German energy group Uniper has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Sharjah National Oil Corporation (SNOC) with the aim of establishing liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports to the UAE emirate of Sharjah.

In a joint announcement, the two companies said the first gas delivery should arrive at Hamriyah Port in the spring of 2018.

The gas will flow to the onshore Sajaa gas field and into the existing pipeline network through the country’s northern emirates.

“We highly value this project, which will add to the supply of gas in Sharjah and the northern emirates to meet the growing demand for energy,” said Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed al-Qasimi, deputy chairman of the Sharjah Petroleum Council, and president of SNOC.

The volume of and method for the LNG imports were not disclosed by the two companies. The LNG import operation will be the third in the UAE, after floating storage and regasification units were installed in Dubai in 2010 and Abu Dhabi earlier this year.

The northern emirates, which include Sharjah, Ajman, Ras al-Khaimah, Umm al-Quwain and Fujairah, are also expected to receive additional gas via an undersea pipeline from Qatar, following a recent deal between the two countries.

Plans to build a larger onshore LNG import terminal in Fujairah appear to have stalled at the contract bid phase.