Energy Update March 7- 19, 2013: State Department Announce $6 Billion For Geothermal In Southeast Asia

Top Story: State Department Announce $6 Billion For Geothermal In Southeast Asia

IN THIS UPDATE:
ASEAN
+ State Department Announce $6 Billion For Geothermal In Southeast Asia
+ Energy and Environment Trade Mission to Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines
+ Hugh Stephens: Canada can't afford to ignore ASEAN
+ More fuel to South China Sea disputes 

Brunei Darussalam
+ US-Asia Pacific Comprehensive Energy Partnership
+ U.S., Brunei warm to low-carbon economy
+ US seeks cooperation with Brunei on South China Sea
+ Current oil & gas projects expected to bring in significant economic gains
+ National Human Resource Development Strategy's Importance

Cambodia
+ Cambodia launches National Council on Green Growth
+ Global Movement for Clean Cooking Solutions Comes to Cambodia
+ At Fuel Pumps, Price and Quality Are Anybody's Guess

Laos
+ Xayaburi dam presents no risks to environment, Lao government
+ Passage for Bt7.3-bn power transmission line from Laos

Malaysia
+ SEDA banks on future of renewable energy industry
+ Poll: Energy cost major concern in M'sia
+  A solar 'first' for St Michael
+ Exxon gets gas moving in Malaysia
+ CLIQ Energy aims to list on Bursa Malaysia by April 10

Myanmar
+ Oil, abuse link seen in Myanmar
+ Energy sector to be transparent: Minister says
+ Burma eyes 'symbolic' energy deals with the West

 

Indonesia
+ Pertamina EP allocates $300m for exploration
+ Indonesia keeps politically sensitive fuel subsidies, may limit use
+ SBY Says Indonesia's Fuel Subsidy Policy Not Right
+ Indonesia's Palm Oil Exports Drop in January as China Buys Less
+Feed-in tariff to promote solar power plants

The Philippines
+ Renewable energy to fuel Philippine economic growth amid climate change - V.P. Binay
+ No danger of oil spill, for now: Coast Guard
+ Philippines' First Gen to convert oil pipeline to gas system for $100m
+ Oil firms implement another price rollback

Singapore
+ Pestech eyes power infrastructure job for KL-S'pore rail
+ Halliburton opens new tools manufacturing facility in Singapore
+ Singapore Energy Profile: Strategic Location Between Indian And Pacific Oceans-Analysis
+ Singapore on track to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 7% to 11%

Thailand
+ China's Longyuan, Thailand's Egco Among Australian Wind Farm Bidders
+ Natural gas market opening draws giants
+ Govt to urge citizens to use Thai fabric for everyday wear
+ Thailand: Piyasvasti supports higher renewable energy portion
+ Where is Thailand's green energy plan?
+ Thailand Conserves Energy With Thai Fabric
+ Jebsen & Jessen Communications: New Approach, New Energy for Business in Thailand

Vietnam
+ METI - Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of : The First Vietnam-Japan Coal Policy Dialogue was Held
+ Ministry guides financing policies for first nuclear power plant
+ Pan Pacific Petroleum to drill three wells in Vietnam
+ Alliance between 3 state energy giants raises specter of monopoly
+ Garbage is being wasted in Vietnam

