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Snøhvit compressors ready to go

September 6, 2004, 09:00 CEST

Three large refrigerating compressors required by the barge-mounted process plant for Statoil’s gas liquefaction facility at Melkøya in northern Norway are now ready for delivery.

However, it remains to be seen what impact the delay in dispatching these units will have on completing the plant assembly job at Spain’s Dragados Offshore yard in Cadiz.

The compressors play a key role in the process for cooling down natural gas from the Snøhvit field in the Barents Sea to the temperature at which it liquefies.

Tests during May showed that the compressors needed to be modified if they were to meet specifications for performance and operating range.

Statoil then appointed a group of specialists to assist the project organisation in finding a solution to these problems.

The subsequent modifications have proved successful. Results from testing the third and final compressor were approved on 31 August.

“These units don’t fully satisfy our original performance specifications,” admits Arne Grislingås on behalf of Statoil’s representatives in the specialist group.

“However, the deviations are small and will have a limited impact on plant operation.”

It is too early to say anything about the consequences of the considerable delay in delivering the compressors, reports Nils-Bjørn Jordal, Statoil’s project director for the Melkøya plant.

“Receiving these units almost six months behind the original schedule will have a knock-on effect in completing the process plant.

“We’re doing what we can to recover the delays, but we’ll clearly have to transfer work from Cadiz to Melkøya.”

The compressors are now being readied for transport by heavy-lift ship to the Spanish yard.