Record year for methanol

January 15, 2004, 12:30 CET

A production record was set by Statoil’s methanol plant at Tjeldbergodden in mid-Norway last year, when increased capacity and higher regularity also cut unit carbon dioxide emissions.

Taking into account the market prices in 2003, the operating profit was also satisfactory.

The plant yielded 915,518 tonnes of methanol, which reflects an average throughput of 106 tonnes per hour and a regularity of 98.6 per cent.

Carbon dioxide released per tonne of methanol produced amounted to 0.37 tonnes, the lowest since start-up in 1997.

The most important feedstock for Tjeldbergodden is natural gas piped from Statoil’s Heidrun field in the Norwegian Sea.

Regularity at Tjeldbergodden rose from 77.7 per cent in 1997 to 98.6 per cent last year. (Illustration: Tor Oliversen)

“We lost only five days of production last year,” reports vice president Arve Rennemo, who manages the plant.

He is very satisfied with the programme implemented by his organisation to improve capacity and regularity.

And he highlights the collaboration with Technology’s oil and gas processing entity as well as the reliability of deliveries from Heidrun.

Mr Rennemo notes that last year’s result can be compared with the previous record set in 2001 because production was not interrupted by maintenance turnarounds.

Output has improved by almost three tonnes per hour since 2001, while regularity is up by 2.6 per cent over the same period.

The Tjeldbergodden industrial complex also yielded 67,785 tonnes of liquid air gases – oxygen, nitrogen and argon – in 2003.

And production of liquefied natural gas as well as electricity generation set new records, at 12,440 tonnes and 196 gigawatt-hours respectively.

The health, safety and environmental results for 2003 were also very good.