Demand for natural gas in China is rising due to changes in its energy structure and environmental protection policy, a senior executive of a leading Chinese energy company has said.
Hou Qijun, vice president of China National Petroleum Corp, made the remarks during the Special Dialogue on China at IHS Markit's CERAWeek that started on March 11 in Houston, Texas.
According to Hou, the Chinese government is determined to adjust the energy structure, especially in terms of implementing the Paris Agreement. The current share of natural gas in China's energy mix is relatively low, estimated at 7-8%, with a target of 15%.
"During the stage of adjustment, China is expected to have rising demand for natural gas, which is expected to reach an 8% annual growth rate by 2030," he noted.
Hou said that in the past few years, the Chinese government has combined its energy structure adjustment with air pollution control, by intensifying coal-to-gas projects and promoting heating that uses clean energy.
"Next, China will further expand the use of clean energy and raise the proportion of natural gas heating. As a result, the natural gas market has great potential in the future," he said.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), China's imports of natural gas jumped in 2018. Natural gas imports came in at 90.39 million tonnes, rising 31.9% year-on-year.
The NBS figures also showed that China's energy consumption structure continued to improve in 2018, with the use of clean energy including natural gas and hydropower accounting for 1.3 percentage points more of the total, compared with the previous year.
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