“We started run-up of the Hammerfest LNG plant [Jan. 7], and the plant has now reached stable operation. All necessary repairs on the plant have been completed to ensure a safe and efficient start-up,” stated Knut Gjertsen, head of Statoil’s Snohvit operations.
Additional time for start-up preparations at the plant, which lies on Melkoya Island in northern Norway, was needed because of a condensate leak connected to plant run-up. Statoil said it will investigate the incident.
A series of issues and shut downs has befallen the plant since it first came on stream in 2007 (OGJ Online, Aug. 21, 2007), during which it endured several outages for the remainder of the year and into 2008.
Statoil in 2009 shut the plant down for 3 months for upgrading and maintenance, including the replacement of 15 heat exchangers that form the core of the process that liquefies Snohvit development gas (OGJ Online, Aug. 14, 2009).
Three years later, production was stopped “as a result of water ingression in the natural gas dryers,” the Norwegian state-owned company reported (OGJ Online, July 12, 2012). The plant was soon gradually brought back online (OGJ Online, Aug. 3, 2012).
The Hammerfest plant is Europe’s first export facility of its kind.