SEA-LNG, the multi-sector industry coalition created to accelerate the widespread adoption of LNG, has welcomed Sohar Port and Freezone as its first Middle Eastern port member. Sohar joins SEA-LNG to promote its investment in LNG bunkering facilities and the use of 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 and the goal is to supply LNG to the shipping lines calling at the port.
“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,” said Mark Geilenkirchen, CEO of Sohar Port.
“Sohar 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,” commented Peter Keller, Chairman of SEA-LNG.
Due to its unique location outside the Strait of Hormuz and mid-way between Europe and Asia, Sohar is 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. 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 sulfur limitations, LNG provides a clear pathway for the shipping industry to decarbonize 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 realized. 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,” added Keller.