SEOUL, April 27 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s demand for natural gas is expected to rise 15 percent through 2034, data showed Tuesday, on the back of higher demand from hydrogen fuel cell cars and liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering ships.

The country’s annual demand for natural gas is expected to reach 47.9 million tons in 2034, compared with 41.7 million tons estimated for this year, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

Of the volume, the demand from the industrial segment is especially anticipated to grow sharply to 27 million tons in 2034 from this year’s estimate of 21.7 million tons.

The demand from the power companies is also expected to reach 20.8 million tons by 2034, from this year’s 20 million tons.

South Korea plans to expand its storage capacity of natural gas to 18.4 million kiloliters, up from the previous year’s 13.7 kiloliters.

“It is important that we maintain a stable supply of natural gas as the resource serves as the bridge fuel in the era of carbon neutrality,” the ministry said in a statement. South Korea announced last year it will effectively reduce its emissions of carbon to zero by 2050.

South Korea said it will also promote cooperation with China and Japan to exchange related information, and seek a possible swap deal of natural gas.