Asia ripe for small and mid-scale LNG developments, but initial obstacles remain

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Paul Lim, Editor, The Petrochemical Standard
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Asia is ripe for further developments in small and mid-scale liquefied natural gas (LNG), industry experts said May 14 at the APAC Small and Mid-Scale LNG Conference in Singapore.

Given its unique geographical make-up, as well as the varying levels of development seen in the region, small and mid-scale LNG projects would be well-placed to bring energy to locations which do not have the proper infrastructure or power grids.

Small-scale LNG projects require less time and capital expenditure to set up.

They also require smaller vessels and vaporizers, reducing the impact on the environment.

Regasification and construction technologies can also be adopted on a smaller scale, enabling service providers and consumers to participate jointly and share the costs involved.

While falling crude oil prices have reduced the business case for LNG usage, LNG is still the prime candidate as an alternative fuel for the future.

“LNG demand will definitely increase. Countries like Taiwan, South Korea and Japan have no choice but to import LNG as demand and consumption of natural gas increase,” an Indonesian source told TPS.

However, there will be some initial difficulties for prospects trying to enter the Asian market.

Users in stranded locations may find it difficult to surpass the infrastructure and cost barriers to adopt small and medium scale technologies.

There are also few economies of scale for power generation companies or LNG suppliers to set up large-scale LNG infrastructure to feed marginal demand that require only small loads of LNG.

“There is definitely a market for small to mid-scale LNG projects in the region. However, opportunities must be studied very carefully before any implementation begins,” said a speaker from Indonesia.

To know more about global LNG projects, attend Gastech Singapore in October. Click here to view the conference programme.

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