Australia to Overtake Qatar as Global LNG Leader
Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) has been embraced as a commercially attractive and eco-friendly fossil fuel, and the global industry is set to see the emergence of new gas giants, with Australia competing against traditional LNG exporters such as Qatar, states new research by energy experts GBI Research.
The report states that natural gas has experienced growing demand worldwide, having earned a reputation as a clean, safe and cheap source of energy, which is cost-efficient to transport as LNG and available in abundant reserves.
The LNG industry of Australia is currently the most promising market in the world, and is expected to attain market dominance in the next five years. Recent offshore discoveries have found a huge abundance of reserves in the country, and the Australian government is providing strong support to the industry, in the form of encouraging regulatory structure and initiatives. Asia-Pacific acts as a big customer for LNG imports, fueled by the region’s growing economies, and neighboring Australia is ideally positioned to become an LNG export hub meeting this need.
In contrast, Qatar is currently the world’s largest LNG exporter, but risks stagnation, as the country shows no plans for capacity additions in the near future. Qatar boasted a liquefaction capacity of 77.5 million tons in 2011, but this doesn’t look to change significantly, whereas Australia’s modest liquefaction capacity of 20 million tons in 2011 is expected to reach 124 million tons by 2017.
Floating Liquified Natural Gas (FLNG) terminals are expected to be a technology game-changer in the future LNG industry, due to enormous advantages, despite the technology still being in development stages and yet to commence commercial operation. In the near future it is expected that 10% of LNG produced globally will be a product of natural gas extracted from offshore basins, which is around 40% less expensive than that from onshore natural gas projects.
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Australia has shown its ambitions as a LNG hub through their FLNG activity. After spending many years in R&D and investing over US$500m, Dutch major Shell announced its Final Investment Decision (FID) to construct a floating LNG project at Australia's Prelude field in May 2011. The project is expected to start by 2017, with a processing capacity of 3.6 million tons.
As of 2011, total LNG trade among 25 active countries stood at 233.1 million tons, from trade of only 157.6 million tons in 2006, when a mere 16 countries were involved in the export of LNG. As of 2011, Qatar, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia and Nigeria are the top five LNG exporting countries, contributing to around 151 million tons of LNG exports to their major importers. Similarly, Japan, Korea, Spain, UK and China are the top five LNG importing countries, contributing to around 163 million tons of LNG imports from their major exporters. Investments in LNG projects are set to steadily increase during the immediate future, with global capital expenditure for upcoming LNG projects estimated to exceed US$200 billion over the 2012–2017 period.
SOURCE: GBI Research
Hydrostor receives $4m funding for A-CAES facility in Canada
Hydrostor has received $4m funding to develop a 300-500MW Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) facility in Canada.
The funding will be used to complete essential engineering and planning, and enable Hydrostor to plan construction.
The project will be modeled on Hydrostor’s commercially operating Goderich storage facility, providing up to 12 hours of energy storage.
Hydrostor’s A-CAES system supports Canada’s green economic transition by designing, building, and operating emissions-free energy storage facilities, and employing people, suppliers, and technologies from the oil and gas sector.
The Honorable Seamus O’Regan, Jr. Minister of Natural Resources, said: “Investing in clean technology will lower emissions and increase our competitiveness. This is how we get to net zero by 2050.”
A-CAES has the potential to lower greenhouse gas emissions by enabling the transition to a cleaner and more flexible electricity grid. Specifically, the low-impact and cost-effective technology will reduce the use of fossil fuels and will provide reliable and bankable energy storage solutions for utilities and regulators, while integrating renewable energy for sustainable growth.
Curtis VanWalleghem, Hydrostor’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are grateful for the federal government’s support of our long duration energy storage solution that is critical to enabling the clean energy transition. This made-in-Canada solution, with the support of NRCan and Sustainable Development Technology Canada, is ready to be widely deployed within Canada and globally to lower electricity rates and decarbonize the electricity sector."
The Rosamond A-CAES 500MW Project is under advanced development and targeting a 2024 launch. It is designed to turn California’s growing solar and wind resources into on-demand peak capacity while allowing for closure of fossil fuel generating stations.
Hydrostor closed US$37 million (C$49 million) in growth financing in September 2019.