Minister Joo Hyung-hwan of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) participated in a ceremony to inaugurate the 2021 World Gas Conference (WGC) Organizing Committee at the Four Seasons Hotel in Seoul on Dec. 7.
Minister Joo delivered a speech in which he suggested the direction of Korea’s response to cope with changes of the global gas industry regimes, calling for the organizing committee to make aggressive efforts to succeed in the hosting of the 2021 WGC, which will be a watershed for Korea’s new gas industries, and pledged the government’s support to this end.
The GWC is a triennial event hosted by the International Gas Union (IGU) attended by more than 15,000 people from 90 countries. The IGU, founded in 1931, is a nonprofit organization with 91 member countries accounting for 98 percent of international gas transactions.
The IGU is a worldwide non-profit organization registered in Vevey, Switzerland, with the Secretariat currently located in Oslo, Norway.
The working organization of IGU covers all aspects of the gas supply chain, from exploration and production, to transmission via pipelines and liquefaction into natural gas (LNG). It also covers the distribution and combustion of gas at the point of use. The IGU encourages international trade in gas by supporting non-discriminatory policies and sound contracting principles and practices, promoting development of technologies that add to the environmental benefits of gas, and the further enhancing safe production, transmission, distribution and utilization of gas.
Korea was selected as the host country for the 2021 WGC at the IGU General Assembly held in Germany in October 2014. It was Korea’s third attempt to win the right to host the WGC. Korea will serve as the chair country of the IGU for three years from 2018.
The 2021 WGC Organizing Committee is a body charged with making preparations for the hosting of the 2021 WGC, which comprises of central, local governments, gas industry and other related organizations. Over the next four years, the committee plans to establish the vision and strategies of the global gas industry, prepare programs related to the IGU general assembly, and publicize Korea’s hosting of the 2021 WGC and conduct other activities.
About 150 people from 120 bodies, including gas companies, central and local government, and other organizations, attended the inaugural meeting for the 2021 WGC Organizing Committee.
MOTIE Minister Joo praised the Korean gas industry for its contribution to stabilizing low-income people’s lives and ramping up the nation’s industrial competitiveness for the past three decades. Regarding trends within the global gas industry, Joo cited LNG’s role in helping offset global climate change by reducing coal consumption, and the increase of global gas production caused by full-scale production of shale gas. In this regard, Minister Joo established policy priorities including stabilizing natural gas imports in Korea and flexible and efficient responses.
Joo said he expected the 2021 WGC to serve as an opportunity to help the Korean gas industry set a milestone to find solutions for the new gas industries.