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Explosion shuts Europe's largest methanol plant in Norway

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Staff Writer | December 20, 2018
A fire at Norway’s Tjeldbergodden industrial facility on Wednesday triggered an evacuation of staff and shutdown at Europe’s largest methanol plant and a gas-receiving terminal, operators Equinor and Gassco said.
Europe   Tjeldbergodden industrial facility
The fire was caused by an explosion in one of the facility’s high voltage rooms just before 1000 GMT, Equinor added, and was put out with no injuries reported.

The shut methanol plant accounts for more than 25 percent of European production and has an annual capacity of around 900,000 tonnes, according to Equinor’s data.

It is fed with natural gas from the offshore Heidrun field via the 250-km Haltenpipe pipeline. Production at the field was not affected though, an Equinor spokeswoman said, as the gas will be rerouted to other directions in the pipeline system.

“Luckily no people got hurt... We are now closed until the investigations are done. When we are ready with that, we will ramp up again,” said Equinor’s Elin Isaksen, declining to give an estimate on how long it will take to restart production.

Isaksen said the company did not know what caused the explosion.