Equinor shuts Hammerfest LNG plant due to gas leak

(Reuters) - Norway's Hammerfest LNG plant was shutting down on Wednesday due to a gas leak, a spokesperson for operator Equinor said, confirming an earlier police report.

The facility was being evacuated and there were no reports of injuries, the spokesperson said.

It was not immediately clear how extensive the leak was or how long the outage was expected to last.

"The leak has been identified and work is ongoing to establish the extent of it," local police said in a statement, adding that the fire department had also responded to the emergency.

Europe's only large-scale LNG plant, at Melkoeya island just outside the Arctic town of Hammerfest, can process 18.4 million cubic meters (mcm) of gas per day when fully operational, just over 5% of Norway's gas export capacity.

At Melkoeya, gas is piped in from the offshore Snoehvit field, 160 km (100 miles) away in the Barents Sea.

The Hammerfest LNG partnership includes Equinor, Petoro, TotalEnergies, Neptune Energy and Wintershall Dea.

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