Fire breaks out at Equinor gas plant on Melkøya outside Hammerfest

Melkøya plantPhoto: Terje Bendiksby / SCANPIX
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The emergency services have started moving toward Melkøya island outside Hammerfest, where a fire broke out at a gas facility. 

All personnel in the area have been evacuated, the Finnmark police announced via Twitter.

“The situation is unclear, but there are reports of open flames in the production facility,” operations manager at Finnmark police district, Leo Johansen told iFinnmark.

All emergency services have responded to the fire. 

Pictures from the site show thick, black smoke rising from the facility.

Equinor confirms incident

Equinor operates the gas plant on Melkøya. 

Norway’s state-owned giant confirmed an incident on Melkøya, but would not elaborate on it for the time being.

Mayor of Hammerfest Marianne Sivertsen Næss told news bureau NTB that the power went around 3:45 PM, but that the power was back after five to ten minutes.

“As I understand it, the whole Hammerfest went dark, but I do not know if or how that was related to the fire,” Næss said.

The Melkøya LNG plant

According to Equinor’s web page, Melkøya is the company’s LNG plant in Hammerfest. It was opened in 2007.

Its task is to process the gas arriving at the plant from the Snøhvit field in the Barents Sea through a 145-kilometer-long pipeline.

The gas is processed before being exported in specially-built LNG ships to Southern Europe, and occasionally even as far as Asia.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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