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UPDATE 1-Equinor's Arctic LNG plant to reopen on Jan. 1

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OSLO, Oct 12 (Reuters) - Equinor’s Melkoeya liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant in Norway is expected to resume output on Jan. 1, 2021, after it was damaged in a fire last month, the company said in a regulatory statement on Monday.

The fire on Sept. 28 in one of the plant’s electricity-generating turbines was extinguished after about six hours, Norway’s Petroleum Safety Authority said at the time.

Europe’s only large-scale LNG plant, near the Arctic town of Hammerfest, can process 18 million cubic metres (mcm) of gas per day, which is piped in from the offshore Snoehvit field some 160 km (100 miles) away in the Barents Sea.

After cooling the gas until it turns to liquid, it is shipped in tankers to energy markets in Europe and Asia where it is converted back to its original form before use.

The Snoehvit gas field is owned by Equinor, Petoro, Total , Neptune Energy and Wintershall Dea. (Reporting by Terje Solsvik; Editing by David Clarke)

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