Linde, Statoil say joint Arctic LNG plant exceeding performance expectations

The world's northernmost natural gas liquefaction plant - Hammerfest LNG on the island Melkøya, 800 km north of the Arctic Circle near Hammerfest in Norway - passed its performance test in August, exceeding the expectations.

The highly efficient plant produces now with a capacity of up to 109% of the design capacity. Overall, Statoil and Linde make a positive assessment of the project, the companies said.

After the revision shutdown in 2011, the performance test has now been completed. The results show that all performance guarantees for example related to product quality, capacity, and energy consumption were clearly met.

In particular, energy consumption for the liquefaction service was reduced significantly below the guarantee values. Hence, the Hammerfest LNG base load plant now is also officially the worldwide most energy efficient LNG base load plant, according to the companies.

photo courtesy of StatoilThe plant is a unique technology project of the European natural gas and EPC industry. The LNG base load plant with a capacity of 4.3 million tpy of LNG is based on a liquefaction process, jointly developed by Statoil and Linde, that is optimized for the arctic conditions, the so called Mixed Fluid Cascade (MFC).

With the successful commercialization of this novel process and Linde's complementary process solutions for warm climate zones, for the first time a proven European LNG technology is available for the growing LNG market, the companies said.

With its established solutions for small and mid-scale LNG plants and its future-oriented developments of floating LNG plants, Linde has access to a comprehensive portfolio of LNG technologies.

Hammerfest LNG combines multiple innovative, environment-friendly and pioneering elements. Due to limited plot space available and difficult construction conditions the plant was designed very compact and modular.

The heart of the plant is the central process module with a weight of 35,000 tons. This largest ever built LNG plant module was pre-fabricated in a Spanish yard as a floating module and has been transported 2.700 nautical miles to the island Melkøya.

Moreover, Hammerfest LNG uses for the first time an efficient, environment-friendly direct sea water cooling system which is suitable for arctic wheather conditions. Trend-setting features also include the complete separation of CO2 from the process gas and its reinjection into a reservoir under the seabed as well as the realisation of a flareless plant operation.

With the objective to enhance plant availability for the first time in a world-scale LNG plant all main compressors are electrically driven.

“With the successful development and realisation of this LNG technology in a world-scale plant Linde has established its universally applicable, European technology alternative in the LNG market,” said Dr Aldo Belloni, board member for Linde. “Melkøya is for us from both a technical and a strategic view a valuable reference project."

Photo courtesy of Statoil

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