Socar Trading has confirmed that its next LNG development will be at the Hambantota Port in Sri Lanka in partnership with Pearl Energy. The company has indicated its involvement with Pearl Energy’s Hambantota LNG Hub, a USD 100 million investment that was recently approved by the Board of Investment, a report filed by Bloomberg stated.
The advantage of the Hambantota LNG Hub is that it can be brought online quickly with gas trucked to existing power plants. Gas demand in emerging Asia is set for bigger gains with this new import terminal.
“Ever since our first LNG to power project in 2017, we had the idea of replicating the LNG-to-Power concept elsewhere,” said head of business development and investment at Socar Trading, Togrul Kocharli.
He indicated to Bloomberg Socar’s willingness to add a dedicated power plant during the later stages of the project.
The trading house sees an opportunity to leverage its access to capital, supplies of LNG through its trading business and experience with the Malta project.
Socar handles about one million barrels of crude and products a day and traded about four million tons of LNG in 2020. That’s triple the LNG volumes handled in 2018.
“These are very complex projects. We know how to do it. We’ve done it before,” Ahmadzada said, referring to the company’s stake in Malta’s half-billion-euro LNG regasification terminal and power station that started operations in 2017. Socar trading is the exclusive fuel supplier to the plant, giving it a long-term outlet, or “short” in trader parlance, for its LNG.
Emerging market countries from Africa and Asia to the Caribbean are eyeing projects to help them move away from a reliance on dirtier fuels such as coal, fuel oil and diesel to generate electricity.
Natural gas is considered a cleaner and reliable alternative though not as environmental-friendly as solar and wind power generation.
Pearl Energy’s it set to bring Sri Lanka closer to LNG when its floating storage LNG vessel is stationed at the Port of Hambantota by late next year.
Company sources confirmed that they are in talks with the Ministry of Power for the conversion of the Kerawalapitiya power plant to LNG as an ‘interim measure’ until CEB’s own solution for the same is implemented.
Source : Sunday Observer