French oil major Total is among a trio of investors that will shortly sign land-lease agreements with Sohar Port and Freezone for the development of their respective petroleum and industrial ventures on a piece of soon-to-be-reclaimed land planned just south of the industrial and maritime hub.
According to Mark Geilenkirchen (pictured), CEO — Sohar Port and Freezone, also slated to sign sub-usufruct agreements (SUAs) are Singapore-headquartered Trescorp, which is investing in a major terminal for trading in crude oil and petroleum products, and Sohar Calciner, a project backed by MMEC Mannesmann and ACWA Power.
All three ventures are proposed to come up on a portion of land that is due to be reclaimed from the sea with new quay walls to support the development of dedicated terminals for new investors. The expansion, dubbed ‘Sohar South’, will add around 250 hectares of new land to the industrial port whose existing acreage of around 2,000 hectares is almost fully leased to investors and operators.
“Things are progressing very well with Sohar South,” said Geilenkirchen. “We are now in the tendering phase and hope to start building in the summer; this will take about two years to complete.”
In comments to journalists, he said the SUAs will be signed over the next “one or two months” with all of the tenants that have so far committed to investing in Sohar South. Notable are Total and Trescorp, which are developing strategically significant projects in the port.
Total has announced plans to set up a bunkering terminal that provides liquefied natural gas (LNG) as bunker fuel for ships in line with the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO)’s new limits on sulphur in bunker fuel.
The French energy giant is looking at setting up a 1 million tonnes per annum capacity LNG train at Sohar Port using natural gas from its share of the output from gas fields in the Greater Barik area in central Oman. OQ (formerly Oman Oil and Orpic Group) is a partner in the LNG bunkering terminal project.
Singapore-headquartered Trescorp Alliance Pte Ltd aims to set up a new crude and refined oil terminal at Sohar Port, thereby boosting its trading activities in the GCC, East Africa and Asian regions. The new Sohar Terminal will provide complete terminaling services, including storage, blending and bunkering. The terminal’s capacity is envisioned at 1.8 million cubic metres with berths large enough to accommodate VLCCs of 320,000 DWT capacity.
MMEC Mannesmann, a leading German engineering contractor in the field of calcining petroleum coke calcining has partnered with ACWA Power, the leading developer, owner, and operator of power generation and water desalination plants, have joined hands to develop the ‘Sohar Calciner’ project to supply calcined coke the local aluminium industry. Total investments in the three projects are estimated in excess of $2.5 billion.