China's LNG imports increased by more than 300 percent since 2010, according to the latest report of the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies on Monday.
The report entitled The Outlook for Natural Gas and LNG in China in the war Against Air Pollution showed that China imported 9.46 billion cubic meters (bcm) of LNG in 2010.
This LNG trend increased in China year by year and reached 39.59 bcm in 2017, 318.5 percent more than the import levels of 2010, the report showed.
According to the report, the country, which is actively trying to replace coal with cleaner natural gas, will consume more natural gas in the coming years.
"If coal-to-gas switching projects and other measures against air pollution are implemented to the maximum practical extent, the maximum physically receivable volume of LNG will need to be imported to meet demand for LNG," the report underlined
The report showed that the first half of 2018 saw growth in excess of 50 percent from a year earlier, and if existing terminals in the north and east continue to operate at near full capacity as in the second half of 2017, total imports in 2018 would come to around 50 million tons per year, an increase of 26.3 percent from the previous year.
"Even assuming that approximately the same volume is received in the second half of 2018 as in the first half, imports for the whole of 2018 will come to around 50 million tons," it explained.
The institute noted that China had 19 LNG receiving terminals in operation as of August 2018, with an annual receiving capacity of approximately 59.6 million tons.
"Looking ahead to 2020, capacity generated by the new terminals entering service, combined with the construction of tanks at currently operational terminals, will raise receiving capacity to around 69-70 million tons per year," it added.
"As noted, the additional natural gas demand generated by coal-to-gas switching projects implemented to tackle air pollution is an extremely important factor to take into consideration when estimating future consumption," the report said.
By Murat Temizer