Sohar Port and Free Zone has joined SEA-LNG – an industry coalition that promotes the use of LNG as a marine fuel and the investment in bunkering facilities.

Marsa LNG, a venture comprising Total and OQ, is developing a state-of-the-art LNG liquefaction plant and bunkering facility at Oman’s 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,” he added.

The switch from traditional marine fuel oils to LNG is accelerating, 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.

Sohar Port said it is ideally positioned to service this emerging sector, being located outside the Strait of Hormuz and mid-way between Europe and Asia.

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.”