Asia is seeing rapid growth with expanding population and urbanisation and increasing standards of living. LNG is becoming the fuel of choice in this area, with both land based import terminals and floating storage and regasification units (FSRUs) becoming increasingly popular.
Coal still remains a popular option in terms of cost, however with the lower carbon and particulate emissions, LNG is seen as a step in the right direction.
Mitsui & Co which is one of Japan’s largest trading companies, is shifting its energy operations from the crude oil business to liquefied natural gas.
The use of floating systems have also become more popular over the last few years and prices and speed of construction have come down. There is also a trend of converting LNG carriers into FSRUs, which has the advantage of speed and reduced costs.
There are further opportunities in this market with Singapore looking to set itself up as a hub for LNG trading with large suppliers sending LNG from Australia or Qatar and them having these distributed to smaller vessels for distribution to smaller markets.
This paves the way for more bunkering facilities that are badly needed in order for the wider adoption of LNG as a fuel for tankers and cruse liners
China is also seeing a massive increase in LNG imports with a 40% rise on last year. LNG is still a buyers’ market with the oversupply at present, and with more supply coming online in 2018.
South Korea has stated that it plans to stop building nuclear plants and will look at LNG as a stepping stone to cleaning energy alternatives. India is also set to double the use of LNG by 2020.
The outlook for LNG looks positive out to 2030 and LNG can no longer be seen as a niche product, and is likely to become a globally traded commodity and competitively priced fuel.