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Australia to more than double LNG exports

Western Australia’s
US$12 billion Pluto
liquefied natural
gas project
Sydney, Australia — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 01 March 2011 – Driven by higher demand for gas-fired electricity from consuming Asian countries “’ especially China and India, in addition to Japan, South Korea, and other Southeast Asian countries “’ Australia is expected to more than double its liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports from 18Mt in 2009/10 to 41Mt in 2015/16.

Revealing this here, the country’s top forecaster said the increase would catapult Australia to the second largest LNG exporter in the world after Qatar, up from the fourth largest in 2009, as it stepped up production to meet rapidly growing demand for the fuel in Asia.

“Over the next five years, Australia’s LNG exports are projected to increase at a rate of 19% pa, underpinned by a number of new projects under construction,” the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES), said in a report.

The value of Australia’s LNG exports is also expected to more than double from US$8.1 billion in 2009/10 to US$18.8 billion in 2015/16, an average annual increase of 15%.

The report added that with an estimated US$203 billion of LNG projects on the drawing board, the Australian LNG industry was aiming to export 60Mt of LNG by 2020.

By 2016 China’s LNG imports are expected to reach 24Mt, while India will import 11Mt. Demand growth in Japan, currently the world’s largest importer of LNG, and South Korea, are expected to remain steady with Japan’s LNG imports reaching 77Mt, while South Korea’s will reach 37Mt, the report revealed.

Emerging Asian economies such as Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines, Bangladesh and Pakistan, will also experience some LNG import growth.

“Worldwide, LNG trade will increase by 9% to 230Mt, driven by demand for gas-fired electricity and higher industrial and domestic consumption,” the report concluded.