Global multi-sector industry coalition SEA\LNG on Monday (20 April) announced 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 liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a marine fuel, it said.
MARSA LNG is a venture comprising TOTAL S.A. and OQ, and is developing a LNG liquefaction plant and bunkering facility in SOHAR 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,” said Mark Geilenkirchen, CEO of 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.”
“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,” adds Peter Keller, Chairman of SEA\LNG.
“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.”
Due to its unique location outside the Strait of Hormuz and mid-way between Europe and Asia, SEA/LNG explains that 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, it adds.
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,” adds 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.”
Photo credit: SOHAR Port and Freezone
Published: 21 April, 2020
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