Photo: Courtesy of Harald Pettersen/Equinor

PSA wraps up Hammerfest LNG fire investigation

Norway’s Petroleum Safety Authority said it has concluded a lengthy investigation into the fire accident at Equinor’s Hammerfest LNG facility.

PSA wraps up Hammerfest LNG fire investigation
Courtesy of Harald Pettersen/Equinor

The incident took place on September 28, 2020, with PSA’s investigation unveiling serious breaches of the regulations.

In its notice on Thursday, PSA issued an order to the Hammerfest LNG:

  • to identify, implement and follow up measures to ensure compliance with the management system, including ensuring that knowledge and necessary information available within the company are communicated in a systematic and appropriate manner to operations personnel in order to ensure safe operation.
  • demonstrate by submitting short- and long-term plans for operation of the plant that activities at Hammerfest LNG have adequate manning and competence to deal with all operating conditions.
  • prepare a binding and timetabled plan for complying with the orders above.

To remind, the fire at Hammerfest LNG on September 28 caused damage to the air intake on one of the plant’s five power turbines.

PSA noted that when the fire broke out, the Equinor-operated plant was being run up after a shutdown. The turbine had been shut down owing to a fault in an oil filter.

The fire caused material damage to the GTG4 air intake and filter housing and consequential damage from extinguishing work to electrical, instrumentation and mechanical equipment.

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Hammerfest LNG has been shut down since the fire and is due to resume operation on 1 October 2021.

Three vessels with firewater monitors helped the extinguishing work. Without this assistance, the fire would have burnt for longer since the plant’s own firewater monitors do not cover the turbine air intake.

The probability that the fire might have spread to neighboring areas is considered to be small, but it could have caused more extensive damage to the filter and generator housings, PSA said.