2023’s New Year celebrations were back in full swing; for the first time fully since the start of the COVID pandemic (2019), the UK celebrated with firework displays and street parties – despite some wet weather, London’s firework display attracted more than 100 000 people along the Thames Embankment.1 You could say 2023 started with a bang.
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There have been some positive signs within the LNG industry at the turn of the year also. Towards the end of 2022, Freeport LNG announced that it was anticipating the initial restart of its liquefaction facility in the second half of January 2023, following an explosion and subsequent fire in June 2022.2 This restart of the second largest liquefaction facility in the US would improve the chances of helping regions (such as Europe) with their increased LNG demand, following Russia’s conflict with Ukraine and the region’s subsequent quest for independence from Russia’s oil and gas pipelines.
Europe is also working hard to meet the demand for LNG by building new facilities. Germany in particular has been working to secure its gas supply in the short term. On 3 January 2023, Uniper brought Germany’s first full cargo of LNG to its new LNG terminal in Wilhelmshaven, with commercial operations expected to start in mid-January 2023.3
Later in the year, Germany could begin operations of three more import terminals, according to Argus Media. The 138 000 m3 Excelsior FSRU is set to be the second unit to operate at Wilhelmshaven as part of a 5.8 million tpy import project, with operations expected to begin in October 2023. This could be followed by another facility in Stade and one in Lubmin, set to come online before the end of the year.4 The 10 LNG import terminals Germany plans to bring online over the next decade is driving most of the increase projected by Argus Media for Europe’s LNG import capacity (it could stand at approximately 250 million tpy by the end of the year).4
January is also a time associated with resolutions, with many hoping to better themselves and/or their lifestyles. Again, the LNG industry is no different. Especially over the past few years, players in the LNG industry have been trying to combat the environmental impacts that are currently associated with the industry, and find a way of producing it more sustainably.
One recent development that is currently being explored as a way to help achieve this is bio-LNG. Kalkine Group’s keynote on emerging trends addresses this; starting on p.10, Kunal Sawhney considers bio-LNG as an alternative to fossil fuels for meeting zero carbon emission targets without hampering energy security. In addition, starting on p.15, Siemens also looks at how digitalisation can develop sustainability further within the process industry.
With Gastech returning in September, and LNG2023 taking place for the first time in four years in July, there is a lot to be excited for in terms of what 2023 will hold. And with multiple LNG projects and terminals set to continue construction, the outlook appears positive.
- ADAMS, C. and GILES, C., ‘New Year: Tributes to late Queen as fireworks welcome in 2023’, BBC, (2023), www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-64137444
- ‘Freeport LNG Provides Update on Restart of its Liquefaction Facility’, Freeport LNG, (2022), http://freeportlng.newsrouter.com/news_release.asp?intRelease_ID=9755&intAcc_ID=77
- ‘First LNG cargo arrives at Germany’s LNG terminal in Wilhelmshaven’, Uniper, (2023), www.uniper.energy/news/first-lng-cargo-arrives-at-germanys-lng-terminal-in-wilhelmshaven
- ‘European LNG import capacity to rise sharply in 2023’, Argus Media, (2022), www.argusmedia.com/en/news/2405122-european-lng-import-capacity-to-rise-sharply-in-2023