The ramp of new LNG production accelerated in 2016 when 16 million tons of new LNG supply were added to the market, representing a 6.8% annual growth. This was the highest growth rate recorded since 2011 but it only represents the very beginning of the LNG wave that is about to hit the market. There are still about 110 mmtpa of new capacity under construction that are expected to start producing from now to 2020-2021. This equates to around 42% of the 2016 LNG demand that would come on line in a very short time, raising the question of the capacity of the market to absorb the additional volumes and at what price.
2015 saw the unexpected decline of LNG demand in Asia. This unsettling development had two main reasons. First the end of the Fukushima-driven growth in the JKT countries, especially in Japan, together with energy conservation policies led to a strong decline of LNG demand in the historical Asian markets. Second the collapse of Chinese LNG demand growth due to price issues and the competition with piped gas. On the bright side, 2015 witnessed the emergence of new buyers (Egypt, Jordan and Pakistan) – that were able to take advantage of the low price environment, thanks to the flexibility offered by FSRUs -, as well as accelerated growth in the MENA region.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is one of the world’s longest-established LNG exporters. But despite holding the world’s sixth largest gas reserves, LNG imports into the federation increased at an impressive rate since 2010, when the Jebel Ali floating terminal in Dubai started up. With gas representing more than 90% of the power fuel mix, LNG purchases have been key to fill a widening supply deficit in order to match rapidly growing gas-to-power demand. Today, LNG remains at the heart of the UAE’s strategy to meet rising energy consumption and support economic and industrial expansion in times of reduced oil income and budgetary constraints. Cedigaz’s latest report examines the risks and opportunities inherent to this strategy and asks whether it is viable in the medium to longer term.
Today, Southeast Asia is again in front of great changes in its energy mix. To meet surging demand, the region must secure a reliable and affordable energy supply. It must also limit the environmental pressures associated with energy consumption. The power sector is fundamental to these changes. Driven by rapid economic growth, demographic and urbanization trends, and the extension of access to modern electricity to larger segments of rural populations, electricity demand is expected to almost triple by 2040. While natural gas still dominates the regional electricity mix, a shift to coal has been observed since the end of the 2000s driven by the availability of coal in the region and its lower cost than competing fuels. In the short to medium term, this trend is going to continue: there are around 35 GW of coal-based capacity under construction in the region, most of them to be completed by 2020. In addition, there is a huge number of permitted and announced coal-fired power plants in the pipeline, which means that the dominance of coal may continue well after 2020. In the World Energy Outlook 2016 of the International Energy Agency (New Policies Scenario), coal becomes the first source of electricity generation by 2040, despite the increase in electricity generation from renewables. In contrast, the contribution of gas to electricity generation falls by 2040.