Stabilis increases LNG deliveries to US space industry

Houston-based small-scale LNG firm Stabilis Solutions expects a significant demand rise for LNG fuel from the US commercial space launch market.

The firm said in a business update on Wednesday that demand for next generation connectivity and observational capabilities has contributed to a “historic” increase in US commercial rocket launch activity.

According to Stabilis, over the last 10 years, the number of US launches has increased by more than 400 percent, while accounting for more than 50 percent of total global launches in 2023.

“US led demand for high-purity LNG continues to grow as a preferred fuel for commercial rockets, allowing for quicker turnaround of reusable boosters, improved engine efficiency and thrust, and ease of storage,” it said.

More than 40 percent rise in 2024

Stabilis said it is “positioned to remain the largest supplier of next generation fuel to the domestic space economy.”

Stabilis previously said that its total sales volumes of LNG to aerospace customers amounted to about 3.4 million gallons in 2023, or 6.8 percent of Stabilis’ total sales volumes.

In 2024, the company expects its aerospace market-related volumes will increase by more than 40 percent over the prior year, representing about 10 percent of its full-year sales volumes.

“Over the next five years, domestic demand for high-purity LNG is expected to increase by 65 percent to approximately 25 million gallons annually,” Stabilis said.

Stabilis estimates that it is among the largest suppliers of high-purity LNG to space launch providers in the US, currently supplying about 40 percent of the market, with the potential to significantly increase its market share subject to future investments in liquefaction capacity.

The firm did not provide names of its clients.

According to its previous social media posts, one of the projects is Intuitive Machines’ Nova-C lunar lander, Odysseus.

The firm was also previously said to be supplying LNG to Elon Musk’s SpaceX.

Besides rocket fuel, Stabiilis in October last year secured a contract from cruise operator Carnival to provide LNG fuel for the latter’s vessel Carnival Jubilee.

Under the deal, Stabilis said it will supply firm LNG deliveries on a ratable basis from its small liquefaction facility in Texas over the two-year contract.

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