Planned Snøhvit Stoppage

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Hammerfest LNG plant at Melkøya in northern Norway will be shut down on Saturday 15 August for up to three months of upgrading and maintenance work.

As operator, StatoilHydro is conducting upgrading and modification work at the Hammerfest gas liquefaction plant in order to maintain a high production level in the time ahead.

Since start-up in the autumn of 2007, upgrading and replacement of equipment has been carried out to increase the plant's production level.

From February this year the plant has produced at approximately full capacity. To secure this level, the plant has to be made more robust.

"We estimate about 510,000 labour-hours in connection with the stoppage, including preparations and the finishing process," said Geir Hopland, turnaround manager at Hammerfest LNG.

One of the big operations will be replacing 15 heat exchangers. These are the very core of the process which cools the Snøhvit gas into a liquid state, forming liquefied natural gas (LNG).

During the shutdown – and before the mechanical work can begin – all gas must be removed from the plant. Some flaring will therefore take place during the first day of the stoppage.

Up to 850 people will stay at the Melkøya work camp during the turnaround. Hammerfest LNG will resume production in November.

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