China’s natural gas demand is set to grow by 14% in 2019 amid a huge government push to spur consumption of the fuel, a senior industry executive said, requiring the nation to import huge amounts of liquefied natural gas.
Yet even China’s booming consumption may not soak up a large glut of LNG that has emerged across Asia and dragged spot prices for the fuel down by 60% over the past half-year, Reuters reported.
China’s gas demand will expand by 30 billion to 40 billion cubic meters this year, said Li Yalan, chairwoman of Beijing Gas Group, main supplier to the Chinese capital, in an interview on Monday.
That would be an increase of as much as 14% from the 280 bcm of gas China consumed in 2018, according to data from the state economic planner, the National Development and Reform Commission. It would also be slower than China’s 2018 demand surge of 18%.
The rising gas demand is a result of China’s ongoing policy to move households and industry from coal to gas, as well as economic stimulus that includes a value-added tax cut from April 1, which is aimed at supporting industry growth.
Li said Beijing, one of the world’s biggest gas-burning cities, consumed a record 18.5 bcm of gas last year, up 14% from 2017.
“The broad direction is not going to change, which is to restructure the energy mix by increasing the share of natural gas,” Li told Reuters.