Photo: Image courtesy of SOHAR Port and Freezone

SOHAR port joins SEA-LNG coalition

SOHAR Port and Freezone became the first Middle Eastern port to join the multi-sector industry coalition SEA-LNG.

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 and OQ, is currently developing an LNG liquefaction plant and bunkering facility in the port, SEA-LNG noted in its statement.

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, “SOHAR is our first Member from the Sultanate of 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”

Due to its location outside the Strait of Hormuz and mid-way between Europe and Asia, SOHAR has the potential to become a major LNG bunkering hub in the Middle East, SEA-LNG said in its statement.

In addition, SOHAR Port and Freezone feature deep-water drafts capable of handling the largest vessels in the world.

Peter Keller added, “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.”

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