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India plans massive LNG expansion

LNG imports are set to soar for India, which is an opportunity for Canadian natural gas exports.

India has set a goal of more than doubling the share of natural gas in the country’s energy mix: from 6.5 per cent today to 15 per cent in just five years. This will require a huge increase in imports and the construction of more LNG terminals.

According to a Reuters report, India’s government plans to build another 11 LNG receiving terminals over the next seven years. Currently, India has four terminals and imports about 20 million tonnes of LNG a year. The expansion would raise India’s import capacity to more than 70 million tonners per year.

Natural gas is being used to meet demand for electricity generation, cooking gas, fertilizer plants and city gas distributers. In many cases, natural gas is replacing fuel sources like coal that generate more GHG emissions and smog-producing pollutants. Natural gas is also needed to power a growing supply of electric vehicles, as well as scooters and motorcycles that run on compressed natural gas.

India is importing most of its LNG from the United States, Qatar and Australia. In an effort to diversity import sources and meet growing demand, India received its first LNG cargo from Russia’s Gazprom this June.

Currently, Canada doesn’t have capacity for high volumes of LNG exports, however there are a number of proposals for LNG facilities to be built on Canada’s West Coast. Canada has an opportunity to meet growing global demand for LNG from places like India provided these projects move forward.