Norwegian authorities urge Equinor not to close gas-fired power plant

To ensure supply security in Norway, TSO Statnett has now formally requested that the oil outfit postpone plans to close the Mongstad power plant.

Photo: Equinor

Approximately five years ago, Equinor announced that enough was enough. It was clear early on that the gas-fired power plant Mongstad was a far cry from being a money-spinner. This might even have been evident from the beginning given that Ørsted in 2013 – a mere three years after the plant’s inauguration – noted a loss of DKK 160m after selling it for DKK 1.7bn to the Norwegian oil company. But the consistent and severe operating losses led Equinor to announce the gradual phase-out of the plant in February 2017.

As late as the spring of 2019, the company filed an application to cease operations at the plant, which saw just one of its two 140MW turbines put into service, and at reduced capacity to boot. Although the Norwegian TSO noted that this could affect supply security in the area, Equinor’s application was approved by the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE).

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