Equinor's Hammerfest LNG plant offline after outage

(Reuters) - Equinor's Hammerfest LNG plant in Arctic Norway suffered a compressor failure on Thursday and is expected to remain offline until May 19, Norwegian gas system company Gassco said in a regulatory note on Friday.

The outage was caused by a technical problem with a heat exchanger that occurred during a restart of the plant following a one-day maintenance outage, an Equinor spokesperson said.

The plant will remain offline until repairs have been carried out, the spokesperson added.

Hammerfest LNG, also known as Melkoeya, has capacity to deliver about 6.5 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas per year, enough to cover energy demand for about 6.5 million European homes, or 5% of all Norwegian gas exports, Equinor has said.

Norway is Europe's largest supplier of natural gas following a sharp reduction in Russian deliveries amid the war in Ukraine.

The Melkoeya plant receives its gas via a pipeline from the offshore Snoehvit gas field and is owned by operator Equinor (36.79%) as well as Petoro (30%), TotalEnergies (18.40%), Neptune Energy (12%) and Wintershall Dea (2.81%).

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