More firms have set up liquefied natural gas (LNG) desks in Singapore to capitalise on the growing demand for gas in Asia.
Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing told a virtual Gastech conference on Monday that there are more than 50 companies with an LNG trading or business development presence in Singapore.
This compares with more than 45 firms with dedicated LNG desks as of September 2018.
"This includes key buyers of LNG such as Osaka Gas setting up trading operations in Singapore, complementing the many suppliers and independent trading companies already in the Singapore ecosystem," he said.
Asia's appetite for the fuel, led by China, is expected to grow over the long term, attracting investment and triggering the opening of new LNG trading desks globally.
A push for more transparency in the sector has boosted spot trades of Asian LNG. Singapore, which is the Asian oil trading hub, is seen as a natural hub for LNG trading, especially for companies that already have a presence in the city-state and are looking to expand into LNG.
"The growth of LNG derivatives trading has an important impact on the Asian gas market, as liquidity and price transparency will lead to increased spot trading for the region, leading to a greater price influence out of Asia," Mr Chan said.
He added that the companies have chosen Singapore due to its "rich ecosystem" of companies across the LNG value chain, the Republic's close links to the growing region and the ease of doing business in the country.
Singapore will continue to develop the use of LNG as a marine fuel and has so far developed various standards for bunkering and for storage, land transportation and handling of the super-chilled fuel, he said.
Number of companies with a liquefied natural gas trading or business development presence in Singapore.