Spanish LNG terminal operator, Enagás, said that the national demand for natural gas in 2016 has grown 2 percent compared to 2015, reaching 321 TWh.
This growth was mainly driven by the 3 percent increase in conventional natural gas demand for domestic, commercial, SME and industrial consumption, Enagás said in its statement on Thursday.
Industrial demand for natural gas increased by 3 percent in 2016, compared to 2015, in line with the evolution of the economy. Growth this year, in demand in the construction sector stands at around 11 percent, driven by the boom in gas consumption in the manufacture of ceramic products.
Other sectors that have increased their demand have been the sectors of the electricity (9 percent), services (6 percent) and metallurgy (5 percent).
In addition, consumption of natural gas in households, businesses and SMEs has grown by 2.3 percent over the previous year, mainly resulting from the incorporation of new customers and temperatures slightly lower than those recorded in 2015, Enagás said.
The demand for natural gas for electricity generation, which registered a decrease of around 2 percent in relation to the previous year in 2016, broke monthly records in October and November, which highlights the importance of natural gas as a back up in the power generation mix.
Among the factors that motivated these records are the lower contributions from wind and hydro power to electricity generation and the increase in electricity exports to France, mainly owing to the shutdown of nuclear power plants in this country.
In 2016, the industrial market continued to be the main consumer of gas, with 59 percent of the total, followed by the domestic-commercial sector, with 19 percent, power stations, with another 19 percent, and liquefied natural gas tankers, with 3 percent.