 
ASEAN

State Department Announce $6 Billion For Geothermal In Southeast Asia: Mondaq, March 19
As you may have read in last week's Energy & Environment Newsletter, the State Department has announced a new $6 billion initiative to promote and finance the development of 12 GW of geothermal resources in Indonesia. The following are some initial elements of the effort:
  • The monies will come from leveraging existing financing authorities at Ex-Im, OPIC, USTDA, and State.
  • The goal is to export U.S. goods and services to Jakarta, develop resources in Sumatra, and transmit the renewable power to Singapore. The Singapore government is interested in drastically reducing its coal fleet and to promote itself as a "eco-friendly" city-state.
  • The underlying policy rationale surrounds overcoming the difficult FDI climate in Indonesia, which the U.S. is hoping to overcome through this initiative. This will also align with the Administration's diplomatic Asia "pivot" efforts.
  • Currently, State is looking to garner private sector interest for this initiative, and is seeking companies for a potential Southeast Asia due diligence mission.
  • There will be a major announcement - likely by Secretary Kerry - this September at the ASEAN Summit in Brunei.
Energy and Environment Trade Mission to Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines: MENAFN, March 15
The United States Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service (CS), is organizing an Energy and Environment Trade Mission to Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines. This Mission will directly support the "U.S.-ASEAN Expanded Economic Engagement" or E3 Initiative announced by President Obama at the 2012 U.S.-ASEAN Summit. The "E3" Initiative focuses on enhancing ASEAN members' capacity for advancing issues that will open up trade and opportunities for U.S. companies and among ASEAN member states in the region. The E-3 Initiative is a new framework for economic cooperation designed to expand trade and investment ties between the United States and ASEAN, creating new business opportunities and jobs in all eleven countries.
 
Hugh Stephens: Canada can't afford to ignore ASEAN: National Post, March 13
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will be holding its 22nd Leaders' Summit in Brunei Darussalam between April 24th and 25th. Canada should be paying attention. The outcomes of this meeting, and the directions that it sets for ASEAN's security and economic agenda, can significantly affect our rediscovered interests in the region. Canada has recently focused its efforts at revitalizing links with ASEAN. Although a "Dialogue Partner" since 1977, Canada seemed to lose interest from the 1990s onward. That is changing. We appointed our first ambassador to the ASEAN in 2009, signed the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in 2010 and last year Minister Ed Fast inaugurated a new Canada-ASEAN Business Council, based in Singapore.
 
More fuel to South China Sea disputes: Asia Times, March 12 
Many analysts today have tried to explain Beijing's insistence on its "immutable sovereignty" over the South China Sea in reference to the "vast deposits of oil and gas" under these contested waters. So, are these pools of oil truly vast? If they aren't so vast, does Beijing know? And vast or half-vast, does China have to control the oil of the South China Sea in order to benefit from the potential bounty? 
 
What Fracking Means for Southeast Asia: The Diplomat, March 7
Despite the rhetoric, Southeast Asian governments have been slow to tap their oil reserves. Fracking could make progress even slower. Oil and gas have long held the promise of untold riches for Southeast Asian countries. Yet, success in the region has been mixed: Brunei has flourished and Malaysia has seen steady progress, but Burma, Cambodia, the Philippines, Vietnam and East Timor have struggled to exploit their reserves. Negotiations with oil companies and powerful neighbors are already tough as it is. However, the advent of hydraulic fracturing (a.k.a. fracking) will make this process even more difficult, especially when it comes to developing reserves in the South China Sea, the Gulf of Thailand, the Timor Sea and the Andaman Sea.

Brunei

US-Asia Pacific Comprehensive Energy Partnership: Today's Energy Solutions, March 18
U.S. Department of Energy Deputy Secretary Daniel Poneman and Brunei Darussalam Minister of Energy at the Prime Minister's Office Pehin Dato Mohammad Yasmin Umar met upon the occasion of the visit of His Majesty Hassanal Bolkiah, Sultan of Brunei.  They agreed that the United States and Brunei will create, and jointly chair, a new workstream of activities on renewable energy power generation to promote and accelerate the deployment of renewable energy technologies in the countries of the East Asia Summit (EAS).
 
U.S., Brunei warm to low-carbon economy: UPI, March 15
 The U.S. and Brunei governments will work to promote the development of renewable energy in East Asia, the U.S. Energy Department said. U.S. Energy Department Deputy Secretary Daniel Poneman met in Brunei with Minister of Energy Pehin Dato Mohammad Yasmin Umar.  "They agreed that the United States and Brunei will create, and jointly chair, a new workstream of activities on renewable energy power generation to promote and accelerate the deployment of renewable energy technologies in the countries of the East Asia Summit," the Energy Department said.
 
