Editorial Comment

Adrienne Blume, Managing Editor

Between mid-2019 and mid-2020, the amount of LNG terminal capacity in construction around the world more than doubled. Combined, the CAPEX for LNG export and import projects in construction has increased from $82.8 B to $196.1 B. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has jeopardized the fate of LNG and FLNG export projects in the pre-construction stages.

Due in part to this cost inflation amid the current economic volatility, final investment decisions (FIDs) or construction for at least two dozen LNG export projects have been canceled or postponed by 1 yr–2 yr. Some of these projects will be reexamined for FID in 2021, while investment will continue for the record number of LNG projects that took FID in 2019. Most analysts expect that the only export project with a chance of taking FID this year is the Costa Azul LNG terminal in Mexico.

Future FLNG investments also look increasingly difficult due to low LNG spot prices amid an ongoing LNG supply glut. As of mid-2020, five operating FLNG vessels represent 16.6 MMtpy of LNG import capacity, or 3.8% of global LNG export capacity in operation. Eleven projects in development make up 88.2 MMtpy, or 13.1% of total LNG export capacity in development. Orders for one to four FLNG vessels are possible over the next 5 yr, with projects ranging from small liquefaction barges to turret-moored processing and liquefaction units.

For more in-depth information and forecasts for spending, construction projects and market trends in the LNG and gas processing sectors, please see the “HPI Market Data 2021” report published by Hydrocarbon Processing in early October. GP


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