UPDATE 1-Norway regulator to investigate Equinor LNG plant fire

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OSLO, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Norway’s Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) has launched an investigation into Monday’s fire at Equinor’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant in northern Norway, the agency said on Tuesday.

“No reports have been received of injuries to personnel,” the PSA said.

The fire in one of the plant’s electricity-producing turbines was first reported at 1541 central European time (1341 GMT) and was finally confirmed to have been extinguished some six hours later, according to the regulator.

“The PSA takes a serious view of this incident,” the agency said. “The main objective of this investigation is to identify the causes of the incident and possible lessons to be learnt, and to share this information with the industry.”

Equinor said it was too early to tell how long the production outage at the Melkoeya LNG plant would last.

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 kilometres (100 miles) away in the Barents Sea.

The Melkoeya plant had suffered an outage on Sept. 11 and was only restarted in the early hours of Monday, hours before the fire started.

An attempt to restart the plant was aborted on Sept. 13 due to a gas leak, Equinor said at the time. (Reporting by Terje Solsvik; editing by Jason Neely and Louise Heavens)