World Environment Day: The role of LNG for decarbonisation


This article is part of a five-part series to be delivered by gasworld this week in the lead-up to World Environment Day 2021, taking place on Saturday 5th June.

In 1974 Finland gained access to a new source of energy – natural gas. Originally an industrial fuel, today natural gas is also used in energy production, industry and as a land and marine transport fuel. In its liquefied form (LNG), it can also be delivered outside the gas pipeline network because when natural gas is cooled to -162°C, it shrinks by 600 times in volume, meaning it can be transported by sea, road or rail.

LNG use has increased in recent years, particularly in maritime and heavy-duty road transport. It offers huge advantages, especially for ships in the light of ever-tightening emission regulations. In addition, LNG is also suitable for industrial use. When compared with oil, LNG provides industrial operators with the opportunity to achieve considerable reductions in emissions generated by their activities.

In an article for gasworld published in October last year, McKinsey company said that even before the Covid-19 pandemic, the liquefied natural gas (LNG) market was set for oversupply in 2020 and 2021 as new projects continued to grow capacity well beyond steady demand growth. The long-term outlook for LNG, however, is brighter than that of other fossil fuels because of its comparatively low cost and lower emissions from production and combustion.

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