøya. The plant can process 18.4 million cubic metres of gas per day. The plant was closed in September 2020 after a fire. A series of extensive repairs meant the facility did not reopen until May 2022.

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