COVID-19 restrictions together with unexpected weather events such as hurricanes and severe cold winters slashed the gas and LNG demand in China.
In a poll Verdict conducted to analyse the biggest concerns for China’s gas and LNG sector in 2021, a majority 35% responded that slower growth of gas demand to be the biggest concern.
While 25% of the respondents believed that growing consumption of coal for power generation is the biggest concern, 21% voted that LNG import projects delays are the biggest concern.
Capex cuts by China’s LNG developers was voted to be the biggest concern for the sector by 19% of the respondents.
The analysis is based on 202 responses received from the readers of Offshore Technology, a Verdict network site, between 21 August 2020 and 12 April 2021.
Prospects of China’s gas and LNG demand
The gas demand in China bounced back earlier than expected in 2020, driven by its industrial sector, after suffering a mild blow from the COVID-19 pandemic. China’s LNG imports between January and August 2020 increased by 10.3% compared to the same period in 2019, to 42.2 million tonnes.
China is further expected to drive the recovery of global gas demand in 2021 that was lost during the pandemic, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). The country will add more than 130bcm/y of gas demand between 2019 and 2025, possibly putting it back on the track of rapid growth.
Additionally, China’s target of zero-emission by 2060 is likely to boost its LNG demand, which will play a crucial role in sectors that are difficult to decarbonise such as shipping and heavy industry.