LNG is a clean and efficient energy source. As imported LNG helps energy consuming countries to diversify their energy supply and ensure energy security, while export LNG helps natural gas producing countries to effectively develop natural gas resources, increase foreign exchange earnings and promote national economic development, LNG trade is becoming a new hot spot in the global energy market.
Natural gas is more and more popular as a clean energy. LNG is listed as the preferred fuel in many countries. The proportion of natural gas in energy supply is increasing rapidly. Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is growing at a high rate of about 12% per year, becoming one of the fastest growing energy industries in the world. In recent years, global LNG production and trade have become increasingly active, LNG has become a scarce clean resource, and is becoming a new hotspot in the world oil and gas industry. In order to ensure the diversification of energy supply and improve the energy consumption structure, some big energy consuming countries pay more and more attention to the introduction of LNG. Japan, Korea, the United States and Europe are building LNG receiving stations on a large scale. Big international oil companies have shifted their new profit growth point to LNG business, which will become the next hot energy commodity after oil.
The utilization of natural gas in China is extremely unbalanced, and the proportion of natural gas in China's energy is very small. From the perspective of China's natural gas development situation, natural gas resources are limited, natural gas production is far less than demand, and the gap between supply and demand is growing. Although it has not yet formed a scale, the characteristics of LNG determine the rapid development of LNG. It can be predicted that in the next 10-20 years, LNG will become the main force in China's natural gas market. In 2007, China imported 2.91 million tons of LNG, more than three times as much as in 2006. From January to November 2008, China's total imports of liquefied natural gas were 3,141,475 tons, an increase of 18.14% over the same period in 2007.
While China's economy continues to develop rapidly, there is a great shortage of energy power to safeguard the economy. China's energy structure is dominated by coal, while oil and natural gas account for only a small proportion, far below the world average. With the increasing demand for energy, the introduction of LNG will play an important role in optimizing China's energy structure, effectively solving the dual problems of energy supply security and ecological environment protection, and achieving sustainable economic and social development.
China attaches more and more importance to the development of LNG industry. The coastal LNG projects being planned and implemented in China include Guangdong, Fujian, Zhejiang, Shanghai, Jiangsu, Shandong, Liaoning, Ningxia, Tangshan, Hebei, etc. These projects will eventually constitute a coastal LNG receiving station and transmission pipeline network.
According to China's LNG utilization plan, domestic production capacity will reach 90 billion cubic meters in 2010, compared with 240 billion cubic meters in 2020. In terms of natural gas imports, the NDRC estimates that by 2020, China will import 35 billion cubic meters, equivalent to 25 million tons per year, seven times the total number of receiving stations in Guangdong Province.