Kuwait is expected to restart imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from mid-March to meet domestic demand for power generation, according to Abdullatif Al-Houti, managing director of international marketing at state-run Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC).

The emirate’s gas import season for the Electricity and Water Ministry will be slightly longer than in previous years, running from mid-March to mid-November, rather than the usual April to October period, state-run Kuwait News Agency reports.

In 2010, Kuwait imported 33 cargoes, but will require an additional 10 to 14 LNG cargoes for power generation during summer. The company is reviewing whether to buy the additional LNG from its present contracts or the international spot market, depending on the price.

While Kuwait itself holds 63 trillion cubic feet in gas reserves, it has struggled to meet peak demand for power during the summer months when the temperature in the emirate can reach more than 55 degrees celcius.

Kuwait began importing LNG in September 2009 with tankers docking at a floating LNG regasification terminal at Al-Ahmadi. KPC signed a four-year LNG supply contract in 2010 with Shell International Trading, a subsidiary of UK-Dutch oil major Shell and energy trader Vitol from April through to October until 2013 (MEED 29:6:10).