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Melkøya Start-up Postponed

Technical challenges have delayed the start-up of the Hammerfest LNG plant in northern Norway. The current estimate is that production can resume in 14 days at the earliest.

The Snøhvit facilities at Melkøya have been shut down this autumn for planned upgrading and maintenance. Running-in after the completion of the turnaround began on 7 November.

All replaced and upgraded parts of the cooling plant were started up and appeared to function. But two technical challenges have arisen during this phase.

The first was a fault in one of the plant's utility systems, which has now been repaired.

Arising later in the running-in period, the second fault related to an electric motor which forms part of the cooling process.

It has now been decided that this motor must be replaced by a reserve unit which is stored at the nearby Polarbase in Hammerfest.

Replacement work is already well under way, and personnel from the operations organisation and the contractor will work around the clock until the plant is ready to resume start-up.

The unexpected faults which have occurred during the first running-in phase are not related to the work done during the turnaround.

Published 23/11/09

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