BUSINESS

Korean business delegates uneasy over Australia’s LNG export curb

By Julie Kim Jackson
  • Published : Nov 14, 2017 - 15:13
  • Updated : Nov 14, 2017 - 15:13
Local businesses have voiced concerns that Australia’s liquefied natural gas export restriction may mean tight times for Korean companies in the near future, considering President Moon Jae-in’s new eco-friendly energy policy that likely increase the country’s LNG consumption.

Roughly 200 delegates from Korea and Australia attended the 38th annual Korea Australia Business Council, held in Brisbane from Nov. 12 to 14. Kwon Oh-Joon, the chairman of both Posco and the KABC, and Mark Vaile, chairman of Whitehaven Coal and chairman for Australia delegation of the joint council meeting, were also in attendance. 

(Yonhap)

According to news reports Tuesday, the Korean side of the business council requested a further review of Australia’s LNG export restrictions, saying the restrictions LNG exports could affect domestic LNG prices as well as supply and demand.

“South Korea is highly dependent on Australian LNG,” Kwon was reported as saying in the council meeting. “Just as the two countries confirmed at the G20 Summit in Germany in July, we need to strengthen cooperation so that Korean companies investing in LNG and other resource development fields in Australia will be able to work together smoothly.”

The Australian government announced in July that it would introduce a domestic gas supply stabilization system in order to secure the domestic quantity of gas to suppress the gas charge of the country.

In the global LNG market, Korea was the second-largest importer of LNG last year, while Australia maintains its ranking as the world’s second-largest producer. Korea accounted for roughly 15 percent of Australian LNG exports last year.

According to the Australian government, a shortage of domestic gas supplies has resulted in dramatically higher gas prices in Australia, even higher than prices paid in countries where its gas is being exported. Australia’s Prime Minster Malcolm Turnbull has argued that Australians are entitled to have access to the gas at affordable prices.

However, despite the decision to curb LNG experts, some Australian experts have warned that the export measure risked damaging the country’s standing as a destination for investment, while having a limited impact on local gas supply and prices, according to a report by Fox Business. 

By Julie Jackson (juliejackson@heraldcorp.com)