Challenges for LNG Terminals in China



Xie Jieying, Lecturer, Shanghai Maritime University, Shanghai, China



In recent decades, the role of gas in the global energy sector has grown significantly. As the cleanest fossil fuel, Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is  recognised as the key fuel that could relieve pressure on the global energy demands. In response to environmental concerns, the Chinese government has set a target within its 12th Five Year Plan maps for the use of cleaner energy resources. To reach this target, approximately 50-60 billion cubic metres (bcm) of natural gas must be imported by 2015. Today there are more than 10 onshore LNG terminals operating in China including one floating terminal (in Tianjin) with a receiving capacity of 3.0 bcm under construction. In this article, the author will give a brief introduction about the development and future trends of LNG terminals in China, and will comment on the receiving capacity and geographical position of existing and planned LNG terminals. The technology and environmental challenges especially for LNG terminals in China will be identified and discussed as will the alternative designs and location of LNG terminals. As a conclusion, the development of technologies, standards, regulations and training will be stated separately.

China's gas consumption

Air pollution has become a prominent problem in the cities of China. Local governments are now faced with the dual challenge of maintaining economic growth whilst complying with environmental regulations. To achieve this, piped natural gas is seen as the best alternative to LPG, biomass and coal. The energy intensity target of the 12th Five Year Plan set by State Council in China mandated that non-fossil energy sources should be increased to 11.4 percent of the country’s total energy use. According to the China Energy Statistical Yearbook 2013, the total natural gas consumption as a percentage of total energy production increased from 2.7 percent in the year 2000 to 4.3 percent in 2012, while the average daily energy consumption increased from 0.7 percent to 3.6 percent. China’s gas consumption is expected to increase exponentially in the coming years in order to adopt these regulatory measures and meet demand.

Development of LNG in China

Since the late 1990s, investment …

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