SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China’s imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) could reach 110 billion cubic meters, or about 80 million tonnes a year, by 2025, a senior executive from China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) said on Wednesday.
The growth will be driven by a stringent environmental policy and an accelerated restructuring of the country’s energy mix, among other factors, Ling Xiao told the LNG2019 conference in Shanghai.
China’s LNG imports last year were about 54 million tonnes. CNPC accounts for about 60 percent of China’s overall gas imports and 70 percent of domestic production, Ling said.
“LNG price will become one of the decisive factors for the amount of LNG imports,” he also said in his presentation.
And that will become even more important with the startup of a gas pipeline between China and Russia - expected later this year - that could threaten LNG imports, he said.
“LNG import prices are not competitive with pipeline gas now, and the opening of the Russia pipeline will pose further threat to LNG imports,” he said.
“We are hoping for cheaper and shorter term LNG contracts and only in that way can LNG be truly competitive.”
Deliveries of gas to China via the Power of Siberia pipeline were due to begin at the end of December 2019, but the project is only expected to reach full capacity in 2025.
Reporting by Meng Meng and David Stanway in SHANGHAI; Writing by Jessica Jaganathan; Editing by Tom Hogue