Range of LNG applications widened rapidly with technology advances and constantly growing market demand for substitute fuels.
From the beginning and presently the key large-scale LNG application is to secure major pipeline supply with natural gas after being converted from liquid to gaseous vapour in LNG import terminals or regasification units. Such inherited situation will gradually change toward new applications, but main share of LNG functionality will likely stay, as is presently.
LNG opens up immense possibilities to use this economically and environment-friendly fuel both for industrial and traction purposes. In several years, we expect to see an expansion of LNG powered locomotives and technology develops fast toward adopting LNG as alternative aviation fuel.
New horizons opened for other non large-scale applications, which emerged from existing for years regional, but not very widely implemented, small-scale applications of LNG in short range local fuels supply and distribution services or fuel replacements for fleet vehicles and vessels, liquefaction of methane from various sources like associated petroleum gases, landfill and biomass gases.
Accrued experience showed practical advantages of LNG in specific niche markets and industry followed with developing equipment and machinery that fits well into non large-scale LNG value chain.
Currently LNG is also a fuel for vessels, trucks, buses and ports machinery, natural gas source for consumers not connected to pipeline grids, supply backup for renewable gases users, security supply reserve for peak shaving and as supply for conversion to CNG, as fuel for vehicles.
Wider implementation of LNG is not limited by lack of proven and reliable technologies and further development of critical infrastructure will furnish development of LNG applications on smaller scale.