Bahrain unveils big energy expansion plans
Manama, November 15, 2011
Bahrain may set up several companies in the oil and gas sector in the coming years in its bid to become a hub for the region's petroleum sector, according to a top government official.
"If our efforts are successful, we will be looking at Bahrain becoming the region's central hub for petroleum and associated logistic services,' said Energy Minister Dr Abdulhussain Mirza.
Dr Mirza revealed that studies were currently underway to look at the setting up of companies to operate, in particular, in the liquefied gas and petroleum sector.
He was speaking during a ceremony to christen a $55 million multi-gas carrier Bahrain Vision, at the Khalifa Bin Salman Port. The ceremony was held under the patronage of and attended by HRH Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa.
The vessel is owned by Skaugen Gulf Petrochem Carriers, which was set up in December last year for the marine transportation of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and liquefied petroleum gas to fulfil the needs of GCC petrochemical industry.
While the National Oil and Gas Authority has a 35 per cent stake in the company, I M Skaugen holds another 35 per cent, with Capital Management House owning the rest.
'Bahrain Vision is not merely a ship - it is a message that will transform Bahrain into a new future, carrying our mission of brotherhood, love and respect for all peoples and nations,' Dr Mirza said.
'This landmark event also means that Bahrain's investments in its petroleum sector and in fulfilling the objectives of the national economy are on the right track,' he added.
He said by the commissioning of Bahrain Vision, they have succeeded in taking another step forward in achieving one of Bahrain's strategic objectives of diversifying its business portfolio and national income sources.
'This vessel is specially designed to meet our requirements and those of the owner company,' he said.
'It is a unique and dual-purpose vessel designed to carry petroleum and petrochemical products, as well as liquefied gas,' he added.
IM Skaugen SE president and chief executive officer Mortis Skaugen said the company had been keen to pay tribute to Bahrain. 'The naming of this ship after Bahrain is the ideal way to do that,' he added.
He said the ship itself is a combination of Norwegian technology and Asian workmanship; being built in China, operated by a Singaporean company that is carrying products from the GCC region, for clients in the region, to clients in Asia.
Board director and Skaugen Gulf Petrochem Carriers Bahrain acting general manager Osama Muien said the Bahrain Vision can carry most types of petrochemical gases and also LNG.
He said the highly energy-efficient vessel has been designed purely for carrying LNG and similar liquefied gases and offers a simple, safe and flexible transport solution.
It is fitted with on-board re-liquefaction facilities and can quickly cool down and re-liquefy gas cargoes and eliminate their wasteful boil off.
International Peace Institute president Terje Rod-Larsen also spoke on the occasion. Several ministers, ambassadors, government officials and other VIP's were present.-TradeArabia News Service