The liquefied natural gas (LNG) spot market will get a shot in the arm once the Global LNG Exchange (GLX) launches with the goal of streamlining transactions.

GLX is expected to launch in beta form during late October, according to Roger Martin, GLX head of corporate affairs. The exchange is being developed in Australia and will be staffed by LNG industry professionals, operating an online auction platform in Singapore for the trading of physical cargos.

According to the International Group of Liquefied Natural Gas Importers, last year global LNG trade accounted for 245.2 million tons (mt), a 2.5% increase versus 2014. Thirty-four countries were importing LNG, and 19 countries were LNG exporters, with 68.4 mt (28%) of global LNG volumes being traded on a spot basis.

On the supply side, the Pacific Basin was the largest source of LNG supplies, with 41% of global volumes. On the demand side, Asian countries accounted for 72.2% of global LNG imports, down from 75% in 2014. At the end of last year, total regasification capacity reached 777 million tons per annum (mtpa). The aggregate nominal liquefaction capacity reached 308 mtpa.

“GLX believes the LNG market has now reached a tipping point and requires a 21st Century trading mechanism given its size, diversity and fragmentation,” Martin told NGI in an email. “GLX believes the platform can be the catalyst to transform the LNG market into a truly global, liquid, and transparent market.”

The company, led by CEO Damien Criddle, has spent the past 10 months designing and developing the platform and is engaging with a range of parties including buyers and sellers of LNG, governments and industry groups. “The feedback on the platform has been extremely positive, and the development of the platform is now almost complete,” Martin said.

The GLX platform enables members to buy and sell physical cargos of LNG anywhere and anytime, ensuring that buyers and sellers of LNG have access to the “best price on the day,” GLX said.