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Editorial Comment

A. Blume, Editor

China is hosting the 19th International Conference and Exhibition on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG2019) in Shanghai from 1–5 April—an appropriate choice of host country, given China’s increased appetite for natural gas. 

The country imported 40% more LNG in 2018 versus 2017—an increase of 16 metric MMt, according to Royal Dutch Shell’s LNG Outlook 2019—in an ongoing effort to switch from coal-fired power to gas-fired power as a means of improving its air quality. The country’s “Blue Skies” program aims to reduce emissions and improve air quality in 26 major northeastern cities. As a result of the fuel-switching initiatives within the program, China is expected to account for one-third of global natural gas demand growth to 2022. 

China has 19 LNG import terminals scattered along its southern and western coasts. These terminals collectively handled 67.5 metric MMt of LNG in 2018, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). Around half of China’s LNG comes from Australia, although it will continue to import a steady stream of liquefied gas from Qatar over the next 22 years. Other countries that frequently supply LNG to China include Malaysia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and the US. 

The country’s demand for LNG is set to quadruple over the same time period, accounting for nearly 30% of LNG trade flows worldwide. Under a proposed energy policy, China would expand its LNG imports to 247 metric MMt and build 15 additional LNG import terminals by 2035. GP

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