Equinor has awarded a construction and installation contract worth around NOK1.5bn ($142.5m) for the Snøhvit Future project in Norway to Leonhard Nilsen & Sønner (LNS).

Entailing an investment of NOK13.2bn ($1.25bn), the Snøhvit Future project aims to enhance Norway’s standing as a dependable, long-term provider of gas characterised by exceptionally low greenhouse gas emissions.

The project will prolong the productive life of Hammerfest LNG plant located on the island of Melkøya past 2030 through onshore compression and electrification. Operational since 2007, the facility currently accounts for 5% of Norway’s overall gas exports.

Under its contract, Leonhard Nilsen & Sønner will construct a tunnel and landfall for the power cable connecting Hyggevatn to Melkøya. This infrastructure will facilitate the transmission of power from Statnett’s transformer substation at Hyggevatn to the Hammerfest LNG plant.

Through its expertise in tunneling, the Norwegian company is said to have completed various large-scale projects, both domestically in Norway and internationally.

Construction activities pertaining to the Snøhvit Future project contract will commence upon the receipt of the required approvals and permits.

Leonhard Nilsen & Sønner is based in Andøy, Nordland County, Norway. Its contract is expected to yield positive economic effects for Finnmark, Troms, and Nordland.

Equinor chief procurement officer Mette Ottøy said: “This is LNS’s first assignment for Equinor. They submitted the best bid overall, and we look forward to working with a new supplier in the region. LNS also has a number of sub-suppliers, including Viggo Eriksen in Hammerfest, Alta Anlegg and Hörmann Norway in Tromsø.”

The engineering contract for LNS’ assigned tasks has already been granted to Multiconsult. Nexans is set to provide the power cable sourced from Rognan and Halden, while Aibel has secured the largest contract encompassing all modification activities on Melkøya.

For construction and installation work on Melkøya, Aibel has selected Consto, a company based in Northern Norway, as its supplier.

Equinor project development senior vice president Trond Bokn said: “LNS estimates that around 70 percent of the generated value will end up in Northern Norway, creating about 200 person-years (FTEs) of employment. For Equinor, it has been important that the Snøhvit Future project should create ripple effects throughout the region.”