Oman’s Qalhat LNG has signed an agreement valued US$688mn with 13 local and international banks and financing authorities to finance the establishing of a third gas liquefaction train.


The sultanate owns 55.84% of Qalhat LNG, while Oman LNG owns a 36.80% stake in the company and Spain’s Union Venosa 7.36%. The natural gas liquefaction complex in the Wilayat of Sur includes two gas liquefaction trains of the Oman LNG company.


In an endeavour to enhance the gas and investment sector, the government has recently concluded agreements to finance the building of LNG transport vessels (Nizwa and Ibri) to join the service besides the ships “Muscat “and “Sohar “Other agreements will shortly be signed to finance the ships “Salalah “and “Ibra “which are being built in Japan and Korea to join the service by mid 2006.


The vision for the Omani economy by 2020 aims to achieve a diversified economy. The economic diversification project established in the country includes specialist ports such as the container handling facility in Salalah. Work is underway to establish Sohar port in the Batinah region, the oil refinery, petrochemical, urea and aluminum factories and others.


Some 90% of the third gas liquefaction train project has been achieved and the factory will be ready in November 2005 to start its commercial operations in 2006.


Qalhat LNG has concluded three long-term LNG sale and purchase agreements for a quantity of 3.3mn tonnes of gas annually. These contracts include a 20-year long agreement with Union Venosa to deliver LNG in Spain, a 17-year long agreement with Osaka Gas to deliver gas on board ship in Japan and a 15-year long with Mitsubishi to deliver gas on board ship in Japan and the US. The government will provide Qalhat LNG’s factory with a maximum of 3.8tn cubic feet of natural gas.