KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 3): Gas market liberalisation in Asian nations including Malaysia, South Korea, Thailand and Singapore is attracting new investors.
In a commentary on Thursday (Dec 2), global energy, chemicals, renewables, metals and mining research and consultancy group Wood Mackenzie said new infrastructure is being built in China and across South and Southeast Asia to support continued growth in gas.
Wood Mackenzie Asia-Pacific vice-chairman for energy Gavin Thompson said Asia’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) demand had been growing by a whopping 21 Mt this year — a strong rebound from last year’s pandemic-driven impact.
He said this put to bed any fears about a recovery in Asian gas demand after a wobbly 2020.
Thompson said that supported by demand, growth in LNG contracting activity had rebounded after a slow 2020.
“While we still expect companies in the market for long-term contracts starting after 2025 to be spoilt for choice, sky-high spot LNG prices and resurgent demand have seen buyers reaching for the security blanket. More than 28 million metric tons per annum (MMTPA) of new contracts have been signed so far in 2021, the highest volume since 2016,” he added.
He said Asia’s natural gas demand is set to nearly double by 2050.
“It will be the region that drives gas consumption growth globally even if Europe begins to shun natural gas at some point in the next decade or two because of environmental concerns about emissions in the gas supply chain and the net-zero ambitions of the UK and the European Union,” he said.