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Equinor postponed Hammerfest LNG start-up
Based on “extensive analyses” and “mapping of damages”, Equinor has updated the schedule for repair and start-up of the Hammerfest LNG plant in Melkøya after the fire on 28 September 2020.
Equinor announced that based on “extensive analyses” and “mapping of damages”, it has updated the schedule for repair and start-up of the Hammerfest LNG plant in Melkøya after the fire on 28 September 2020. “Due to the comprehensive scope of work and Covid-19 restrictions, the revised estimated start-up date is set to 31 March 2022.”
Even though the fire in September 2020 was limited to the air intake of one of the plant’s five big gas turbines, the fire and firefighting caused substantial damage to the plant, Equinor has reminded. “There is still some uncertainty related to the scope of work, however our best start-up estimate is 31 March 2022, based on current knowledge. Safety is our top priority, and we will not start the plant before it can be done safely.”
There is still uncertainty related to how the Covid-19 development will impact the project progress, the Norwegian operator said, adding that “more than 70,000 unique equipment components were potentially exposed to seawater during the firefighting. The components have been systematically checked after the fire, and a repair plan for securing the plant’s integrity has been prepared.”
The most time-consuming activity appears to be the replacement of electric cables connected to the power station where the fire occurred. Inspections show that more than 180 km of cable must be replaced. New cables have been ordered and will arrive Melkøya during this spring/summer.
Other equipment components are being procured for delivery in the summer/autumn of 2021. “Several major equipment components, including several compressors, must also be taken out of the plant, and sent to the supplier for repair.”
Equinor’s internal investigation of the fire is still being conducted. The company will revert to findings and conclusions when the investigation is completed.
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Background quoted from the Global LNG Database®:
On 26 Oct. 2020, Equinor revealed that surveys of the damage after the fire at Hammerfest LNG in September indicates that the LNG plant will be closed for up to 12 months for repairs [till 26 October 2021]. In addition to 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 have damaged other auxiliary systems such as electrical equipment and cables in the plant.
It is the scope of work of this consequential damage that are considered the most extensive and the duration of the shutdown will depend on the delivery time of necessary equipment. Progress will also be affected by the current restrictions related to the Covid 19 virus.

Source(s) GLNGI Staff, Equinor