Emirates LNG has shifted the location of a planned liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal from Fujairah to one of the UAE’s other northern emirates, according to a spokesperson for the Abu Dhabi-based group.

MEED revealed in February that company had cancelled engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) tenders on an estimated $2bn-3bn LNG project at Fujairah on the UAE’s east coast.

“Emirates LNG, a fully-owned International Petroleum Investment Company (Ipic) subsidiary, is actively working on the development an LNG Import terminal that would, upon completion, provide a valuable additional asset within the gas network in the UAE,” says the spokesperson.

“Initially planned to be based in Fujairah, it is now expected to be located within the northern emirates,” the spokesperson adds.

Excluding Fujairah, the northern emirates comprise of Sharjah, Ras al-Khaimah, Ajman and Umm al-Quwain.

Sharjah, the largest of the northern emirates in terms of population, already plans to install an LNG import terminal with an agreement signed last year between Sharjah National Oil Corporation (SNOC) and German energy group Uniper.

Emirates LNG’s previous project at Fujairah covered the construction of a 9 million tonne-a-year (1.18 billion cubic-foot-a-day) regasification terminal and associated facilities. It is unclear whether the northern emirates scheme will retain the same planned capacity.

As the Fujairah project tenders were cancelled two years after recent bids, the overall plan for Emirates LNG to establish and gas import terminal has been set back by several years by the delays and change of plan.

Emirates LNG was previously a joint venture of Abu Dhabi government investment arms Mubadala Development Company and Ipic but is now a subsidiary of Ipic. However, Ipic and Mubadala are currently undergoing a $125bn merger.

The Fujairah gas terminal was being planned to enable the UAE to meet domestic gas requirements for the electricity sector. However, last year, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) installed a smaller floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) at Ruwais in the west of the Abu Dhabi emirate.

The FSRU will add a capacity of 500 million cubic feet a day (cf/d) to the network of Abu Dhabi Gas Industries (Gasco) – the equivalent of about 7.5 per cent of the UAE’s domestic gas consumption.

The country became a net importer of gas in 2007 coinciding with the start-up of the Dolphin Energy pipeline from Qatar. In 2015, the UAE produced 5.7 million cf/d of gas and consumed 6.7 million cf/d, according to statistics from the UK’s BP.