Start of production at Hammerfest LNG


Hammerfest LNG volumes account for more than 5% of Norwegian gas exports

After extensive repairs and upgrades, Hammerfest LNG is back in production after the September 2020 fire. The first liquefied natural gas (LNG) is now in tanks at Melkoya.

“With the start of Hammerfest LNG, we are adding additional volume to the already large gas deliveries from Norway. This is of great importance at a time when predictable and reliable supplies are very important to many countries and customers,” says Irene Rummelhoff, Executive Vice President, Marketing, Midstream and Processing at Equinor.

Norway is a major supplier of gas to Europe, and Hammerfest LNG volumes account for more than 5% of Norwegian gas exports. During normal production, Hammerfest LNG supplies approximately 6.5 billion cubic meters per year, which is equivalent to the annual gas demand of 6.5 million European households.

Safety was the number one priority during the extensive work process, from identifying the extent of the damage, to planning repairs and improvements, and implementing the project. Systematic and targeted work was carried out daily by approximately 1,000 people, bringing the plant back into operation safely. A step-by-step procedure was followed in the process towards full production.

“I would like to thank all the employees, suppliers and partners who have done an excellent job in preparing the plant for a safe start. This is a huge and complicated task, with much of the project working during a difficult pandemic,” says Rummelhoff.

Sophisticated equipment and compressor repairs were carried out, in addition to scheduled overhaul and routine maintenance. More than 22,000 components have been checked and 180 kilometers of electrical cables have been replaced. To minimize the spread of infections, extensive infection control measures and strict distancing rules have been put in place.

The plant is built to operate at minus 163 degrees Celsius, and a controlled, step-by-step process is followed towards full production.

LNG carriers Arctic Voyager, Arctic Lady and Arctic Princess are anchored outside Melkøya, ready to receive new cargoes from Hammerfest LNG. Normally, it takes 4-5 days to fill storage tanks at the plant, before ships are loaded with LNG for shipment 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, 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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