IGU 2020 World LNG Report Notes Rise of Natural Gas Propulsion for Newbuilds

| Spain: Barcelona | Source: IGU

IGU 2020 World LNG ReportThe International Gas Union (IGU) has launched its annual LNG report for 2020. The report proposes that “As the world has entered an unprecedented era of low LNG prices, the moment could be opportune for the environment, as there is a stronger economic case for switching from more polluting fuels to natural gas.”

The comprehensive analysis highlights all the material changes in the global LNG industry in 2019. It features key global LNG industry updates, right across its value chain, demonstrating yet another strong year of growth for this crucial segment of the natural gas sector. LNG continues to enhance global energy security and increase the flexibility of access to the abundant global gas supplies.

In its sixth consecutive year of growth, the LNG trade increased by 13% to a total of 354.7 MT.

While no new consumers joined the existing 37 markets in the global LNG arena in 2019, the most recent new players have increased their intake volumes – Bangladesh, Pakistan, Poland, and Panama – a welcome sign. At the same time, mature markets, like India, are adding new floating regasification capacity.

Export growth came from the USA, Russia and Australia, as well as Algeria and Egypt. The US is now the third largest LNG exporter, behind Qatar and Australia, with Russia in the fourth spot.

Asia Pacific and Asia remain the key centres of demand, and together they accounted for almost 70% of global LNG imports in 2018.

2019 was another record year of low prices, driven by increasing natural gas production, the commissioning of new export infrastructure and limited demand response from Asian markets.

As the world has entered an unprecedented era of low LNG prices, the moment could be opportune for the environment, as there is a stronger economic case for switching from more polluting fuels to natural gas.

LNG Newbuilds Predominantly Natural Gas Fuel Systems

In its discussion of LNG newbuild deliveries IGU notes the following:

“Looking at propulsion systems, 2020 will see the prevalence of Low-Pressure Slow-Speed Dual-Fuel Winterthur Gas & Diesel engine (XDF) and M-Type, Electronically Controlled (MEGI) systems in place, capitalising on improved fuel efficiencies and lower emissions.

An impressive 84 vessels ordered will have XDF propulsion systems in-place between 2020 and 2023, with 28 orders with the competing MEGI system. This represents a major shift from popular propulsion systems of the past, including steam turbine and Dual-Fuel Diesel-Electric (DFDE) engines.” (from 5.2)

“As the cleanest burning fossil fuel, natural gas has a key role in providing reliable and cleaner energy to all. Even in the most developed markets, affordability and reliability of clean energy is a key issue and switching to natural gas offers an enormous opportunity. The IGU will continue to demonstrate the vital environmental and economic role of gas in the sustainable energy future and encourage collaboration between industry and communities towards achieving this future,” says IGU President, Joe Kang.

The report also comments that there will be continued growth in LNG-fuelled road transportation and potentially for rail.

Key findings

Global LNG trade set a new record last year, reaching 354.7 MT, up 13% on 2018. The US (+13.1 MT), Australia (+8.7 MT) and Russia (+11 MT) added the most capacity but Qatar managed to maintain its position as the largest exporter in the world (77.8 MT).

China imported 7 MT more and Europe 37 MT more while Japan and South Korea both took less; and Egypt and Argentina swung from LNG imports to LNG exports. Re-exports fell 59% in 2019 as price differences between the Atlantic and Pacific basins fell.

About the International Gas Union (IGU

The International Gas Union (IGU) was founded in 1931 and is a worldwide non-profit organisation aimed at promoting the political, technical and economic progress of the gas industry. The Union has more than 150 members worldwide on all continents, representing approximately 95% of the world gas market. The members of the IGU are national associations and corporations within the gas industry worldwide. The IGU organises the World Gas Conference (WGC) every three years, with the forthcoming WGC taking place in Daegu, Korea, in June 2021. The IGU’s working organisation covers all aspects of the gas industry from exploration and production, storage, LNG, distribution and natural gas utilisation in all market segments.

The IGU gratefully acknowledges Shell and Korea Gas Corporation (KOGAS) as sponsors of the report.

Links to the Press Release, the Report, the report Video and the video recording of a press webinar  are provided below.

Press release: https://www.igu.org/news/press-release-global-lng-2020-report

Report: https://www.igu.org/publication/302507

Contact: Should you have any questions, please direct them to IGU Public Affairs Director, Menelaos (Mel) Ydreos @mydreos@energyvantage.ca  copied in this email.

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