Located off the northern coast of Norway, Snøhvit is a natural gas field operated by Norwegian multinational Equinor ASA with an annual export capacity of 5.75 billion cubic meters of Liquified Natural Gas. The gas is extracted by a major undersea installation and transported over 150km via pipeline to a processing facility on the island of Melkøya, coated with Chartek 7 for advanced Passive Fire Protection (PFP).
A range of possible hazards within the LNG facility were highlighted during the project design phase, including flash fires, pool fire, large-scale jet fires and the build-up of confined gas, potentially leading to an explosion. The slug catchers (units designed to collect large quantities of oil or gas as they exit a pipeline) were identified as a particular area requiring a proven PFP solution.
Chartek 7 was specified for the project, as an epoxy intumescent coating with an outstanding track record of protection against hydrocarbon fires dating back to 1995. The PFP system had to be able withstand explosion loads in excess for 4bar while maintaining its integrity, and Chartek 7 easily met these requirements. Using Chartek also provided productivity benefits, due to its high build and simple meshing system, along with a low weight per unit area, helping to reduce transportation costs for pre-fabricated units.
Pre-fabrication played an important role in this project, due to the harsh environmental conditions and remoteness of the site. Steel components were constructed at locations across Europe, with the emphasis on minimizing installation and delivery costs. The ability of AkzoNobel to provide standardized global products and a high level of technical support helped to streamline and add value to this process, complementing the productivity benefits of Chartek.
AkzoNobel worked with Linde AG, Equinor’s construction partner in the Snøhvit project. Rolf Schwerdtfeger, Senior Construction Engineer for Linde, explained the reasons for specifying Chartek for the project in Surfaces magazine: “The key factors we considered were worldwide availability, the provision of technical support and quality control during application. Choosing Chartek for Passive Fire Protection and being able to utilize protective coatings from a single manufacturer who provided excellent technical support during the engineering and design phase was a great benefit.”
Location of Project: Snøhvit, Norway
Main Product Used: Chartek 7
Project Size: 18,500m2 of fire proofing
Project Owner: Equinor ASA (formerly Statoil)
Construction Partner: Linde AG
Image Credit: Eiliv Leren, Statoil