Investing green billions at Mongstad

April 13, 2007, 09:00 CEST

For the next three years, Statoil will invest NOK 1 billion in environmental technology at the Mongstad refinery north of Bergen.

"This will make the entire refinery more robust," says Bjørn Kåre Viken, vice president for Statoil Mongstad.

The investment forms part of the refinery's strategy to comply with more stringent emissions limits and requirements for better and more timely use of environmental facilities there.

New technology will ensure more environmentally effective operations at the Mongstad refinery. (Photo: Kjetil Alsvik).

"We are pleased that the environmental investment can be carried out at the same time as other major construction activities at Mongstad," Mr Viken says.

"This means we are well equipped to meet future environmental regulatory requirements. It also lays the groundwork for later investments we will make at Mongstad."

The Statoil Mongstad environmental investment project (SMIL) will involve the building of a new and more effective sulphur recycling facility. This will replace the older of the two existing ones. A new sour water stripper tower will also be constructed. Furthermore, the amine facilities will be rebuilt into more contained and environmentally safe systems.

Bernt Vagstad who heads production control and business development at Mongstad says the measures will generate big operational benefits as well as increased environmental ones.

"Refinery operations will not be as vulnerable as they are at present," he says.

"In the event of problems in critical common facilities, we will be able to avoid shutting down the entire refinery. Instead, we can isolate and improve the relevant area while unaffected processes can continue as normal. We can't do this with the current solution."

SMIL forms part of the Mongstad energy project (EVM) and is closely linked to the upgrades planned there.

Detail engineering has commenced at Aker Kværner's yard in the Netherlands, says Leif Solberg, project manager from the Technology & Projects (T&P) business area.

"We are also well underway with levelling work at the EVM site," he says.

"At the same time we're dealing with enquiries concerning concreting work and mechanical installations contracts which will be finalised this autumn."

The most hectic period in project work with the environmental systems will be from the end of 2008 and in 2009. Around 250 people will then be working on the SMIL project in the common area at the refinery.