LNG to power projects have gained popularity over the last couple of year due to a combination of lower LNG prices relative to oil products, driving fuel switching initiatives, the start-up of LNG production project in the US and Australia and the diminishing attractiveness of coal-fired generation, which is typically a cheaper alternative to gas, due to the global effort to curb greenhouse emissions, following the results of the COP21 in Paris. Furthermore, technological advances and commercial viability of floating storage and regasification units (FSRUs) and floating storage, regasification and power units (FSRPs) has been proven to provide a quicker and potentially more flexible solution to traditional land-based LNG import facilities. Given these factors LNG to power projects will play a crucial role in producing a sustainable low carbon future.
Some of the project in which SPI is directly concerned with involve imported LNG and in other cases the gas/LNG is sourced from new domestic fields and LNG projects in order to bolster power generating capacity and drive growth in the industrial sectors. Please find two examples below:
Brazil a country that is known for abundant renewable sector also imports gas not only for power generation but also for use in the industrial sector. In recent years demand in the southern region has been stymied by stagnant gas supplies. SPI is working with a developer to bolster gas supply to the distribution companies in the southern states and enable further growth in the industrial sector.
In an effort to bolster power generating capacity, diversify away from and facilitate the formation of a gas-based economy, the South African government is considering the development of an LNG-to-Power project. Despite vast amount of shale deposits, the country is caught in an impasse between developing its shale gas resources, which is not without controversy due to the fracking methodology, and developing its distribution network, which is dependent on local demand. The gas to power initiative is seen as a way to break this impasse as the power station will anchor demand while the LNG will provide alternative mid-term gas supply source. SPI is working to develop the import infrastructure and associated distribution not only to underpin a power project but also to supply local demand pockets to organically grow demand and take crucial steps toward building a gas-based economy.