KOGAS discusses current key projects and the Korean gas industry predictions

Dr Young-Myung Yang's picture
Dr Young-Myung Yang, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Technology Division, KOGAS
Comments: 0

Gastech News has interviewed some speakers in line with the upcoming Gastech Exhibition and Conference. We caught up with KOGAS’ Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Technology Division, Dr Young-Myung Yang, to find out more about KOGAS’ current projects and where the Korean LNG market is heading over the next decade.

Gastech News: What are KOGAS’ key projects at the moment and where does KOGAS see the most attractive growth opportunities?

Dr Young-Myung Yang: KOGAS is achieving various downstream projects in Korea: construction of LNG re-gasification terminals in Samcheok and Jeju Island and building of KC-1 LNG carriers. The Samcheok terminal has 12 LNG storage tanks including 3 world's largest 270,000m3 full containment tanks which were developed and designed by the KOGAS Research Institute. The construction of the 270,000m3 tank could save costs of more than 20 million U.S. dollars compared to the 200,000m3 tank which is typically being constructed in Korea.

The KC-1 is the name of the new membrane containment system for an LNG carrier which was developed by KOGAS in collaboration with major Korean shipyards. The KC-1 is a safety-enhanced cargo system which has two layers of corrugated stainless steel barriers. 2 KC-1 LNG carriers are under construction at Samsung Heavy Industry and scheduled for delivery in September, 2017.

KOGAS is also participating in 27 overseas projects in 13 countries over the natural gas supply chain, including 15 upstream projects. Among them, we are focusing on floating LNG projects. We are already participating in the Prelude FLNG project in Australia and are going to make the final investment decision soon for the Coral FLNG project in Mozambique. Even though floating LNG is a relatively new and innovative technology, it is actually less attractive with low oil prices but nevertheless has several advantages such as construction of the FLNG facility at a shipyard, reduction in environmental footprint compared to the onshore LNG plant. Moreover, KOGAS has a keen interest in supporting the Korean shipbuilding industry and pursuing mutual growth with small and medium enterprises who manufacture gas-related equipment and machinery.

Gastech News: Is Korea planning to further expand the country’s use of LNG over the next decade?

Dr Young-Myung YangAccording to the recent natural gas demand projection published by the Korean Government in 2015, the overall gas demand in Korea is forecasted to slightly decrease at an annual average of 0.34% from 2015 to 2029: an annual average decrease of 4.17% in the power generation sector and an annual average increase of 2.35% in the residential and industrial sector. The gas demand will grow steadily for residential and industrial uses but decline sharply for power generation due to the large increase in coal and nuclear power generation. This means that the conventional gas market is nearly saturated. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary to develop new gas demands and we are focusing on developing new demands for fuel cell power generation and LNG bunkering which may have a strong potential of more than 10 million tons until 2030.

Gastech News: What role will nuclear and coal power generation have in Korea beyond 2030, and what will this mean for the share of gas & LNG in the country? 

Dr Young-Myung YangIn 2015, the share of power generation by coal and nuclear in Korea steadily increased to 39.3% and 31.2% respectively, while the share by natural gas decreased to 19.1% in 2015 from 24.7% in 2013 and the operating rate of natural gas fired power plants has fallen to below 40% from more than 60%. The natural gas demand for power generation in Korea was 20.88 million tons in 2013 then rapidly decreased to 16.07 million tons in 2015 and is projected to fall further to 9.48 million tons in 2029 because of the new construction of many coal-fired and nuclear power plants. However, the Post-2020 climate change agreement and recent social issues on fine particulate matter produced by coal-fired power generation and strong earthquakes that occurred near the area crowded with nuclear power plants last September may lead a positive environment to increase natural gas demand in Korea.

Hear Dr Young-Myung YangExecutive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Research & Development Division, KOGAS, moderate the discussion on "Gas & LNG Storage & Containment" on Wednesday 5th April at 08:45am - 10:15am in Technical Stream 3 at Gastech 2017 in Chiba – Tokyo. Book your delegate place today.