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Small Ships Are Next Big Thing for This $150 Billion Market

  • Trader seeks to expand reach of LNG into more niche markets
  • Efforts to bring LNG to factories, power plants, truck depots
A small-scale LNG vessel design by Wartsila.
A small-scale LNG vessel design by Wartsila.
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Giant ocean-going tankers built the liquefied natural gas industry into a $150-billion-a-year business. The next expansion opportunity may come from ships a seventh of the normal size.

Fifty-five years after the first commercial LNG tanker sailed from Algeria, this segment of the gas industry is pushing into ever more niche markets, upending the economics of energy supply in the process.