StatoilHydro Submits Start-Up Extension for Snohvit

StatoilHydro submitted an application to the Norwegian Pollution Control Authority (SFT) for an extended start-up period, and given an account of increased carbon emissions from the LNG plant at Melkoya near Hammerfest.

The company has also explained that the environmental monitoring program will be updated in order to track the impacts of emissions from the plant.

"Efforts are under way in StatoilHydro to reduce the environmental impacts of the start-up period at Melkoya. The company takes the challenges associated with increased emissions very seriously. We have described our plans for the start-up period and applied for a tradable carbon emission permit for the increased extraordinary carbon emissions," said Oystein Michelsen, the head of operations north in StatoilHydro.

StatoilHydro initially planned a start-up period for Snohvit of six to 10 months. As a result of challenges associated with the repairs of leaks in the cooling system, reduced capacity utilization and possible need for modifications, the emissions in the start-up period were greater than planned.

StatoilHydro has previously described the uncertainty associated with the duration of the start-up period and production volumes from Snohvit in 2008. The extended start-up phase has increased the number of plant start-ups and shut-downs, and reduced the utilization of the capacity, which has increased the need for natural gas flaring from the flare boom at Melkoya.

StatoilHydro has today given SFT an update on the emissions of CO2, NOx, CH4, VOC, soot and PAH in the start-up period. The company estimates that there may be extraordinary emissions of up to 1.5 million tonnes of CO2 and 2200 tonnes of soot from flaring from the LNG plant in this period. StatoilHydro will buy emission quotas for the carbon emissions.

The company has also informed SFT about the implementation of an extensive environmental monitoring program which includes sampling and monitoring of the air, precipitation, vegetation and water. Sampling has previously shown that there have been no measurable changes so far in the Hammerfest air and water quality as a result of flaring and soot emission.

StatoilHydro is preparing the start-up of the LNG plant at Melkoya after repairs of leaks in the cooling plant. As stated at StatoilHydro's Capital Market Day recently, the plant will run at reduced capacity. Efforts are under way to prepare for the necessary modifications to ensure full capacity utilization of the plant in 2009.

Under normal operating conditions the carbon emissions from the flare at the LNG plant will be about 0.2 million tonnes per year.