Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is natural gas in a liquid form. The gas is liquefied by compression and cooling to around -160C. The volume of natural gas in its liquid state is about 600 times smaller than its volume in its gaseous state.
LNG is a way to move natural gas at low cost over long distances when pipeline transport is not feasible. Principally this is inter-continental by ships. Gas is usually piped to ports where compression plants liquefy it. At the receiving terminal the gas is unloaded into large storage tanks.
In the UK, the three main LNG terminals are at Milford Haven, Isle of Grain and Teesside. At these terminals, the LNG is returned to its gaseous state and transported by the national grid pipeline to distribution companies, industrial consumers, and power plants.
For consumers in the UK, where gas pipeline is not available, can access natural gas because of LNG.
The LNG can be shipped in special tankers from one of the ports to the point of use. Although it will be more expensive than pipeline gas, it can be competitive against diesel and Liquefied Petroleum Gas as a source of fuel for boilers, Combined Heat and Power application or Demand Side Generation as a way of reducing energy costs.