The global floating LNG terminals market is expected to witness significant growth over the forecast period owing to the surging offshore field developments and rising LNG exports. LNG systems’ operations and processes are widely used for the advancement of off-shore based natural gas reserves. These operations and processes are extensively applicable in production, storage, liquefaction, and transferability of liquefied natural gas from offshore gas reserves to onshore ones, which may also spur the market growth over the coming years.
Floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) facility generates liquefied natural gas directly on the off-shore floating system resulting in a considerably shorter value chain as compared to a common on-shore LNG system, and may favorably impact market growth. The market is poised for growth owing to several benefits offered by LNG terminals such as the utilization of less space, incorporation of equipment and facilities in a single enclosed structure, minimization of development cost, eliminating the need for on-shore infrastructure, and reduction of disturbance to the surrounding environment. Stranded gas reserves’ monetization and security of supply are expected to be key forces driving the floating LNG terminal market growth in the near future. Further, decreasing on-shore terminal costs and rising long-term gas demand is apprehended to fuel market demand. The market is anticipated to witness a significant upsurge in the number of new offshore floating LNG projects as compared to other shale gas and allied exploration projects. The necessity for short- to medium-term import solutions is expected to fuel market growth over the coming years.
Additionally, a growing economy resulting in increasing electricity demand is anticipated to favorably impact the floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) terminals market growth. The market is expected to gain traction owing to the environmental solutions it provides. Further, floating LNG terminals provide added advantage by acting as a processing platform along with being a liquefaction facility. It subsequently eliminates the need for costly pipeline and production facilities, which is also expected to drive the floating LNG terminals market growth. Many environmental and economic benefits offered by floating LNG terminals are anticipated to fuel market demand over the forecast period. Environmental turmoil would be diminished during the later decommissioning of the facility, as it would be disengaged effortlessly and detached prior to being refurbished and redeployed somewhere else. Further, floating LNG terminals make development economically viable and open business avenues for countries to build up offshore gas fields that would otherwise remain marooned, such as those off the coast of East Africa.
However, lack of infrastructure in several regions, particularly developing economies may negatively impact the monetization of reserves, ultimately posing a challenge for the market. Further, designing and construction challenges pertaining to the floating LNG terminal facilities may hamper market growth over the forecast period. The complexity of off-shore set up coupled with the disruption of gas supplies may emerge as a key issue over the next few years. Additionally, local opposition for the development of new on-shore facilities paired with tight contractor markets and surging labor & raw materials cost may pose a challenge to the LNG terminals market growth. For example, Seven Australian projects are facing issues due to exceeding forecast expenditure. This also includes the Gorgon project in Barrow Island in Western Australia.
Asia Pacific is expected to account for significant market share over the forecast period owing to a large number of liquefaction projects in the region. Further, Latin America is anticipated to exhibit high growth owing to the upsurge in projects involving off-shore liquefaction. In addition, North America is estimated to emerge as an exporter instead of an importer owing to the unearthing of large supplies of shale gas.
Key vendors in the floating LNG terminals market include Royal Dutch Shell, Excelerate Energy, Samsung Heavy Industries, Golar LNG and Höegh LNG. Other prime vendors include Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering, PETRONAS, and Hyundai Heavy Industries.