Sohar Port and Freezone in Oman has announced plans to develop major new LNG infrastructure as it joins cross-sector coalition SEA\LNG.
Sohar is the first Middle Eastern port member of the consortium and is expected to drive significant uptake of the fuel through its close links with regional shipping.
“We are excited to welcome SOHAR to the SEA-LNG coalition... 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,” Peter Keller, Chairman of SEA-LNG, said.
LNG bunkering hub
Central to the port authorities plans for LNG will be the construction of major new LNG bunkering facilities, designed to position the port as a vital LNG bunkering hub in the Middle East.
“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 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,” Mark Geilenkirchen, CEO of SOHAR Port, said.
Located outside the Strait of Hormuz and mid-way between Europe and Asia, Sohar’s LNG efforts will be supported by Oman’s large domestic gas reserves. The port features deep-water drafts capable of handling the largest vessels in the world and access to a dedicated logistics chain.
The new investment will allow all shipping lines calling at SOHAR Port to bunker with LNG, driving a switch from traditional marine fuel oils.
“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. 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,” Keller notes.
SEA-LNG’s members include: ABS, Carnival Corporation, Chart Industries, Clean Marine Energy, DNV GL, Eagle LNG Partners, Fearnleys, FortisBC, Gasum, GE, GTT, JAX LNG, Keppel Gas Technology, “K” LINE Group, Lloyd’s Register, MAN Energy Solutions, Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, Marubeni Corporation, Mitsubishi Corporation, NYK Line, Port of Long Beach, Port of Rotterdam, Port of Virginia, Qatargas, Shell, Société Générale, Sohar Port & Freezone, Stabilis Energy, Sumitomo Corporation, Total, TOTE, Toyota Tsusho, Uyeno Group of Companies, Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, Wärtsilä, and Yokohama-Kawasaki International Port Corporation.