Demand for LNG imports across the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region is expected to continue to rise throughout the remainder of the decade, driven mainly by Brazil, according to Poten & Partners.

LNG imports across the LAC region could reach between 22 million tonnes  per annum (mtpa) and 23 mtpa in 2030, compared to around 13 mtpa currently, Poten senior LNG analyst Sergio Chapa said during a May 24 webinar focused on the region.

Brazil, home to the LAC region’s largest population and stock market, will lead the region in terms of LNG imports, according to Poten’s estimates.

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However, Chapa said Brazil’s demand for LNG imports would remain heavily dependent on weather conditions in and more specifically its hydroelectric reservoir levels.

“This means they will sign few long-term agreements except to power LNG-to-gas projects,” Chapa said, referring to Brazil.

In Argentina, demand for LNG imports is likely to decline as the country continues to boost production from its famed Vaca Muerta shale formation and more importantly as it adds additional infrastructure to transport the gas to large domestic consuming regions.

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However, there is a risk Argentina will change its position and necessitate more LNG imports, Chapa said.

Chilean demand for LNG is expected to fall if Argentina stays the course on developing its shale reserves since Argentine piped-gas imports will be cheaper.

Demand from other LAC region importers is expected to remain steady, Chapa added.

These LNG scenarios come amid plans across the LAC region, specifically in Argentina and Mexico, to add sizable liquefaction capacity come 2030.

Currently, only Trinidad and Tobago (which hosts Atlantic LNG) and Peru (Peru LNG) are home to dedicated liquefaction facilities.

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