The spread of Covid-19 has significantly impacted the global LNG sector, including the operators of the LNG regasification terminals. Globally, most of the upcoming LNG regasification terminals expected to start operations in 2020 are located in major demand centers in Asia such as China and India.
Most of the Asian countries typically import majority of their LNG from traditional exporters such as Australia and Qatar. Delays in start of operations of these terminals can in turn can affect the plans of LNG exporters, who might have signed contracts for supply to these terminals.
In Asia, China has been the most-impacted country by coronavirus resulting into weakened gas demand and reduction of LNG imports. Some of the major projects such as Soko Floating and Tangshan Expansion that are expected to start operations in 2020 may experience delays due to the shutdowns and travel restrictions. In total, 821 bcf of regasification capacity is at stake for realization in 2020.
South Korea, another coronavirus-impacted country, has a regasification terminal, Jeju, expected to start operations in 2020. The US$460 million terminal is presently under commissioning and may not see delay as it is almost ready to supply LNG to the industrial and residential consumers in the Jeju Island.
Japan also has an upcoming LNG regasification terminal, Hitachi Expansion, under construction. The project located in the Hitachi port is being expanded to improve gas supply to Kanto region. The project is unlikely to be delayed as the Kanto region registered very few Covid-19 cases.
In India, Jaigarh Port Floating, a regasification project with a capacity of 195 bcf and project cost of US$237 million, is scheduled for commissioning in Q2 2020. The project is located in the relatively affected state of Maharashtra. As the coronavirus outbreak is still under initial stages in India, it remains to be seen whether the commissioning gets delayed as the Indian government has started taking measures to curtail the spread of coronavirus through suspension of international flights, sealing state borders, and asking citizens to stay indoors.