US seeks cooperation with Brunei on South China Sea: Global Times, March 12
US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday that his country looks forward to working with Brunei on issues like the South China Sea, energy and climate change. "We're very, very much looking forward to working with you on issues with the South China Sea, and issues of energy and climate change," the top American diplomat told visiting Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah in front of reporters before their meeting at the State Department. "He is taking on the important job of being the president of the ASEAN meeting this year," Kerry said of his guest.
 
Current oil & gas projects expected to bring in significant economic gains: Borneo Post, March 12
As the 9th Legislative Council meeting yesterday progressed, the topic of energy was touched upon with a number of members listening to the status of the ongoing progress of several oil and gas related projects that are expected to bring about significant economic gains, Borneo Bulletin reported. The Minister of Finance II at the Prime Minister's Office, Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdul Rahman bin Haji Ibrahim explained that over the next two years, Brunei's main industry is expected to witness milestones in downstream energy.
 
National Human Resource Development Strategy's Importance: Borneo Post, March 12
Yang Berhormat Awg Hj Zulkipli bin Hj Abd Hamid, the first to express his views on the Department of Economic Planning and Development (JPKE) issues yesterday during the 9th Legislative Council session, spoke on unemployment among graduates from both overseas and local higher academic institutions and productivity and growth in Brunei, which have an effect on the Sultanate's economy, Borneo Bulletin reported. The government's effort in developing the oil and gas sector sees a high demand for human resources, which requires an estimate of 5,000 professionals and 30,000 workers in the technical and support division. He asked whether there are any plans in establishing a committee to study human resource development in depth. 'Are there any plans for the government to establish a National Human Resource Development Strategy that focuses on and coordinates the enhancement of human capital?

Cambodia

Cambodia launches National Council on Green Growth: Xinhua, March 19
Cambodia on Tuesday officially inaugurated the National Council on Green Growth, aiming at developing a sustainable economic society with natural resource and environment sustainability. Speaking at the ceremony held at the capital's Peace Palace, Prime Minister Hun Sen said that the inauguration reflected the government's commitment towards a society with green growth. "We know that green growth will lead to sustainable economic development and environmental sustainability through effective use of raw materials and natural resources, energy save, less disposal of wastes, clean development, green care and natural heritage maintenance," he said.
 
Global Movement for Clean Cooking Solutions Comes to Cambodia: The Cambodia Daily, March 19
Cooking shouldn't kill, but 4 million people worldwide die annually from the seemingly simple act of cooking a meal. That's because nearly 3 billion people rely on solid fuels burned in open fires or traditional cookstoves to cook each day. When burned, fuels such as wood, charcoal, coal, and animal dung create a harmful smoke that causes a range of health and environmental impacts for people and the planet. Additionally, as in a country like Cambodia, over-reliance on wood as a fuel source is one of the drivers of deforestation, and cookstove smoke often becomes ambient, releasing climate-changing gases and black carbon into the atmosphere.
 
At Fuel Pumps, Price and Quality Are Anybody's Guess: VOA, March 11
Cambodia imports all of its fuel from abroad, but little regulation in the sector means everyday Cambodians see all kinds of prices at the pumps. Prices are high in Phnom Penh, while sometimes cheaper on the outskirts of the capital and even cheaper in the countryside. And they can be different from station to station, even on the same stretch of road. Drivers say they have to know who is watering down the fuel and who isn't, while they juggle any number of sales incentives and free give-aways from gas stations.
 
Indonesia 
 
Pertamina EP allocates $300m for exploration:The Jakarta Post, March 14
Pertamina EP, the upstream subsidiary of state-run energy firm PT Pertamina, has allocated US$300 million for its exploration activities in 2013 to unearth new oil and gas reserves to boost future production, an official said. Pertamina EP's exploration and development director, Doddy Priambodo, told reporters over the weekend that the company was aiming to drill 28 exploration wells in addition to conducting more seismic surveys in several areas this year.
 
