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China’s demand for natural gas set to accelerate

China’s domestic natural gas demand is set to grow faster this year, gaining 10 percent, Argus reports, citing state-owned energy majors PetroChina and Sinopec.

A senior PetroChina gas executive said demand for natural gas will be driven by the utility sector as gas-fired power plants ramp up production to back up intermittent solar and wind capacity.

According to the executive, the country’s demand for natural gas will hit 350-356 billion cubic meters this year. Sinopec has almost identical numbers, expecting gas demand at 350-360 billion cubic meters. According to the major, the demand would come from power utilities and the industrial sector.

In 2020, China consumed 326.2 billion cubic meters of natural gas, of which 192.5 billion cubic meters came from domestic production. This was almost 10% higher than the domestic production figure for 2019. Imports also rose in 2020, by 5.3% to 140.3 billion cubic meters.