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    Indonesia's LNG Imports in H2 to Rise 63%: WoodMac


Imports expected to remain resilient despite the coronavirus-led global economic downturn.

by: Shardul Sharma

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Indonesia's LNG Imports in H2 to Rise 63%: WoodMac

Indonesia's LNG imports are expected to be resilient against the coronavirus-led global economic downturn, Wood Mackenzie said on June 30. The country's H2 2020 LNG imports could hit 3.1mn metric tons, up 63% yr/yr.

Despite a slow first quarter due to post-holiday season, Indonesia's LNG consumption has continued to rise from Q2 2020 at 1.1mn mt and appears to be well-cushioned against the impact of Covid-19, it said. Reduced pipeline gas and low spot prices were likely to have supported Indonesia's LNG demand. 

The government has also recently introduced a set of regulations aimed at lowering the domestic gas price to $6/mn Btu for seven key industries and the electricity sector. It is hoped that the measures would improve industrial competitiveness, especially for exports, and create multiplier effects.

Speaking at WoodMac's Indonesia Virtual Energy Forum on June 30, principal analyst Lucy Cullen said: "The story of Indonesia is consistent with Asia's outlook at large. The region's LNG imports will reach 250mn mt this year, a 2.5% increase compared to last year, and could hit 315mn mt in 2025. By 2040, Asia will account for 40% of global LNG consumption with Indonesia and its Southeast Asian neighbours being key engines of this growth.”

Cullen expects LNG to make up a growing a share of Indonesia's gas supply mix in the years ahead, offering opportunities for LNG procurement and regasification infrastructure development. “But to balance rising consumption, Indonesia also needs to look inwards to address declining production,” Cullen added.

While Tangguh LNG Phase 1 showed strong performance with 117 cargoes delivered last year, the second phase expansion is expected to face delays, WoodMac said. In 2019, BP announced a first delay by a year after the LNG EPC lead-contractor Chiyoda signalled difficulties completing the project on schedule. The project also faced challenges moving labour and materials to the remote location of the plant, while tsunami activity in Eastern Indonesia added to the amount of site preparation work required.

WoodMac expects coronavirus pandemic to trigger additional delays with the contractor declaring force majeure in March 2020. Wood Mackenzie expects plant start-up to be delayed to Q2 2022.

According to Wood Mackenzie's Energy Markets Tool gas' share of total primary energy demand in Indonesia has been about 12-13% over the past few years.

"Cost of generation and meeting growing electricity demand is key in Indonesia. While coal will always be cheaper, it would be interesting to see in the longer term whether lower gas prices could encourage greater role of gas in the energy mix, and eventually accelerate the country's energy transition,” Cullen said.