Indonesia keeps politically sensitive fuel subsidies, may limit use: Reuters, March 14
Indonesia may restrict subsidised fuel use by private vehicles in major cities but will only raise fuel prices as a last resort, the government said on Thursday, as Southeast Asia's largest economy struggles to contain ballooning fuel spending.Indonesia has long been under pressure to reduce its fuel subsidies, which cut deeply into public finances. But raising fuel prices is considered politically toxic ahead of elections due next year, especially after price increases in 2005 and 2008 sparked protests.
 
SBY Says Indonesia's Fuel Subsidy Policy Not Right: Jakarta Globe, March 13
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Wednesday admitted that Indonesia's fuel subsidy policy was not correct, confirming that a new policy would be announced in the next few weeks. While the president said that the fuel subsidy must not exceed the appropriate amount due to the fact that it would impact the country's fiscal and economic policy, Yudhoyono said that the subsidy in the state budget was up to Rp 300 trillion ($31 billion) and was mostly for fuel and electricity. 

Indonesia's Palm Oil Exports Drop in January as China Buys Less: Bloomberg, March 11
Palm oil exports from Indonesia, the largest producer, fell for a second straight month in January as sales to China declined, an industry group said. Shipments, which include palm and kernel oils, dropped 1.4 percent to 1.87 million metric tons from 1.896 million tons in December, the Indonesian Palm Oil Association said in an e- mailed statement today. The median estimate for exports was 1.6 million tons in a Bloomberg survey last month, and is 14 percent more than a year earlier.

 Feed-in tariff to promote solar power plants: Business Times, March 11
In an attempt to attract more private investors in the development of solar energy, the government will set a feed-in tariff for electricity produced by solar power plants. "The tariff will be as high as 25 cents per kilowatt hour," Finance Minister Agus Martowardojo said after a meeting with several other ministers last Tuesday. A feed-in tariff is the rate that state utility firm Perusahaan Listrik Negara must pay for electricity generated from privately owned power plants. The development of solar power facilities would still be conducted through a competitive bidding process and the electricity generated will be purchased by PLN, Agus said. "Should the investors decide to use more locally made components, then the price would be higher."

Laos

Xayaburi dam presents no risks to environment, Lao government: Xinhua, March 19
The Lao Ministry of Foreign Affairs invited Xinhua and other foreign media to visit the construction site of the controversial Xayaburi dam being built on the Mekong River, which they claim will be overall positive for the environment and people who share the Mekong. The tour on Friday and Saturday came in conjunction with the release of a report, as well as interviews with senior officials in the department and at the Xayaburi Power Company who are constructing the dam. Construction is being carried out at the site 24 hours a day, and will be able to continue all year long, despite changing river levels.

Passage for Bt7.3-bn power transmission line from Laos: The Nation, March 16
The Office of the National Economics and Social Development Board (NESDB) said that a committee has approved a plan to invest Bt7.3 billion for an electricity transmission line from Xe Pian Xe Namnoy Hydroelectric Power plant to enable the purchase of 390 megawatts of electricity from Laos in 2018. Chanvit Amatamatucharti, deputy secretary-general, said that NESDB would submit the project to the Cabinet for approval. Xe Pian Xe Namnoy is a hydroelectric power plant that would generate 410-megawatts, located in Kwaeng Jampasak and Kwaeng Attapue, in the southern part of Laos. The plant will start commercial operations in 2018. The power plant is a joint venture between Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding (RATCH) with a 25-per-cent stake, SK Engineering & Construction Co (SKEC) with a 26-per-cent stake, Korea Western Power Company Limited with a 25-per-cent stake, and Lao Holding State Enterprise (LHSE) with a 24-per-cent stake.

