While the global liquefied natural gas (LNG) market took a massive dip as the coronavirus pandemic started last year, delaying the financial investment decisions for many proposed production plants, the market may take an upward trend as a vaccine is distributed and demand increases. Recently, low winter temperatures in Asian countries such as China and Japan (both big buyers of LNG) have increased demand for the liquefied fuel and caused prices to spike.

In an October 2020 webinar, Shane Mullins, Industrial Info's vice president of product development, said: "We are expecting a sharp recovery in demand next year, but even with that recovery, there's a two-year delay in year-over-year demand growth at a time when new LNG supplies have recently entered the market," adding that while global supply and demand were previously expected to be relatively balanced by 2025, this had now been pushed out to 2027 or even 2028.

While the supply side may not need much growth in the near-term, demand is escalating, and to this end Industrial Info is tracking more than $7 billion in LNG regasification terminals that are set to be completed this year. Western Asia, which has more than $3 billion in planned completions, leads other market regions in terms of project value, thanks to a large regasification project in Kuwait.

Construction on Kuwait Petroleum Corporation's (Al Shuwaik, Kuwait) massive Al Zour grassroot LNG regasification and storage terminal started in 2017 and is expected to wrap up soon. The facility will be able to import 11 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) and will have a regasification of capacity of 1,383 million standard cubic feet per day and eight storage tanks to hold the LNG. Korea Gas Corporation (Daegu, South Korea) and Hyundai Engineering Corporation (Seoul, South Korea) are providing engineering, procurement and construction on the project. For more information, see Industrial Info's project report.

The largest number of planned project completions is in China, which has 13 planned for 2021. Among these is a receiving and regasification terminal in Pinghu, Zhejiang, a coastal city about 100 kilometers from Shanghai on the East China Sea. The planned regasification capacity of the plant is 75.5 million standard cubic feet per day. It will feature 200,000 cubic meters of LNG storage. Construction began in mid-2018 and is expected to be completed in the first half of this year. For more information, see Industrial Info's project report.

A large regasification terminal is planned to wrap up in Dhamra, Odisha, in India this year. The facility will feature 360,000 cubic meters of LNG storage and will be able to regasify 5 MTPA, which will be expandable to 12 MTPA. An 8-meter-draft jetty will be capable of handling a wide range of LNG supply vessels, including the largest Q-Max (266,000 cubic meters) fleet from Qatar. Construction on the facility began in the summer of 2018, and completion was originally planned for this summer. However, the project was delayed due to manning restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and completion is now planned toward the end of the year. For more information, see Industrial Info's project report.

Increasingly, developers are turning to floating storage and regasification units (FSRUs), which often come in at a lower cost than onshore facilities. One such unit is planned for completion this year in El Salvador. The facility will feature 140,000 cubic meters of LNG storage and will have a regasification capacity 71.6 million standard cubic feet per day. Wartsila Corporation (Helsinki, Finland) is one of the contractors on the project, which kicked off construction in early 2019 and has a planned completion date in the fourth quarter of this year. For more information, see Industrial Info's project report.

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