MUSCAT: A longstanding plan for the establishment of a renewables-powered liquefied natural gas (LNG) project at the Port of Sohar on Oman’s North Al Batinah coast is set to go ahead with French engineering contractor Technip Energies tipped to undertake the construction of the estimated $1 billion venture.
Marsa LNG - a partnership of French-based energy giant TotalEnergies (80 per cent) and Almuzn LNG LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Omani integrated energy group OQ (20 per cent - is developing the 1 million tonne capacity LNG project to serve primarily as a bunkering and export terminal.
Technip Energies led a field of three contenders for the main contract to implement the project on an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) basis. Also in the fray were JGC Corporation of Japan and McDermott of the United States.
The low-emission LNG bunkering plant, set to be the first of its kind in the Middle East, will be built on reclaimed land of around 44.5 hectares in the close proximity of the industrial port. While the subsea foundation of the jetty will be designed and built by the port, the topsides will be constructed by the Main EPC Contractor.
The topside elements required for loading include a pipe rack, process manifolds, LNG loading arms, safety measures, and a jetty control station, according to Marsa LNG. Feed gas for the LNG plant be supplied via the existing pipeline system of OQ Gas Networks, although a tie-in with the plant will be added as part of the project.
Around 150 million standard cubic feet per day (MMSCFD) of gas will be supplied to the plant when it is operational. These volumes roughly correspond to the gas equity of Marsa LNG in the Block 10 in central Oman. Shell Development Oman (53.4 per cent) is operating the upstream block in a joint venture with Marsa LNG (33.2 per cent) and OQ (13.4 per cent).
According to TotalEnergies, main construction activities on the project are anticipated to commence in the third quarter of this year, with the start-up slated during mid-2027. Phase 1 encompasses all civil works, construction of buildings and installation of temporary site facilities, as well as mechanical and electrical works. The LNG Plant construction activities are planned to take approximately 34 months including pre-commissioning and commissioning phases. As a green energy powered project, electricity supply for Marsa LNG will come for a solar PV project to be established some distance from Sohar Port.