– It is life threatening – VG


FIRE IN TURBINE: Thick, black smoke comes from the plant on Melkøya. Photo: VG-tipser

It is burning in Equinor’s gas plant on Melkøya. The group shop steward calls the situation dramatic.

– I see this as very dramatic, yes. There should not even be a spark on a gas plant, it is life-threatening, says group shop steward Bjørn Asle Teige to VG.

Teige says that the plant has just started up again after being closed for four weeks due to maintenance. He knows nothing more about what may be behind it.

– The pictures there, no one wants to see. Open flames on that plant are almost unthinkable. If it escalates, it can go really bad. We can really hope that it does not happen.

Nor can Equinor’s head of communications, Eskil Eriksen, say anything about the cause at this time.

GROUP TRUSTEE: Bjørn Asle Teige in Equinor is Photo: VG

On Monday, all emergency services moved out to Melkøya after reports of open flames in the production facility on the island.

– There is a fire in a turbine at the plant, and there are large amounts of oil connected to that turbine so there is a risk of a larger fire. As of now, it has not spread, says operations manager in the police in Finnmark, Leo Johansen to VG.

Equinor operates the facility on the island, and communications manager Eriksen tells VG that they have mobilized the emergency response team on Melkøya.

– They work with emergency services to clarify the situation.

Group shop steward Owe Ingemann Walterzøe is also concerned about what he sees:

– Right now there is a supply boat hovering over four turbines. This means that then the electrical system will burn quite strongly. When so much seawater is sprayed on and used on electrical installations, one can imagine a very long stop, Walterzøe tells VG.

He says that Equinor has good routines when something happens, and that Melkøya is a modern facility that is intended to catch a fire of this type.

He has spoken to employees who had to be evacuated, who are affected by the situation. There are still some employees left who are part of the emergency group:

– I almost dare not think about how they feel, those who are nearby now. A fire is always scary, even though we train a lot on such things, it is always associated with a certain danger in an effort.

Eriksen says that there are no injuries as a result of this incident.

The police have implemented restrictions in the airspace around Melkøya, and a flight ban with a drone closer to Melkøya than five kilometers has been decided, the police report on Twitter.

At 16.43, the fire service reports that they have control of large parts of the fire.

– But it is still burning, and we will have crews on site throughout the evening and night, they write.

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