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Hammerfest LNG plant to be closed for up to one year for repairs: Equinor

Singapore — Equinor will close the Hammerfest LNG plant in Norway for up to 12 months for repairing damages sustained from a fire on Sept. 28, the company said Oct. 26.

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Previously, the Equinor-operated Hammerfest LNG plant had been expected to reopen at the start of 2021, but mapping the extent of the damage after the fire indicated that it might take up till Oct. 1, 2021, for the plant to get back into production.

The closure of the entire facility will see a full 18 million cu m/d volume impact.

Damages caused by the fire on the air intake on one of the plant's five power turbines, along with large amounts of seawater from the extinguishing process, have damaged other auxiliary systems such as electrical equipment and cables in the plant.

The duration of the shutdown will hinge on the delivery time of necessary equipment and takes into account restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic, according to the press statement.

The shutdown is one of several global outages that have contributed to the tightening supply of LNG and helped support LNG prices in the midst of LNG procurement for winter in North Asia. The S&P Global Platts JKM for December was assessed at 7.382/MMBtu on Oct. 23.

The shutdown period will also serve as a maintenance phase for the plant.

"We will use the shutdown period to also carry out other maintenance and repair work planned for 2021. This includes both ongoing maintenance and maintenance planned in a planned turnaround next spring," Hammerfest LNG plant director, Andreas Sandvik said.

The facility underwent a five-week period of planned maintenance earlier this year, from May 15-June 22.

It liquefies gas delivered from the Snohvit field in the Barents Sea.