Infastructure Update: March 22, 2013

LOOKING AHEAD:


IN THIS UPDATE:

BRUNEI-INDONESIA MALAYSIA-PHILIPPINES EAST ASEAN GROWTH AREA (BPMP-EAGA)
The BIMP-EAGA is a cluster of projects growth areas of Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. 

For their 2012-2016 blueprint on a number of economic corridor and 12 priority infrastructure projects in the works to boost trade, investment and tourism in the region, please refer to the following link: 
http://bimp-eaga.org/Documents/ef4b1b8e-7291-40a5-9a0a-2d0250543801.pdf

PRESENTATION ON THE PHILIPPINES
H.E. Jose L. Cuisia, Jr, Philippines Ambassador to the U.S., made a presentation on "Philippines - Opportunities and Challenges in Infrastructure Investment" on March 11, 2013. 

For the presentation slides, please refer to the following link: 
Philippine_Challenges_and_Opportunities_in_Infrastructure_Investment.pdf

SPOTLIGHT ON MALAYSIA'S ECONOMIC TRANSFORMATION PROGRAM (ETP) PROJECTS IN 2012
 
The Economic Transformation Program (ETP) is a comprehensive effort that will transform Malaysia into a high-income nation by 2020. 
 
Several projects are highlighted as part of the ETP projects in 2012 including the following:
 
•        Klang Valley mass rapid transit
•        River of Life
•        KL International Airport
•        Gumusut-Kakap field
•        Malaysia Petroleum Resources Corp
 
For the list of projects and other details, please refer to the following link: http://biz.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2013/3/20/business/12859966&sec=business

SOUTHEAST ASIA

Smart Grid Investments in South East Asia Are Booming, PR Com, March 16
 
Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam upgrading their transmission and distribution systems.
 
With many emerging markets upgrading their transmission and distribution systems, smart grid investments are growing immensely in Asia.  According to recent research from the North east Group LLC, the global opportunities for smart grid investment in emerging markets the coming years are estimated at USD 66 billion with many of these opportunities predicted to be found in Asia.
 
BRUNEI
 
US-Asia Pacific Comprehensive Energy Partnership, Onlinetes, 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). Projects proposed include the following:
 
  • A public-private dialogue on eliminating policy barriers to renewable energy investment that will hold workshops to identify barriers to overcome, and will bring together potential partners and financing to explore projects.
  • Dissemination of information needed to make investment decisions: a) results of solar power technology testing at Brunei's new demonstration facility combined with information from DOE research on performance in different environments, b) mapping for renewable energy resources for areas of ASEAN, and c) making available the resources of the Clean Energy Solutions Center to build capacity and to dissolve barriers to improved access to information.
CAMBODIA
 
Japan to provide Cambodia with nearly 34 mln USD grant aid, Hydroworld, March 19
 
Cambodia will sign to receive 33.9 million U.S. dollars in grant aid from Japan for three projects in small hydropower dams, healthcare and education, according to a news release from Cambodia's foreign ministry on Monday.
 
Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Hor Namhong and Japanese ambassador to Cambodia Yuji Kumamaru will ink the agreements on Wednesday, the press release said.
 
One project costs 13.1 million U.S. dollars for the construction and rehabilitation of small hydropower plants in northeastern Rattanakiri province, another is a 14.33 million U.S. dollar grant aid for improvement of Southwestern Preah Sihanouk Province Referral Hospital.
 
INDONESIA
 
State Department Announce $6 billion for Geothermal in Southeast Asia, Mondaz, March 19
 
The State Department has announced a new $6 billion initiative to promote and finance the development of 12 GW of geothermal resources in Indonesia. 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 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. 
LAOS

Passage for Bt7.3-bn power transmission line from Laos, Nation Multime Media, March 16

The office of the National Economics and Social Development Board (NESDB) said that a committee has approved a plan to invest Bt 7.3 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 Amatamutucharti, DeputySecretary General, said that NESDB would submit the project to the Cabinet for approval.

MYANMAR

Myanmar's gas reserves can be tapped for NE', Economic Times, March 21

India should find ways to utilise Myanmar's enormous gas reserves to feed the power-deficit states in the North East following the path of China's Yunnan province, Meghalaya Governor R S Mooshahary said today.

Stating that Myanmar could be among the ten largest nations having huge gas reserves, Mooshahary said, India and North East in particular could utilise the gas for power generation.
 
PHILIPPINES
 
World Bank extends $300-M loan to Phl, Phil Star, March 20
 
The World Bank is extending a $300-million development policy loan (DPL) to the Philippines to help the country enact its reforms in accelerating inclusive growth and creating more jobs.
 
A DPL provides quick-disbursing assistance to countries undertaking reforms. The loan supports policy and institutional changes needed to create an environment for sustainable and equitable growth, as defined by borrower-countries' own development agenda.
 
World Bank country director Motoo Konishi said the Philippines can now implement a comprehensive reform agenda centered on restoring people's trust in government through improved governance and empowering them to rise above poverty, with the approval and subsequent release of the policy loan.
 
"We are pleased to support the program through the DPL as well as through our broader engagement under the bank's country assistance strategy," Konishi said in a statement.
 
VIETNAM
 
EU-Vietnam weight FTA, A Times, March 20
 
A proposed Free-Trade Agreement (FTA) between the European Union and Vietnam promises to bolster already fast rising bilateral trade.  While both sides agree an FTA would on the whole be mutually beneficial, negotiations will likely be complicated by the potential socio-economic impacts a pact would have on Vietnam's fragile transitional economy.
 
Negotiations, which started last June, are expected to be completed in 2015.