Ten years of Tjeldbergodden growth

June 8, 2007, 10:00 CEST

Statoil's industrial complex at Tjeldbergodden, mid-Norway, now caters for 14% of Europe's methanol needs, 10 years after it was brought on stream.

"The methanol plant is Europe's biggest," says Arve Rennemo, Tjeldbergodden's vice president.

"Since its start-up, the plant has produced 8.1 million tonnes of methanol to a value of NOK 12 billion."

Many were critical of the Norwegian Storting (parliament) 1992 decision to transport gas ashore at Tjeldbergodden from the Statoil-operated Heidrun field in the Norwegian Sea, and for it to be used as a raw material in methanol production. It was alleged that the project would be extremely unprofitable and that it should be shelved.

"The figures speak for themselves," says Mr Rennemo. "Tjeldbergodden is a success story."

Gas from the Heidrun field is transported via the 250-kilometre Haltenpipe pipeline. It has a diameter of 16 inches and a capacity of 2.2 billion cubic metres of gas per year. A third of this capacity is used for methanol production.

The finished product is transported by ship to customers in Europe. Methanol is used as a component in the chemical industry.

Statoil has 81.7% of the methanol plant, while ConocoPhillips owns the remaining 18.3%.

In addition to the methanol plant, the industrial complex comprises an air separation plant and a small plant for liquefied natural gas (LNG) production. Up until May this year, just over 86,000 tonnes of LNG and 613,000 tonnes of air gases (liquid nitrogen, oxygen and argon) were produced at these plants.

In all, NOK 6 billion has been invested in complex's development. Statoil Tjeldbergodden has paid NOK 388 million in taxes, as well as NOK 166 million in land tax to local municipalities Aure, Hemne and Hitra. NOK 1.9 billion has been invested in products and services.

"Statoil Tjeldbergodden is the cornerstone in a small community," Mr Rennemo says.

"There are 120 people working here, with even more working in industries established in the wake of the complex's establishment."

Statoil Tjeldbergodden otherwise has an exciting future ahead of it. The complex is an important part of the Halten carbon dioxide project, a partnership between Statoil and Shell.

The companies are discussing the possibilities for construction of a gas-fired power station with carbon capture at Tjeldbergodden.