(Yicai Global) May 17 -- China is expected to surpass Japan to become the world's largest liquefied natural gas importer, Fatih Birol, executive director of the Paris-based intergovernmental International Energy Agency, said yesterday.
He predicted this at the 2019 International Forum on Clean Energy Technology and Engineering in Beijing, Xinhua News Agency reported, but he did not specify when this will happen.
Global energy demand grew at its fastest pace last year, and half of the new demand was met by natural gas, followed by renewable energy, oil, coal and nuclear energy. China's all-out campaign to prevent and control air pollution has led to a significant rise in global natural gas demand, Birol said.
LNG has developed rapidly worldwide in recent years, and the number of LNG facilities under construction has exceeded that of pipeline-transported natural gas; and the trade volume has also increased rapidly, especially in Asia. Nearly 50 countries will import LNG in 2025, he noted.
The agency Birol heads was formed under the framework of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development in 1974 following the 1973 oil crisis.
Editor: Ben Armour