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Small-scale LNG Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 - 2026)

Small-scale LNG Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 - 2026)

  • July 2021
  • 188 pages
  • ID: 6106026
  • Format: PDF
  • Mordor Intelligence LLP
Up to $750 off Until Sep 20th 2021


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The small-scale LNG market was estimated to be USD 6.85 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 12.63% during the forecast period of 2021-2026. The COVID-19 pandemic has severly impacted the market due to disruption in supply chain, reduction in energy consumption and discouraging investments in newer technologies. However, with increasing pressure on large-scale LNG plants to showcase returns to investors, the operating companies are increasingly backing small-scale LNG initiatives. The small-scale LNG plant with a capacity of less than 1 MTPA can be constructed within three years, compared to large-scale LNG plants, which can take up to 10 years. Moreover, factor, such increasing demand for LNG in bunkering, road transportation, and off-grid power ? are expected to drive the small-scale LNG market in the coming years. However, factors such as high operation cost of small-scale LNG and lack of supporting infrastructure in the regions such as the Middle-East and Africa and high CAPEX requirement, along with a long payback period of more than 12 years, are expected to hinder the growth of the market studied.

- Transportation application is expected to dominate the small-scale LNG market, owing to the increasing demand for LNG as a fuel source for ships and heavy-duty trucks.
- Owing to the high capital expenditure required for a small-scale LNG infrastructure, development of cost-efficient small-scale LNG infrastructure are expected to provide significant opportunities to the small-scale LNG technology providers and transporters in the future.
- Europe dominated the market across the world, with the majority of the demand coming from countries, such as Norway, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

Key Market Trends
Transportation Segment Expected to Dominate the Market

- LNG is primarily used to fuel trucks and ships, mainly due to its economic and environmental benefits, as compared to diesel and fuel oil. Since LNG is non-corrosive and non-toxic in nature, it can extend the life of a vehicle by up to three times. Moreover, since LNG has an extremely low boiling point, very little heat is required to convert it into a gaseous form at high pressure, with negligible mechanical energy. This makes LNG an efficient fuel for transportation. ?
- Handling LNG is an immense task, since even a slight difference in the temperature can lead to the boiling and vaporization of fuel, which, in turn, leads to fuel wastage. Therefore, it makes passenger cars far less viable than heavy vehicles, such as commercial trucks. This has limited the application of LNG in the transportation segment.?
- The use of LNG as transportation fuel is gaining momentum across the world. China, the United States, and Europe have already started deploying LNG-powered trucks, mainly for long-distance freight carriage. This is mainly due to the government policies and regulations on decarbonizing and emission control, such as China VI and European Green Deal. ?
- Formed in 2019 by the European Commission, the European Green Deal is a set of policy initiatives, with an aim to make Europe carbon-neutral by 2050. The policies briefly underline the importance of LNG in reaching the aim, and they emphasize on the usage of LNG as fuel for trucks and marine vessels.?
- According to SEA-LNG, as of 2020, there were 75 LNG-fueled ships in operation, and 155 LNG-fueled ships were on order.?
- In January 2020, the International Maritime Organization began implementing a new regulation by placing a 0.5% global sulfur cap on marine fuels. Thus, LNG has become a more viable option as a marine fuel, since it emits almost 90% lower NOx and virtually no SOx and particulate matter, in comparison to the existing petroleum-based marine fuel oils. Therefore, in this clean air initiative, LNG will play a key role. This will also have a significantly positive impact on the small-scale LNG market. ?
- Hence, owing to the above-mentioned factors, the demand for small-scale LNG infrastructure for transportation segment is likely to grow and significantly dominate the market during the forecast period.?

Asia-Pacific Expected to Dominate the Market

- Asia-Pacific in recent-years has been a pioneer in the implementation of small-scale LNG projects across the globe. Interest in the use of small-scale LNG (SSLNG) has increased in recent years, as the demand for natural gas continues to increase in countries, like China, India, Singapore, Japan, and others.
- As of 2019, China has nearly 200 small-scale liquefaction facilities with around 15 million ton per annum (MTPA) capacity. China’s natural gas market includes domestic production and import via pipelines and LNG terminals. ?In China, the rising demand for small-scale LNG is from industrial, residential, and power generation sectors, with the highest potential in the transportation sector. As of 2020, China has around 113 thousands units of LNG trucks, and with a growing focus on having an alternate low carbon emission fuel for heavy truck transportation, LNG as a fuel would be the best substitute for diesel fueled engines. Growth in the number of LNG trucks, due to higher price of diesel, as compared to natural gas, is expected to be the prime reason for which small LNG facilities are growing in China. ?
- While, in India, small-scale LNG is in its very nascent stage As of 2020, there are no small-scale LNG terminals in the country, however, there are a few LNG stations, for which LNG transportation through LNG trucks is taking place. With the intention of increasing the share of natural gas to 15% in its energy mix by 2030, India is likely to construct small-scale LNG facilities for natural gas supply to remote places, with no pipeline infrastructure.?
- Small-scale LNG business in Singapore is majorly driven by the LNG bunkering facilities in the ports of Singapore. Singapore has one of the leading trade ports and is one of the global leaders in international marine shipping. In May 2021, FueLNG and the Maritime, and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) completed Singapore’s first bunkering of an LNG-fueled oil tanker, Pacific Emerald. Further, FueLNG announced its plans to provide 30 to 50 ship-to-ship LNG bunkering operations in 2021.
- Therefore, owing to the above points, Asia-Pacific is expected to dominate the growth of small-scale market during the forecast period.

Competitive Landscape
The small-scale LNG market is moderately fragmented. Some of the major players include the Linde Group, Wartsila Oyj Abp, Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Engie SA, and PJSC Gazprom.

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