Liquified Natural Gas is the world’s fastest-growing source of gas supply, which has opened new trade routes between major producing nations such as the U.S., Canada and the fast-growing economies of Asia.
The established economies of Japan, China, and South Korea dominate current demand. But emerging markets, including India, Bangladesh and Pakistan, are also adopting LNG to improve access to gas supplies. LNG offers a lucrative export market for economies rich in natural gas.
Balancing Supply and Demand
An estimated 132 billion cubic meters of new LNG production capacity will be added globally in the next few years, causing a rebalancing of the market in which supply could exceed demand sometime in the early 2020s.
Preparing for Increased Demand and Fierce Competition During Periods of Oversupply
LNG owners and operators investing in new production facilities must consider the impact of short-term oversupply, even if the long-term trend is for exponential growth in demand.
To future-proof LNG production facilities in preparation for both scenarios, owners and operators must ensure their liquefaction trains are efficient, flexible, and reliable.
Consider an LNG plant case study where high ambient conditions and lower liquefaction efficiency has become an issue that is hurting productivity and increasing production costs. The ageing facility has been operating for more than a quarter of a century with several LNG trains reliant on older gas turbines, which are fast approaching the end of their useful life.
Throughout that time, problems with the helper motors have restricted these trains from achieving the full production levels for which they were designed. The ageing equipment requires frequent – and often costly – maintenance attention.
In what is predicted to become a fiercely competitive market, this producer will need a competitive edge. If it is to achieve this by replacing its ageing infrastructure, its new turbines will need to be able to:
- POINTS TO BE ADDRESSED
- Boost liquefaction efficiency and reliability
- Easily replace the older infrastructure, with minimal downtime and disruption to production
- Give enough production flexibility to quickly adapt to a changing market