Malaysia

SEDA banks on future of renewable energy industry: Free Malaysia Today, March 19
Sustainable Energy Development Authority Malaysia (SEDA) remains optimistic about the future of renewable energy industry if it follows the path of right legislation, agency and funding. SEDA chief executive officer Badriyah Abd Malek said the renewable energy industry is currently hampered by the lack of an environment that would allow its growth. She said, however, the enforcement of the Renewable Energy Act 2011 and feed-in tariffs mechanism, have created a good enabler for the industry.
 
Poll: Energy cost major concern in M'sia: The Star, March 19
A survey by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and Institute of Management Accountants shows that respondents across the Asia-Pacific cited the rise in energy and fuel prices as the most pressing issue facing businesses in the immediate future. The survey also shows that 72% of senior executives identifying it as the most important factor for their future plans. The survey, titled Drivers of Change in Asia-Pacific, reveals that Malaysian respondents were more sensitive to rises in fuel and energy costs than other respondents across the region.
 
 A solar 'first' for St Michael: Daily Express, March 19
SM St Michael became the first school in Sabah - and probably in the country - to have the solar photovoltaics (PV) system installed on its roof to reduce the school's electricity consumption. Thanks to a worldwide project named "dena Solar Roofs Programme" that is coordinated by the Deutsche Energie-Agentur GmbH (dena) or German Energy Agency and co-financed by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi), the school became the programme's first recipient in Malaysia.
 
Exxon gets gas moving in Malaysia: UPI, March 12
Development of the offshore Telok natural gas field will help address Malaysia's energy needs, an Exxon Mobil executive said. Exxon announced it started production at the Telok natural gas field in Malaysian waters of the South China Sea. The company said it plans to employ 14 development wells at two natural gas platforms for the field. "The Telok development will help meet increasing demand for natural gas in Peninsular Malaysia," Neil Duffin, president of Exxon Mobil Development Co., said in a statement.
 
CLIQ Energy aims to list on Bursa Malaysia by April 10: The Star, March 7
CLIQ Energy Bhd targets to list on the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia on April 10. The second special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) has already raised more than RM150mil in investments, which is the minimum amount required set out by the Securities Commission. CLIQ, an oil and gas exploration and production company, expects its prospectus to be launched by end-March.

Myanmar

Oil, abuse link seen in Myanmar: UPI, March 19
There may be a link between oil development in Myanmar and human rights abuses against the Rohingya people, a rights campaigner said. Myanmar received recognition from the international community for democratic reforms that began in earnest with general elections in 2010. The country's human rights record, however, remains a top concern for campaigners.Save the Rohingya founder Jamila Hanan told Oil Change International there was a "definite link" between oil development and conflict involving ethnic Rohingyas. She said a pipeline planned to southwest China is part of the problem.
 
Energy sector to be transparent: Minister says: Eleven Myanmar, March 11
The union minister for energy Than Htay said the ministry is going to push for greater transparency energy sector to instill confidence among foreign and local investors. "We welcome investors throughout the world who are interested in investing in Myanmar oil and gas sector. Myanmar is working to become a member of Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI)," the union minister told the Myanmar Upstream Summit 2013 last week.
 
Burma eyes 'symbolic' energy deals with the West: DVB, March 14
A number of lucrative energy contracts are likely to be handed to Western firms in April, when the Burmese government is set to open a long-awaited bidding round for some two dozen off-shore oil and gas tenders, analysts have said. President Thein Sein has spent the past two weeks travelling from Europe to Australasia in a bid to garner Western support for further dropping of sanctions against the former pariah state. It follows a number of high-level business delegations travelling to Rangoon to discuss opportunities in Southeast Asia's newest market, including the extractive industries. Paul Donowitz from EarthRights International told DVB there is likely to be "significant" Western interest in the April bids, including from American companies, which are still subject to a number of government-imposed sanctions.

The Philippines
 
Renewable energy to fuel Philippine economic growth amid climate change - V.P. Binay: Ecoseed, March 15
The Philippines has abundant renewable energy sources and these must be used to fuel sustainable economic development in the midst of climate change, said Vice President Jejomar Binay. "Obviously we cannot remain myopic - we have to look beyond available solutions and develop new ones," the Vice President told small-scale hydro power stakeholders during the Philippine Hydro Summit.
 
