Energy Update: Malaysia, Thailand, Laos Sign ASEAN’s First Multi-lateral Electricity Trading Agreement

Energy Update | November 2, 2017
Authors: Riley Smith
 
LOOKING AHEAD
 
 

November 3: YSEALI Breakfast Networking Event

November 17: ASEAN Presidents' Luncheon Series - 2017 Q4

November 28-December 1: 34th International Conference on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

December 6-8: Myanmar Business Mission

THE COUNCIL'S TAKE
 
 

Malaysia, Thailand, and Laos Sign ASEAN’s First Multi-lateral Electricity Trading Agreement
On September 27 during the 35th ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM) and Associated Meetings, utility companies from Laos (Électricité du Laos), Malaysia (Tenaga Nasional Berhad), and Thailand (Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand) signed Southeast Asia’s first multilateral cross-border electricity trading agreement, an important first step towards eventually realizing the ASEAN Power Grid.  According to the Energy Purchase and Wheeling Agreement (EPWA), Malaysia has the option to purchase up to 100 MW of hydropower-generated electricity from Laos.  The electricity will be transferred from Laos to Malaysia through Thailand’s national grid.  The two-year agreement will come into effect on January 1, 2018, as part of the first phase of the Laos-Thailand-Malaysia-Singapore Power Integration Project (LTMS-PIP), which is considered a pathfinder for the ASEAN Power Grid (APG), an integrated regional grid system for Southeast Asia.  The agreement will be reviewed in 2020, though Malaysia’s Minister for Energy, Green Technology and Water Datuk Seri Dr. Maximus Johnity Ongkili has already expressed interest in expanding the project beyond the expiration date.  He also said that a working group would be established to see how to best implement phase two of the LTMS-PIP.  While Singapore is part of the LTMIS-PIP, it requested to be temporarily excluded from the EPWA.  Singapore’s absence is a consequence of how electricity is sold in the city-state.  Malaysia subsidizes its electricity tariffs, but in Singapore electricity is sold through a market pricing mechanism.  The official announcement about the agreement from Malaysia's Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water (KeTTHA) can be found here.  A forthcoming Analytical Brief will look at how the three signatories are likely to benefit from the agreement, as well as how the EPWA fits within the broader ASEAN Power Grid initiative.

IEA Predicts Growing Fossil Fuel Deficit in ASEAN Will Lead to Increasing Energy Imports
The International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Southeast Asia Energy Outlook 2017 forecasts that the region will experience a growing deficit of fossil fuels by 2040, resulting in an increase in energy imports in order to meet rising demand.   According to the report, released last month, the supply shortages of oil, natural gas, and coal are likely to result from three intersecting trends:

  • Declines in the production and reserves of primary energy sources in the region; 
  • Rising demand for energy from a growing population;
  • The implementation of regulations intended to inhibit fossil fuel production.

Since 2000, Southeast Asia’s energy demand has increased 60%, even though per capita primary energy demand still lags the global average.  Currently, per capita primary energy demand in ASEAN is only around 50% of the global average.  Nevertheless, ASEAN country governments will have to rely increasingly on imports in order to meet projected global demand, a reliance that will result in higher import bills.  By 2040, the energy deficit could cost the region upwards of US$300 billion, an import bill that is roughly equal to 4% of ASEAN’s GDP.  This would be a significant increase from the cost of energy imports for 2016, which stood at around US$20 billion.  A copy of the IEA’s Southeast Asia Energy Outlook 2017 can be found here.

Declining production of oil and rising demand for the fuel source have left Southeast Asia already dependent on oil imports.  Currently, roughly 60% of demand for oil is met by imports, a percentage that is certain to increase over roughly the next 25 years.  By 2040, the IEA projects that total oil production in the region will have decreased by 30% from today’s levels (to 1.7 million b/d), while oil demand, driven in large part by the transport sector, is expected to increase by over 40% (from 4.7 million b/d in 2016 to 6.6 million b/d in 2040).  Therefore, the difference will have to be covered by imports.  Even though the IEA projects that Southeast Asia’s refining capacity will expand from 4.8 million b/d to 7.7 million b/d, it anticipates that this expansion will not be sufficient to make up for growing demand, and that the region will have to import at least 1.3 million b/d by 2040.

The IEA’s report includes similar estimations for natural gas and coal, primarily due to developments in Indonesia.  Slow progress in the development of Indonesia’s East Natuna field, the largest untapped gas field in Asia, coupled with the effects of low global LNG prices led the IEA to cut its projected 2040 gas production forecast for Indonesia by 50%.  Additionally, this production is unlikely to meet rising domestic demand, meaning Indonesia will likely become a net importer of natural gas, potentially by the mid-2030s.  The forecast that Malaysia’s gas production will likely decline to 55 Bcm by 2040 after apparently peaking in 2016 – at 70 Bcm – is also expected to contribute to the overall increase in natural gas imports for ASEAN.  For coal, the IEA points to the Indonesian Government’s plans to cap coal production starting in 2019 as the primary culprit for a drop in Southeast Asia’s total coal production.  Even though enforcement of the cap is likely to be uneven, given how fragmented the industry is, it is very likely to lead to Southeast Asia being a net coal importer by 2040.  The IEA predicts that Australia, Russia, and South Africa would be the main sources of coal imports into ASEAN.   

