International group of LNG importers notes ‘paradigm shift’ in market with more government involvement

Monday, 09 May 2022
Free Read

The France-based International Group of Liquefied Natural Gas Importers (GIIGNL) has issued its annual report with key export and import statistics and noted that 2022 would see a ‘‘paradigm shift” in the market with government and institutions getting involved after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“Price volatility was exacerbated in February 2022 by the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and the current European energy crisis proves to be a stark reminder of LNG’s vital role in ensuring energy security and economic stability,” said Jean Abiteboul, GIIGNL President in his introduction to the report.

“Governments and public institutions are becoming increasingly involved in the LNG business, and we will monitor the consequences of this paradigm shift over the course of the coming year,” he added.

Global regasification capacity rose last year by 46 million tonnes per annum to reach 993 MTPA as four new large-scale terminals were brought in operation in Brazil, Croatia, Indonesia and Kuwait and five expansion programmes were completed, four of which are in China and one in Japan.

“At least six new markets have started or are scheduled to join the sector as importers in 2022, including Ghana, Hong Kong, El Salvador, the Philippines, Senegal and Vietnam,” said the report.

“In the meantime, LNG production has been struggling to keep pace with demand, which sent spot LNG prices upwards,” it added.

The GIIGLN constitutes a forum for exchange of information and experience among its 90 members and they handle more than 90 percent of LNG imports worldwide.

The membership the GIIGLN comes from 27 countries and the body also aims to share experiences to enhance safety, reliability, efficiency and sustainability of LNG import activities and in particular the operation of regasification terminals.

Keeping pace

“During 2021, LNG imports returned to robust growth, reaching 372.3 million tonnes, a 4.5 percent increase over 2020. Asia remained the main demand center for LNG, growing by 7.1 percent,” it said.

The report added that LNG production has been struggling to keep pace with demand, which sent spot LNG prices upwards.

“While 7.4 MTPA of new capacity came onstream, 5 MTPA of which in the United States, global LNG exports were affected by unscheduled maintenance and shortfalls in feed gas,” the report added.

“Increased output from the US, Egypt, Malaysia and Russia was partly offset by lower exports from Angola, Indonesia, Nigeria, Norway, Peru and Trinidad,” said the GIIGNL.

The report said that in 2021, two important final investment decisions were taken for the North Field East expansion project in Qatar, which will add 33 MTPA of liquefaction capacity from 2025, and Pluto LNG Train 2 in Australia for 5 MTPA.

“By 2025, more than 120 MTPA of new liquefaction capacity will progressively come online, which should partly relieve tensions in the LNG market,” stated the report.

With 68 new vessels delivered during 2021, the report confirmed that the LNG fleet reached 700 vessels, including 48 floating storage and regasification units (FSRUs) and 31 LNG bunkering vessels, representing a 9 percent increase in cargo capacity.

“Freight rates remained very strong throughout the year and the order book at year-end was remarkably high, with 196 units to be delivered by 2025,” said the report.

Related Video

Free Read