The shutdown at “Snøhvit” has started

There will be a lot of activity at Melkøya outside Hammerfest in the next five weeks. At the most, 300 people will work for Aibel during the shutdown.

’This is a major shutdown. We are carrying out several major assignments and working day and night,’ says the project manager at Aibel, Ketil Holmgren.

The shutdown started on Saturday 30 April. It lasts until the beginning of June.


The Snøhvit plant at Melkøya near Hammerfest.

The number of employees tripled

- Among other tasks, Aibel is replacing two chillers. One of them, with a weight of 260 tonnes, is the largest in the world. In addition we are replacing stators in two electric motors, which also are among the largest in the world. We are also carrying out modification assignments,’ says Holmgren.

The shutdown is part of the frame agreement which Aibel has with Statoil for maintenance and modification work at the Snøhvit plant.

Between 90 and 100 operators in the company normally work at the plant. The number is tripled during in the next weeks.

‘Employees from several other locations in Aibel help out. In addition, we have hired in staff, especially through our office in Denmark,’ says the project manager. Several subcontractors are also involved, he informs.

Important for Aibel in north

Required maintenance and inspections are carried out during the turnaround. This is important to maintain safe and efficient operations at the LNG plant. The last major shutdown was in 2009.

‘It creates great activity at Melkøya. Aibel in Hammerfest has been between two contracts and we have had a quiet autumn and winter. The activity is picking up again. That’s important to us,’ Holmgren concludes.

Published 2011-05-05, 10:05 CET Updated 2014-01-22, 03:33 CET

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