 
ADVOCACY UPDATE
 
 

US-ABC Leads Annual Business Mission to the 35th ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM)
The Council led its annual business mission to the 35th ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM) September 26-28. The delegation held bilateral meetings with high-ranking energy officials from six of the 10 ASEAN countries in attendance, as well as with the U.S. Government delegation, the ASEAN Centre for Energy (ACE), and the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA). Energy efficiency and how ASEAN countries can work toward their energy efficiency goals was a major theme of the mission. The mission also highlighted the degree to which the architecture and mechanics of the digital economy reach into the energy sector, and how unencumbered data flows are integral to ASEAN countries benefitting from the sector's increasing digitalization. It was the seventh year that the Council has participated in the annual meeting, which brings together delegations from the Energy Ministries of all 10 ASEAN countries, as well as the countries that participate in the AMEM+3 and the East Asia Summit Energy Ministers Meeting (EAS EMM). As a follow-up to the Mission, the Council will be looking into possible collaborative projects with ACE that would cover the overlap of the digital economy, the Internet of Things, and the energy sector. Any member companies that are interested in these topics should contact Riley Smith at rsmith@usasean.org.

US-ABC and ASEAN Centre for Energy Host Roundtable on Energy Efficiency at Singapore International Energy Week
On October 26, the Council and the ASEAN Centre for Energy (ACE) organized a roundtable entitled "20% in 2020 - Unlocking ASEAN's Energy Efficiency Potential" at the Singapore International Energy Week (SIEW) 2017.  SIEW is one of the premier conferences in Asia for energy professionals, policymakers and commentators to discuss and share best practices within the global energy space. The roundtable provided an open platform for policymakers, technology developers, and financial institutions to discuss major technology hurdles, financial constraints and social challenges in putting together the regulatory frameworks that can be developed to unlock the true potentials of energy efficiency in the region. Participants included Dr Ir Saleh Abdurahman, Secretary General of the National Energy Council of Indonesia; YBhg. Datin Badriyah Hj. Abd. Malek, Deputy Secretary General (Energy & Green Technology) at the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology & Water (KeTTHA) of Malaysia; Mr. Kwek Chin Hin, Head of the Industrial Energy Efficiency National Environmental Agency (NEA) of Singapore, and Mr. Pongphat Munkkunk, Director of Human Resource Development Bureau at the Department of Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency in the Ministry of Energy of Thailand.  The panel also included Ir Dr Sanjayan Velautham, Executive Director at the ASEAN Centre for Energy, and representatives from General Electric, UL, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), and the Institution of Engineers Singapore (IES).  More information on the roundtable, including presentations made by the panelists, can be found here.

 
IN THIS UPDATE
 
 
ASEAN's first tripartite power trading deal set for launch

Brunei
Sultan of Brunei grapples with new oil realities
Brunei embarks on pioneering hydrogen project

Cambodia
KrisEnergy to extract Cambodia’s first oil in 2019
Solar, Wind Advances Offer Mekong Countries Alternatives to Dams, Coal
Spotlight: Chinese-built biggest dam in Cambodia to start operation in November
Russia, Cambodia ink nuclear cooperation deal
$400m solar project launched
China, Cambodia agree to nuclear energy cooperation
Agreement will boost power-industry cooperation

Indonesia
AC Energy’s Indonesia wind farm to go live early-2018
Realization of oil, gas investment far away from target
Indonesia to Become LNG Importer in 2020 as Population Grows: Pertamina
Coal Mining Industry Indonesia: Exports to China on the Rise | Indonesia Investments
Indonesia to buy LNG from Qatar
Govt begins work on gross-split regulation to urge oil & gas investment
ADB to Provide $1b Loan for Indonesia's Sustainable Energy Development
Indonesia Stops Gas Exports to South Korea, Taiwan in 2018
Indonesian coal miner shares tumble on possible new pricing rules
State electricity firm signs 11 contracts to buy clean energy
Russia offers nuke power to Indonesia
Electrification on track: Jokowi
Indonesia's Once-Mighty Oil and Gas Industry Is in a Slump

Laos
Laos - the 'battery' of South East Asia
Hydro plants power Laos into middle-income status
Lao Government Consults Stakeholders on Draft Mining Law

Malaysia
Chinese joint venture bags contract for 1285MW hydro project in Malaysia
Malaysia's Green Islamic Sukuk funds green tech projects
Malaysia makes strides in sustainable energy
Malaysia, Indonesia in talks with China to expand palm oil use in biodiesel

