We caught up with Justin Bird, CEO at Semra LNG ahead of his participation at the World LNG Virtual Summit & Awards. Justin gave an insight into what Sempra are doing when it comes to LNG demand recovery, and told us what he is looking forward to about the Virtual Summit. Read on for the full interview.
Will COVID-19 be a bump in the road or a structural change to the LNG business in the 2020s?
Let me first acknowledge the significant impact COVID-19 has had on people and communities around the world. Our sympathies go out to those who have suffered or are still suffering as a result of the pandemic.
At Sempra, we are proud of the critical role that our employees have played in safely and reliably providing critical energy infrastructure to the communities we serve.
Regarding the LNG business, we expect that COVID-19 will be just a bump in the road. We continue to expect LNG will play a more significant role in fueling economic growth and the energy transition. The industry is already seeing demand increase as countries’ economies recover from the global pandemic (e.g., China and India).
We still believe our fundamental long-term thesis that LNG will be a critical component of meeting the world’s energy demand for decades, displacing higher greenhouse gas emitting fuels and complementing, and in fact empowering, the growth and penetration of renewable generation resources.
We are confident that LNG has a bright future and that Sempra LNG, with our privileged franchise, will be one of the key players in that future.
How can we keep LNG relevant and investible in the global energy mix and energy transition?
I think as an industry we must focus on two things:
We need to build on our industry’s history of innovation and continue to embrace technology and innovation to make our industry more sustainable and to reduce our emissions.
Secondly, we need to recognize the evolving role LNG and natural gas will play in the energy transition and continue to educate others on the critical role LNG and natural gas will continue to play in powering the world’s economy.
At Sempra LNG, our employees are embracing both of these things. Not only do we see the benefits of displacing carbon emissions in the end markets we serve, we also recognize the importance of reducing carbon emissions across the value chain.
It is also important that we continue educating policymakers, communities and other stakeholders on how LNG and natural gas can support and foster the energy transition.
What can the industry do to unlock the potential for demand recovery?
I believe the industry needs to continue to support downstream gas infrastructure investments (e.g., gas-to-power) and support our markets and communities as they recover from the global pandemic and power their future economic growth. At the same time, we need to continue to educate others of the important role LNG and natural gas will play in the energy transition and efforts to reduce global emissions.
You are speaking at the World LNG Virtual Summit this year. What are you most looking forward to at the event?
We are excited to meet with others in the LNG industry and share our vision of how LNG will continue to power the world’s economies. The world seeks bold solutions and we are excited to provide them. At Sempra LNG we are privileged to be part of a family of companies that has a long history of spearheading innovation by building and operating the infrastructure to enable the next generation of energy technologies. We look forward to sharing our story.