DownstreamToday reports that despite a decrease in global investment in large-scale liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects, investment in small- to mid-scale projects is booming. One executive interviewed for the article described these new projects as “right-sized” depending on the function of each project. Another industry expert described the need for small-scale projects to fill the gaps left by larger projects in order to fulfill the vision of the “golden age of gas.”
A graphic describes the differences between small, medium and large-scale projects. Small projects typically employ trains or small tankers to deliver small batches to niche, regional customers. In comparison, large-scale projects use large LNG tankers to serve customers (often major power plants) around the globe under long-term contracts. Mid-scale projects are a hybrid between the two categories.
In January 2014, Andrews Kurth released a report that explained several ways small-scale projects could increase LNG market liquidity and buyers’ flexibility, including:
- Shorter transportation routes
- Smaller import terminals
- Smaller transport ships
- Additional loading and unloading options
- Smaller-scale distribution options