Sohar Port employs biofuel for tugboat operations

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Sohar Port employs biofuel for tugboat operations

Sohar Port has reported that it has become one of the first ports in the Middle East to use biofuel bunkering in tugboat operations.

After receiving its first delivery of biofuel, the bunkering with B20 (a mixture of 80 per cent diesel and 20 per cent biofuel) which began as a trial for Tug Sohar is now set to be extended to all tugboats at the port.

Sohar Port is pioneering the use of biofuel and plans to expand the project to include locomotives by next month. The port has also collaborated with tugboat operator Svitzer, biofuel supplier Wakud, and bunker service provider, Hormuz Marin.

Biofuel bunkering is expected to contribute to decreasing the company’s greenhouse gas emissions towards an initial target of 17 per cent, in line with Oman’s commitment to reach net zero by 2050. In this project, biofuel is sourced from used cooking oil. An eco-friendly alternative to traditional fossil fuels which reduces greenhouse gas emissions when burned.

Engineer Abdullah bin Ali Al Busaidi, an expert of the Zero Carbon Neutrality Team at the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technology, highlighted that the Ministry is collaborating with various government agencies on the 18 carbon laboratory initiatives.

“The Ministry has developed a clear and comprehensive roadmap for the development of green ports, including multiple projects to reduce emissions, transitioning equipment to operate on electrical energy and smart systems, connect ships to electrical power, and establish a regional centre for supplying ships with clean fuel.

“We are working with the concerned entities including the Environment Agency, Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion, the Ministry of Economy, and the private sector to address upcoming challenges such as pricing differences between biofuel and conventional fuel,” Busaidi further added.

Al Busaidi elaborated that the private sector has also identified key raw materials for the biofuel industry, focusing on waste cooking oils used in restaurants and shops.

READ: Asyad Ports unveils new container terminal in Oman

Deniz Kirdar True, Managing Director Svitzer AMEA, said. “We are proud that Svitzer is collaborating with Sohar Port on this important initiative.

“Svitzer has been providing safe and reliable marine services to customers in Sohar Port for many years, and in Sohar Port, we have found a partner who shares our ambitious decarbonisation goals and is willing to do things differently.

“This innovative project is an excellent example of how we can use our experience and learnings from operations in other parts of the world to support customers and other stakeholders locally in their efforts to reduce environmental impact.”

Late last year, Sohar Port and Freezone announced the launch of Sohar Net-Zero Alliance (SNZA) to accelerate Oman’s carbon neutrality efforts.

More recently, Sohar Port and Freezone inked a sub-usufruct agreement with Marsa Liquefied Natural Gas LLC, a joint venture between Total Energies EP Oman Development B.V. and OQ, to establish an LNG liquefaction facility.

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