Drewry Forecasts Strong LNG Growth

Drewry Shipping Consultants' latest report, "LNG Shipping Market Review 2003/04" provides insights and detailed assessment of the LNG shipping market's discrete, yet substantial, growth since the turn of the century.

The report identifies which market trends have been contributing towards this growth and what will enable the market to sustain it. Various factors apply but, since the turn of the century, there has been a massive surge in interest in the previously conservative LNG business with unprecedented levels of ordering activity for new vessels and much increased interest in new supply projects and new/expanded projects.

Drewry has highlighted the following current market characteristics as key to the LNG shipping industry's growth: • LNG trade set to grow at 7-8% per annum for the next decade • Costs are declining due to new technologies • South Korea and China emerging as major players • U.S. Federal Reserve calling for more LNG receiving terminals to be built • Industry opening up to new players Drewry's report highlights new technologies as a key element in the rise of the LNG shipping market by helping to bring costs down and make previously uneconomical projects viable. In ship design, new propulsion systems aim to replace the traditional steam turbine engines with smaller more efficient units that will not only reduce fuel costs but will also increase cargo carrying capacity.

Ships could also be about to become bigger with the new Qatar projects to supply the U.S. and UK with gas widely tipped to produce the first order for a 200,000 cu. m. ship.

Several new ships have been ordered with on board regasification facilities that will open up many new areas to the possibility of LNG imports and help overcome environmental objections to new LNG receiving terminals.

"The remarkable growth currently being experienced within the LNG shipping market is not just a flash in the pan - market conditions indicate that it is likely to continue for at least another ten years due to, amongst other factors, reducing costs, increasing trade opportunities and a host of new entrants coming into the market," said Susan Oatway, Director of Bulk Shipping at Drewry.

For information on ordering the report Circle 51 on Reader Service Card

Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 42,  Apr 2004

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