Global imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) are to set a new record this year as demand increases.
New research from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) suggests LNG demand will rise to 305 million metric tonnes per annum (MMtpa) in 2018 and 490MMtpa by 2030.
However, it forecasts demand growth to slow during 2019/22, stabilising in the 314-330MMtpa range before accelerating during the 2020s.
Ashish Sethia, Global Head of LNG Analysis said: “The growth rate in 2019-22 will slow as the commissioning of new gas pipelines from Russia absorbs some of China’s demand and as more nuclear power comes online in Japan.
“Average utilisation of export plants in 2021, when supply capacity reaches its peak, will likely be 81%, which is low by historical standards.”
A surge in demand to 2030 is to be driven by environmental measures in China, rising power generation in South and Southeast Asia and a reduction in domestic gas production in Europe.