Kuwait liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports are on track to rise around 17 per cent to 3 million tonnes in 2015, boosted by the fuel's increased competitiveness with gas oil, an executive from Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) said on Friday.
The Gulf Arab state imported around 2.5 million tonnes in 2014 via its floating import terminal, which it leases for the peak energy demand months from March to November, with an option to extend over additional months.
Speaking on the sidelines of the CWC World LNG Summit, Khaled Al-Sabah, manager for naphtha, mogas and LPG sales, said the option to extend the lease on the floating import terminal, due to expire in 2019, was being "explored".
This would be on top of the land-based LNG-terminal due to start in 2020. "The option to have both is still being studied," Al-Sabah said. "There is an ambitious plan to expand the power (capacity) in Kuwait."
Kuwait is a seasonal LNG importer, leasing a floating storage and re-gasification unit (FSRU) from Norwegian shipping company Golar LNG over the warmer months.
Al-Sabah said that the lease had been extended to the end of December this year and there was potential that it could be a full-year lease in future due to growing demand.
"There is a plan under study that we might run all year long with one to two months annual maintenance."
The Mena region has been one of the biggest growth markets for LNG demand in 2015, led by recent entrants Egypt and Jordan, with lower LNG prices helping stimulate offtake from new importers.