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Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) - Energy Information Australia

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)

Liquefied natural gas, more commonly referred to as LNG, is natural gas (primarily methane and ethane) which has been chilled to approximately -161°C so that it becomes a liquid. Once the natural gas has been liquefied, it takes up much less space, occupying about 1/600 of the original space.

In its liquefied form, LNG won’t ignite. This makes it easier and safer to transport in cryogenic tanks aboard purpose-built vessels, which is how LNG is exported overseas.

The liquefaction of natural gas starts with the removal of any impurities such as dust, acid and helium. Water is removed to “dehydrate” the gas.

This “dry” natural gas is then condensed into a liquid at close to atmospheric pressure by cooling it to approximately -161°C through a combination of heat exchange and pressure reduction with refrigerants.

Natural gas is generally converted into LNG using a range of coolant in one, two or three-stage processes.

The type of cooling process used depends on the specific needs of LNG plants with varying size, investment, location and output requirements.

When LNG reaches its destination, it is turned back into a gas at regasification plants. It is then piped to homes, businesses and industries where it fuels everything from gas stoves to power plants generating electricity.

Natural gas, and LNG in particular, is expected to play an important role in meeting global demand for cleaner sources of energy. It’s a cost-competitive and cleaner transport fuel, especially for shipping and heavy-duty road transport, and is being used around the world to replace coal-fired power.

Australia is one of the world’s leading suppliers of LNG and has multiple operating LNG projects which are creating local jobs and delivering a range of benefits to regional communities.

Australian LNG Projects