No danger of oil spill, for now: Coast Guard: Sun Star, March 14
The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) assured that there is no imminent threat of an oil spill from a barge that capsized off a private wharf in Barangay Looc, Mandaue City last Monday night. PCG Cebu Station Commander Weniel Azcuna said mv Maria Angelica Grace carried 8,000 liters of oil but this is confined in its tank. "There is no immediate threat to the environment right now because the fuel is trapped inside the ship," Azcuna said in a phone interview.
 
Philippines' First Gen to convert oil pipeline to gas system for $100m: EBR, March 13
Philippines-based First Gen, an energy company of Lopez Group, has announced its plans to convert an existing and non-operating oil pipeline into a natural gas supply system at a cost of over $100m. First Gen is planning to undertake the pipeline conversion project in order to provide industries and large power customers in the region with an option for alternative power sources apart from the fuel oil. As a part of the conversion project, the company is planning to transform the 117km long Batangas to Manila white oil pipeline, which is non-operational since an oil leak incident was reported in 2010. 
 
Oil firms implement another price rollback: Phil Star, March 10
For the third consecutive week, oil companies yesterday implemented another round of price reductions in local pump prices, with independent oil player Seaoil Philippines leading the adjustments on Friday. The move reflects the easing of oil prices in the global petroleum market. Seaoil said it cut prices of its premium gasoline and kerosene products by P1 a liter, diesel by 90 centavos a liter, and regular gasoline by 50 centavos a liter. Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. yesterday also implemented similar price adjustments of 90 centavos per liter for unleaded gasoline and diesel, kerosene by P1 per liter but no downward price adjustments for regular gasoline.

Singapore

Pestech eyes power infrastructure job for KL-S'pore rail: FMT News, March 18
Pestech International Bhd, an integrated electric power technology, infrastructure and solutions provider, will submit bidding for power infrastructure contract for the proposed KL-Singapore high-speed rail (HSR). Its executive director and CEO Paul Lim Pay Chuan (picture) said the company's good track record in executing high-level power infrastructure projects in both domestic and international front will put it in a good position to execute HSR power infrastructure project.
 
Halliburton opens new tools manufacturing facility in Singapore: Channel News Asia, March 18
US energy services firm Halliburton has opened a new completion tools manufacturing facility in Singapore. Located in Jurong Industrial Park, the 500,000 square feet centre will house manufacturing, administration and lab facilities for its completion tools business.  This is a product service line that Halliburton describes as "providing the design, selection and provision of equipment and services to optimise well production". The company is also currently building a test laboratory building, which is expected to open in 2014. 
 
Singapore Energy Profile: Strategic Location Between Indian And Pacific Oceans-Analysis: EIA, March 13
Singapore's strategic location between the Indian and Pacific Oceans has allowed it to become one of Asia's major petrochemical and refining hubs. Easy access to the sea and a strategic location near the Strait of Malacca has enabled Singapore to become one of Asia's main energy and petrochemicals hubs and one of the world's top-three oil trading and refining centers. The Port of Singapore is one of the busiest in the world in terms of container throughput and handles around 130,000 vessels a year at its various terminals. Many global energy companies have regional headquarters in Singapore.
 
Singapore on track to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 7% to 11%: Channel News Asia, March 13
Singapore is on track to meeting its unconditional pledge of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 7 to 11 per cent below 2020 levels.Second Minister for Trade and Industry S Iswaran said there are measures in place to reduce the carbon footprint of Singapore's industries. They include tax incentives and third-party financing schemes which encourage private financing of energy-efficient projects. Mr Iswaran was reply to a question by Non-Constituency MP Lina Chiam in Parliament on Wednesday.

