By 2040, China’s net imports are projected to total 369 billion cubic metres of gas according to the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2018. This would surpass the volumes seen in all of the European Union, which is today considered the world’s biggest buyer.
China has already overtaken South Korea as second-largest importer of liquefied natural gas (LNG), and is on track to surpass Japan. LNG is the primary way of shipping natural gas overseas by tanker.
The need for imports in China is surging fast, and stems from the country’s continued economic growth, as well as earnest efforts to reduce air pollution. Natural gas is a reliable alternative to high-carbon fuels like coal while producing far less smog and 40 percent fewer greenhouse gases.
The role of cleaner gas in China’s energy demand portfolio is now about 7 per cent of its total supply, versus nearly 30 per cent for the richest economies.
This represents a clear market opportunity for countries like Canada to provide sustainably produced natural gas through increased exports of LNG.
China’s Surging Gas Demand By The Numbers
- 369 billion cubic metres of gas is the projected import totals from China in 2040
- 60% growth is projected for Chinese gas demand between now and 2023
- 37% of the growth in global demand over next five years can be attributed to China