SOHAR Port Promotes LNG Bunkering Plans
SOHAR Port and Freezone in Oman has joined the industry body SEA-LNG as its first Middle Eastern port member.
SOHAR has joined SEA-LNG to promote its investment in LNG bunkering facilities; MARSA LNG, a venture comprised of Total and OQ, is developing an LNG liquefaction plant and bunkering facility at the port. MARSA LNG will supply LNG sourced locally in the Sultanate.
SEA-LNG is a UK-registered not for profit industry foundation committed to furthering the use of LNG as a maritime fuel. SEA-LNG has members across the entire LNG value chain including providers of the product, users, engine and asset suppliers, and class societies.
Due to its unique location outside the Strait of Hormuz and mid-way between Europe and Asia, SOHAR is well positioned to become a major LNG bunkering hub in the Middle East, says SEA-LNG. In addition, SOHAR Port and Freezone feature deep-water drafts capable of handling the largest vessels in the world.
Pete Keller, Chairman of SEA-LNG, said: “LNG is witnessing a global expansion with the middle east emerging as a significant area of growth. More and more regions are recognizing the importance of LNG because of the immediate air quality improvements and GHG benefits – up to 21 percent on a well-to-wake basis and 28 percent tank-to-wake. LNG is recognized as providing a viable pathway for a sustainable future for shipping as the most environmentally friendly fuel available today and for the foreseeable future.”
He says SOHAR’s strategic position at the central point of the Gulf States is a boon for expanding LNG’s development. “Once SOHAR’s marine bunkering project is complete, it will become indispensable for shipowners looking to bunker while avoiding the additional costs of passing through the congested Strait of Hormuz.”