Thailand
 
China's Longyuan, Thailand's Egco Among Australian Wind Farm Bidders: WSJ, March 18
China Longyuan Power Group Corp 0916.HK +0.43% and Thailand's Electricity Generating PCL EGCO.TH -1.59% are among shortlisted parties vying to buy a stake in an Australian wind farm, people familiar with the matter said Monday. Interest in the Boco Rock wind farm in New South Wales state planned by Continental Wind Partners and Wind Prospect Group underscores how overseas investors are becoming more confident that they can make a profit from renewable energy projects. Early investments had to compete for customers with generators of electricity produced from burning cheaply available thermal coal, but the government has moved to close the gap, including by introducing measures such as a carbon tax.
 
Natural gas market opening draws giants: The Nation, March 15
Chevron and Royal Dutch Shell have expressed interest in participating in natural-gas distribution in Thailand, following the regulator's plan to open up the industry. Energy Regulatory Commission member Pallapa Ruangrong yesterday said both foreign companies had said they were interested in exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the Kingdom. Speaking at the regulator's "Interconnectivity & Cross-Border Trade" seminar, she said the ERC is drafting the regulations governing competition in the natural gas trade, which are expected to be submitted for the commission's consideration in the middle of the year. The regulations will guarantee fair competition in Thailand, as the industry has been dominated solely by PTT up until now.
 
Govt to urge citizens to use Thai fabric for everyday wear: Fibre to Fashion, March 12
The Government of Thailand will soon launch a campaign to encourage its citizens, especially government officials, to wear clothes made from Thai fabric, as a way of saving energy. The Thai Cabinet has offered several suggestions for modifications of five designs presented to it earlier this month by Culture Minister Sontaya Kunplome. On the recommendation of the Cabinet, the proposed designs would be improved to make them more modern and more suitable for daily use and for various occasions, Minister Sontaya said, according to a statement. The five patterns for both men and women include those designed to wear at work, casual attire, and semi-casual attire.
 
Thailand: Piyasvasti supports higher renewable energy portion: Power Engineering, March 11
Former energy minister Piyasvasti Amranand proposed a higher portion of electricity generated by renewable energy, The Nation reports.At an energy seminar today, he said the higher portion of renewable energy will help reduce Thailand's reliance on natural gas in power generation. He noted that Thailand should not also embrace new technology of which results are not yet conclusive, like the generating of power from Napier grass.He said that thanks to advanced technology, renewable energy offers a lower cost. From Bt16 at the beginning, solar power generating cost is now Bt5-Bt6 per kilowatt hour, close to the natural gas cost.
 
Where is Thailand's green energy plan?: The Nation, March 10
If you fail to plan, then plan to fail. A much-needed global energy plan is a prerequisite to ensure human survival. Water is the key issue. Another is conserving and using our valuable gas, oil and coal resources. Reassessing US energy sector priorities, cheap natural gas is dominating; wind and solar are growing; coal is dwindling and nuclear power is waning. A factor not mentioned in support of nuclear power is its influence on domestic reserves of coal and natural gas. Nuclear power plants extend the life of fossil fuels far into the future and reduce price increases.
 
Thailand Conserves Energy With Thai Fabric: Day News, March 7
The Thai government urges the public to use Thai fabric on everyday clothing as a way to cope up with the country's energy crisis and promote cultural heritage. The Culture Minister Sontaya Kunplome presented to the Cabinet members 5 different designs made from Thai fabric that will suit both men and women. The former has requested the latter to wear the proposed outfits to conserve energy. During the Cabinet meeting on March 5, 2013, the Cabinet members suggested some improvements to be made on the proposed designs to make them look more suitable for everyday wear. The Culture Permanent Secretary Prissana Pongthadsiriful has been assigned to launch a campaign, along with all the ministry offices, to urge the public to wear the proposed clothing. All 5 designs included those that can be worn for casual attire, work attire and semi-formal attire. Modifications will be made and will be presented on the Cabinet's next meeting. It will not be compulsory, but it will be more of a campaign to cut the government's energy consumption.
 
