LIQUEFIED Natural Gas industry professionals from over 70 countries will descend on Perth in April for what organisers say will be the largest event on the global LNG calendar in 2016.

Up to 5,000 people are expected to attend the 18th International Conference and Exhibition on Liquefied Natural Gas, or LNG 18, event, held at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre from 11 to 15 April.

The triennial conference is owned and presented by the International Gas Union (IGU), the Gas Technology Institute (GTI) and the International Institute of Refrigeration (IIR).

The host IGU member for LNG 18 is the Australian Gas Industry Trust (AGIT) in conjunction with the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) which is the event’s supporting association.

LNG 18 is the second occasion Perth has been chosen to host the event, with the city having previously played host to LNG 12, held 18 years ago in 1998.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will be among the speakers at the event, joining Western Australian premier Colin Barnett and Federal Minister for Resources Josh Frydenberg as plenary and concurrent speakers at the event.

Origin Energy managing director and the chairman of the LNG 18 National Organising Committee Grant King said the Prime Minister’s decision to speak at the conference attested to the importance of the LNG industry to Australia’s economy.

“The domestic and international backing for these new Australian LNG projects represents the largest concentration yet, in Australia’s history, of private capital investment,” he said.

“The Prime Minister’s participation in LNG 18 sends a strong message therefore to the global investment market about the status of this sector and its emerging importance to the overall Australian economy,” he said.

Mr Barnett said LNG 18 was the biggest international event to be held in the city since the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth in 2011 and the largest industry conference ever to be hosted in WA.

“The event comes at a challenging time for the LNG industry, but also an ideal time for industry leaders to meet and discuss innovation, competitiveness and technology,” he said.

“The conference also comes at the perfect time for WA, as our LNG industry reaches a new phase of maturity following the start-up of the Gorgon project this month.”

“With the Wheatstone project also set to start production within the year, the State is soon to become one of the world’s leading jurisdictions for LNG production,” he said.

Mr King said the conference program, with its opening plenary topic: “The Transformation of Gas”, will address critical topics for the LNG industry.

“LNG 18’s objective is to harness the knowledge, lessons and experience of the past to ensure that LNG plays an appropriate role in supplying a reliable, competitively-priced and sustainable source of energy to support growing economies, a better environment and rising living standards for the communities it services,” he said.

“Participating in LNG 18 will provide attendees with the opportunity to strengthen ongoing partnerships and form new relationships with their industry colleagues as well as hear from leaders about the future direction of LNG,” he said.

More than 250 key companies and organisations will take part in the exhibition component of the event, organisers said.