Sohar Port and Freezone has become the first member of SEA-LNG from the Middle East region. SEA-LNG is the leading multi-sector industry coalition, created to accelerate the widespread adoption of liquified natural gas (LNG).
Sohar Port has joined SEA-LNG to promote its investment in LNG bunkering facilities and the use of liquefied natural gas as a marine fuel, according to a press statement.
Marsa LNG, a venture comprising Total SA and OQ, is developing a state-of-the-art LNG liquefaction plant and bunkering facility at Sohar Port.
Highlighting the importance of the upcoming project, Mark Geilenkirchen, CEO of Sohar Port said, “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. The establishment of this facility will make Sohar Port 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 project will see the provision of LNG to the shipping lines calling at Sohar Port. 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.
Peter Keller, chairman of SEA-LNG said, “We are excited to welcome Sohar Port to the SEA-LNG coalition. Sohar Port is our first member from 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 Port to our cause of furthering the use of LNG as an important, environmentally superior maritime fuel.”
Due to its unique location outside the Strait of Hormuz and mid-way between Europe and Asia, Sohar Port and Freezone is ideally positioned to become a major LNG bunkering hub in the Middle East. In addition, Sohar Port and Freezone features deep-water drafts capable of handling the largest vessels in the world. 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.
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