After a thorough analyses and mapping of damages, Equinor changed the schedule for repair and start-up of the LNG plant on Melkøya after the fire on September 28, 2020. Due to the comprehensive scope of work and Covid-19 restrictions, the revised estimated start-up date is set to March 31, 2022.
“We have worked systematically on getting an overview of the damages and scope of work to bring the plant’s technical condition back to the required standard. There is still some uncertainty related to the scope of work, however our best start-up estimate is 31 March 2022, based on current knowledge,” said Grete B. Haaland, Equinor’s senior vice president for onshore plants.
Operational measures to handle the Covid-19 situation have affected the follow-up progress after the fire, and there is still uncertainty related to how the Covid-19 development will impact the project progress.
More than 70,000 unique equipment components were potentially exposed to seawater during the firefighting. The components have been systematically checked after the fire, and a repair plan for securing the plant’s integrity has been prepared.
The most time-consuming activity appears to be the replacement of electric cables connected to the power station where the fire occurred. Inspections show that more than 180 km of cable must be replaced. New cables have been ordered and will arrive Melkøya during this spring/summer.
Other equipment components are being procured for delivery in the summer/autumn of 2021. Several major equipment components, including several compressors, must also be taken out of the plant, and sent to the supplier for repair.
Equinor’s internal investigation of the fire is still being conducted.