Norway’s Hammerfest LNG will be closed for repairs for up to 12 months following damage surveys conducted after the plant fire on Sept. 28, according to the LNG operator Equinor on Tuesday.
Equinor said 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 extinguishing the fire have damaged other auxiliary systems such as electrical equipment and cables.
Equinor, as well as the police, has started independent investigations into the cause of the fire.
"The fire at Hammerfest LNG was a serious incident. The various investigations into the incident will be important in order to identify measures that will prevent similar incidents from happening again," said Grete Haaland, senior vice president for Equinor's onshore facilities.
The duration of the shutdown is dependent on the delivery time of the necessary equipment to deal with the sizable consequential damage and progress will also be affected by the current restrictions related to the Covid-19 virus, the company said.
The LNG plant's director Andreas Sandvik stressed that plant safety is their first priority and they would not restart the plant until all safety measures are taken.
He surmised that although a lot of inspection work is needed, his best estimate is that it could take up to Oct. 1 next year to get the plant up and running.
Hammerfest LNG, located outside Hammerfest in Finnmark county in northern Norway is a facility that receives and processes natural gas from the Snohvit field in the Barents Sea.
The gas is conveyed through a 160-kilometer-long gas pipeline to the facility, which became operational in the autumn of 2007.
By Murat Temizer