Jebsen & Jessen Communications: New Approach, New Energy for Business in Thailand: Market Wire, March 6
Focusing on Consultancy and Applications That Address Technology and Business Challenges Particular to the Thai Market, Jebsen & Jessen Communications (JJC), a leading business communication specialist focused on the contact centre space, has refreshed its focus on Thailand led by new Country Manager, Mr Jonathan Lee. A customer satisfaction survey has already yielded positive results for JJC Thailand, but Mr Jonathan Lee is focused on doing more in response to the changing market needs. Building on his extensive experience in Thailand and neighbouring countries, he is developing service excellence throughout the engagement process.

Vietnam

METI - Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of : The First Vietnam-Japan Coal Policy Dialogue was Held: 4-Traders.com, March 19
The Agency for Natural Resources and Energy held the First Vietnam-Japan Coal Policy Dialogue on March 12, 2013, in Hanoi, Vietnam, with the General Department of Energy of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Vietnam, in order to promote a wide range of cooperation, from coal exploration and development to the use of coal for power generation. Vietnam is a very important country for Japan as a source of high-quality coal (anthracite coal) used for steel production. On the other hand, Vietnam is showing strong interest in the introduction of Japan's state of the art, high-efficiency coal-fired power generation technologies, and cooperation continues to move forward.
 
Ministry guides financing policies for first nuclear power plant: VietNamNet Bridge, March 19
The Deputy Minister of Finance has just signed a circular on disbursing capital for the Ninh Thuan Nuclear Power Plant, for the 2014 to 2021 period. As a result, the Vietnam Development Bank (VDB) will take over the funding provided by the Russian government and lend it to the state-owned Electricity of Vietnam Group (EVN) for the project's implementation. The Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam (Vietcombank) has been assigned to provide financing for EVN. Capital disbursement will start from 2014 through 2021. The lending and debt payment would be all in USD. If EVN pays in VND, the exchange rate would be compliant with the rate applied by Vietcombank at the moment of the payment.
 
Pan Pacific Petroleum to drill three wells in Vietnam: MENAFN.com, March 19
Pan Pacific Petroleum (ASX:PPP) will drill three wells in Vietnam including in Block 121 production sharing contract, where it recently acquired a 15% interest from Origin Energy. The Block 121 joint venture, operated by Origin, will drill the lage Ca Voi (Whale) prospect and the Ocean General semi-submersible drilling rig has been contracted to drill Ca Voi-1 with a spud date scheduled for May. After drilling the Ca Voi-1X, the Ocean General is scheduled to drill two wells in Block 07/03, operated by Premier Oil.
 
Alliance between 3 state energy giants raises specter of monopoly: Thanhnien News, March 15
Three large state-owned energy companies have entered into a tie-up that could benefit the economy, but it has also raised concern about a monopoly that could harm the energy sector. The National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam), Electricity of Vietnam (EVN), and the Vietnam National Coal and Mineral Industries Group (Vinacomin) signed a strategic cooperation agreement on February 26 aimed at ensuring energy security. They will compare notes, informing each other about their development plans every year, to enable them to avoid duplication of plans. They will jointly build and operate power plants and mine 
 
Garbage is being wasted in Vietnam: VietNamNet Bridge, March 7
Millions of tons of garbage have been thrown away every year. Meanwhile, this could be a potential source of energy.
Garbage supply profuse in Vietnam
A report by the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment (MONRE) showed that Vietnam generates 17 million tons of waste every year, including the 6.5 million tons from urban areas. Hanoi discharges 5,000 tons of solid waste every day, while the figure is believed to increase by 15 percent per annum. HCM City generates 7,500 tons of waste a day, which costs VND235 billion a year to treat the waste. At present, 98 percent of the waste have been dumped, a rudimentary method which causes a big land waste and the pollution to the earth and water. According to Nguyen Thanh Lam from MONRE, only 15 percent of the total 23,000 tons of domestic garbage discharged everyday in Vietnam has been recycled, turned into compost fertilizer.