Sohar and SEA-LNG to promote Oman as LNG bunkering hub and the use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a marine fuel
Sohar Port has agreed to be the first Middle Eastern port member of SEA-LNG, a coalition that is committed to the adoption of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a marine fuel.
MARSA LNG, a venture comprised of TOTAL S.A. and OQ, is developing a state of the art LNG liquefaction plant and bunkering facility at the Oman port.
Sohar will now formally promote the n new LNG bunkering facility and the use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a marine fuel.
“This major LNG Bunkering project will generate in-country value and job opportunities, and will support industry diversification efforts by promoting shipping activities in Oman,” said Mark Geilenkirchen, CEO, Sohar Port.
“The establishment of this facility will make Sohar one of the key LNG bunkering facilities on the main shipping trade routes, alongside other strategic ports, many of whom are already SEA-LNG Members, such as the Port of Singapore. MARSA LNG will supply LNG sourced locally in the Sultanate.”
The switch from traditional marine fuel oils to LNG has accelerated following the implementation of new sulphur emission limits by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in January 2020 and the IMO greenhouse gas emission targets set for 2030 and 2050.
The project will see the provision of LNG to the shipping lines calling at Sohar port
Peter Keller, Chairman of SEA-LNG added: “We are excited to welcome SOHAR to the SEA-LNG coalition. SOHAR is our first Member from the Sultanate of Oman and will provide an attractive global offering once the marine bunkering project is completed. From our perspective, this is an opportune time to develop LNG capabilities in Oman given the expansive growth of marine activity within the region. We welcome SOHAR to our cause of furthering the use of LNG as an important, environmentally superior maritime fuel.”
Located close to the Strait of Hormuz and mid-way between Europe and Asia, Sohar is considered “ideally positioned” to become a major LNG bunkering hub in the Middle East.
In addition, SOHAR Port and Freezone feature deep-water drafts capable of handling the largest vessels in the world, noted the two organisations in a statement.
The liquefaction plant and bunkering project will be able to offer “attractive business conditions, further enhanced by access to a dedicated logistics chain” as well as large domestic gas reserves.
“As well as providing a means to comply with recently enforced sulphur limitations, LNG provides a clear pathway for the shipping industry to decarbonise through the introduction of biomethane and synthetic methane,” explained Keller. ” Now is the time to move forward with LNG as an important maritime fuel. Inaction is not a plan and we cannot afford to wait decades for solutions that may never be realised. Investing in LNG capable vessels now provides the shipping industry with a pathway to a low carbon future as well as significant and immediate environmental and health benefits.”