Norwegian contractor Aibel has won a contract to study options for the electrification of the remaining fuel gas-powered compressors and units at Norway's Kaarsto gas processing plant.

Aibel said the estimated value of the front-end engineering and design contarct from state-controlled Equinor is Nkr130 million ($15.2 million) and will require around 85 employees.

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The project has immediate start-up and is due to be completed in September 2022, it added.

The Kaarsto plant, north of Stavanger, plays a central role in the transport and treatment of gas and condensate from about 30 of producing fields offshore Norway, separating the incoming mixture of hydrocarbons into dry gas and other valuable components, including propane and butanes.

However, the plant is one of Norway’s largest carbon dioxide emitters, releasing around 1.2 million tonnes per annum of CO2, even with four of its nine compressors already electrified.

Aibel said the contract includes an option to handle an engineering, procurement, construction and installation turnkey delivery of electrifying solutions that it will investigate under its FEED role.

This option is scheduled to be decided between the end of 2022 and beginning of 2023, the company added.

If the option is exercised, this may result in an EPCI contract of more than Nkr2.5 billion for Aibel and the peak employment of about 600 people, the contractor added.

The Kaarsto electrification project calls for a 500,000 tpa reduction in CO2 emissions at the plant.

Investors in the initiative are five partners in Norway’s Gassled — Sval Energi, Petoro, CapeOmega, Silex Gas Norway and Equinor — which owns Norwegian gas transport infrastructure, including Kaarsto.

Equinor is a technical service provider for Kaarsto, which is operated by Norway’s state-owned pipeline authority Gassco.