Production of liquefied natural gas (LNG) has started from Europe’s largest LNG plant at Melkoya island near Norway, the facility for which Linde has been responsible for the engineering, procurement and construction assistance and has a contract worth around €900m in its entirety.

The announcement was made by Norwegian oil and gas company Statoil ASA, the operator of the Snohvit gas field in the Barents Sea.

“Everyone involved in this technological pioneer work is delighted that operations can now begin. Both from a technical as well as from a strategic point of view, Melkoya is a valuable beacon project for Linde,” commented Dr. Aldo Belloni, member of the Executive Board of Linde AG.

The LNG process plant at Melkoya is also the world’s most energy efficient plant of its kind.

Gas is delivered to the plant through a 143km sub-sea pipeline from production wells located on the seabed 300m below sea level. The feed gas flows through a ‘slug catcher’ pipe assembly to separate gas, condensate, water and glycol and the gas stream is then further treated prior to entering the liquefaction process.
The LNG is then transferred to storage tanks awaiting transport to customers throughout the USA and Europe, while the CO2 separated from the wells stream is compressed and sent back to the Snohvit field via pipeline and injected into a separate reservoir for storage, minimising the emission of CO2 from the plant.

The strategy of The Linde Group is geared towards earnings-based growth and focuses on the expansion of its international business with forward-looking products and services.