Sharjah National Oil Corporation unveils plans to tackle gas shortages

Floating storage and regasification unit to be moored off emirate's Hamriyah Port

Sharjah, United Arab Emirates - October 14, 2015.  The open beach in Hamriyah area.  ( Jeffrey E Biteng / The National )  Editor's Note; Thaer Z reports. *** Local Caption ***  JB141015-Beach08.jpg
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State-owned Sharjah National Oil Corporation (SNOC) has pushed plans to deploy a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU), expected to plug shortage of gas in the northern emirates to 2019.

The facility, which will now be moored offshore Sharjah’s Hamriyah Port, is expected to have an 180,000 cubic metre storage volume for liquefied natural gas (LNG) and a gas send-out capacity of a billion cubic feet a day (bcfd).

“[Mooring offshore] removes all the restrictions on the size of the FSRU while at the same time preventing any traffic congestion to the port,” SNOC chief executive Hatem Al Mosa told reporters.

“Because it’s being moved outside the port, the project will be completed end of 2019 rather than 2018,” he added.

In 2016, the Sharjah-based company entered into a 60:40 joint venture agreement with Germany’s Uniper to import LNG into the northern emirate.

SNOC also signed an agreement in May to supply the Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority natural gas to fulfil power demands.

“The project is designed to fulfil 100 per cent of the shortfall in the northern emirates,” said al-Mosa.

“It could meet industrial demand or any new projects that could be coming up,” he said.

“When this gas becomes available, we expect there to be resurrection of industrial demand in the northern emirates. A lot of industries are talking to us to look for supplies in one or two years, some of them for furnaces, general heating and also for power generation,” he added.

After regasification on-board the FSRU, the gas will be routed onshore through a subsea pipeline and will then be fed into the existing local and Emarat pipeline gas grid.

The tendering process for the project, which is entering front-end engineering and design will be overseen by Uniper Technology Group, which is set to manage the invitation to tender engineering, procurement and construction contracts.