London - Asian countries such as Indonesia, Philippines and China, along with some European countries will see growth in the number of small-scale LNG imports terminals and in turn this will create demand for small LNG vessels, writes market research Drewry in its new report.
On the export side, the list of LNG exporters will continue to diversify in the future as countries with moderate gas reserves develop opportunities to export LNG. In the near term, we expect countries in Africa to follow the lead set by the US by investing in small-scale LNG export projects. In turn, this will generate demand for appropriate shipping capacity.
The existing fleet of small LNG (less than 50,000 cbm) vessels consists of 27 LNG carriers and 17 LNG/LPG carriers, plus some LNG bunkering units. But most of the LNG and LNG/LPG ships are engaged in petchem gas trades and they are not expected to service new small scale LNG export projects. LNG bunkering vessels are a potential source of competition, but the existing fleet is dedicated to LNG bunkering operations, while all of the vessels on order are also earmarked for LNG bunkering.