The small-scale LNG market was estimated to be USD 6.85 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 12.63% during the forecast period. The COVID-19 pandemic has severly impacted the market due to disruption in supply chain, reduction in energy consumption and discouraging investments in newer technologies. However, with increasing pressure on large-scale LNG plants to showcase returns to investors, the operating companies are increasingly backing small-scale LNG initiatives. The small-scale LNG plant with a capacity of less than 1 MTPA can be constructed within three years, compared to large-scale LNG plants, which can take up to 10 years. Moreover, factor, such increasing demand for LNG in bunkering, road transportation, and off-grid power are expected to drive the small-scale LNG market in the coming years. However, factors such as high operation cost of small-scale LNG and lack of supporting infrastructure in the regions such as the Middle-East and Africa and high CAPEX requirement, along with a long payback period of more than 12 years, are expected to hinder the growth of the market studied.
Transportation application is expected to dominate the small-scale LNG market, owing to the increasing demand for LNG as a fuel source for ships and heavy-duty trucks.
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Owing to the high capital expenditure required for a small-scale LNG infrastructure, development of cost-efficient small-scale LNG infrastructure are expected to provide significant opportunities to the small-scale LNG technology providers and transporters in the future.
Europe dominated the market across the world, with the majority of the demand coming from countries, such as Norway, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
Key Market Trends
Transportation Segment Expected to Dominate the Market
LNG is primarily used to fuel trucks and ships, mainly due to its economic and environmental benefits, as compared to diesel and fuel oil. Since LNG is non-corrosive and non-toxic in nature, it can extend the life of a vehicle by up to three times. Moreover, since LNG has an extremely low boiling point, very little heat is required to convert it into a gaseous form at high pressure, with negligible mechanical energy. This makes LNG an efficient fuel for transportation.
Handling LNG is an immense task, since even a slight difference in the temperature can lead to the boiling and vaporization of fuel, which, in turn, leads to fuel wastage. Therefore, it makes passenger cars far less viable than heavy vehicles, such as commercial trucks. This has limited the application of LNG in the transportation segment.
The use of LNG as transportation fuel is gaining momentum across the world. China, the United States, and Europe have already started deploying LNG-powered trucks, mainly for long-distance freight carriage. This is mainly due to the government policies and regulations on decarbonizing and emission control, such as China VI and European Green Deal.
Small-scale LNG Market
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