Myanmar
Suu Kyi trains policy spotlight on electricity-
Making Myanmar an energy powerhouse
Electricity price rises coming soon, says ministry
Oil and gas contracts will be revoked unless exploration is carried out
Rakhine State to receive power from national grid this year
MOGE to reveal Other Account details in second EITI report
Myanmar exports 2m tonnes of oil via pipeline over 4 months
Singapore company plans to expand petroleum exploration in Myanmar
Tariffs and policies: The crux of Myanmar’s power problem
Partners find more gas off Myanmar

Philippines
Power plant pipeline signals continued dominance of coal
Energy dep’t studying PSE electricity trading proposal
DOE cites inroads in bid to fine-tune LNG rules | BusinessMirror
Ban on mineral ore export may backfire, mining stakeholders warn
Mining industry backs Cimatu as Environment chief
House allocation of P1K budget could squeeze ERC dead
DoE seeks feedback on draft green energy rules
Philippines’ LNG imports seen rising as maritime dispute thwarts exploration
EICC to fast-track approval of big-ticket energy projects | BusinessMirror
NREB set to present proposed rules on sourcing of renewable energy | BusinessMirror
PH advancing planned LNG investments
Supreme Court: PSALM sale of power plants not subject to VAT | BusinessMirror
Power producers face tough times on oversupply, pricing | BusinessMirror

Singapore
‘No evidence’ carbon tax drives companies away
New National Energy Transformation Office to coordinate energy efforts
Singapore bags 6 clean energy investments, creating 400 professional jobs
Slew of measures to support uptake of solar energy announced at SIEW
ExxonMobil opens new plant in Singapore to boost Jurong refinery energy efficiency
Keppel O&M to explore LNG developments in Indonesia
Is the worst finally over for the offshore and marine sector?
Singapore's installed solar capacity reaches 129.8MW

Thailand
Delay in Tender Process for Wind and Solar Plants
German towers mobile in Thailand
Thailand renewables update: ALRO land - new Order and Applications
Oil consumption expected to increase as prices rise
Thailand seeks to change FTA with China
Bangchak innovation centre to focus on green energy
Energy conference to discuss renewables plans
Energy Mahanakorn in MEA deal for charging stations
Thailand's PTT looks to LNG partnership deals to secure supply
 
ARTICLE CLIPS
 
 
ASEAN

Southeast Asia's growing energy deficit to boost trade flows by 2040: IEA Platts 26th Oct 2017
Southeast Asia's growing deficit of fossil fuels including oil, natural gas and coal up to 2040 will dictate energy trends for the whole region, including trade flows, investments and policy making, according to the International Energy Agency's latest outlook. The deficit of primary energy sources will be triggered by a combination of declining production and reserves in the region, ballooning demand due to rising population and regulations that curb exploitation of natural resources. While each country faces different challenges, in total the region will be short of oil, gas and coal by 2040, the IEA said in its 2017 Southeast Asia Energy Outlook.

ASEAN needs to double power capacity in less than 20 years Nikkei Asian Review 2nd Oct 2017
ASEAN needs to more than double its power capacity in less than 20 years to meet burgeoning demand. British energy research and consultancy group Wood Mackenzie reported last week that the region requires $500 billion worth of investment to achieve such a goal. ASEAN, whose current combined GDP is around $2.8 trillion, needs to construct an additional 270 gigawatts of generating capacity by 2035. Current capacity is 209GW. Wood Mackenzie Asia-Pacific gas and power senior analyst Edi Saputra pointed out that countries with lower electricity consumption such as Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia "are also lagging in power supply reliability, and therefore we could see a lot of development in those markets." Wood Mackenzie expects 89GW of new capacity to start operating by 2035 in Indonesia, and 72GW in Vietnam. Although there has been growing anti-coal sentiment around the world, coal will remain the main source of power generation in ASEAN, according to the consultancy. From now to 2035, 98GW of additional power capacity will come from coal, 49GW from natural gas, 44GW from hydropower.

ASEAN's first tripartite power trading deal set for launch Nikkei Asian Review 28th Sep 2017
Laos will begin supplying 100 megawatts of hydroelectric power to Malaysia through Thailand's grid from Jan. 1, four years after the idea was first mooted. The 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations have identified 16 projects for implementation through $6 billion of investment under the ASEAN Power Grid initiative, most of which will be bilateral. The move is designed to boost energy security and meet future demand.

Brunei

Sultan of Brunei grapples with new oil realities Financial Times 3rd Sep 2017
The Sultan of Brunei marked his silver jubilee in a gilded chariot hauled by dozens of subjects. A quarter of a century later, on the brink of Hassanal Bolkiah’s 50th anniversary on the throne, a new theme has emerged in this tiny, oil-rich Southeast Asian state: moderation.

Brunei embarks on pioneering hydrogen project Borneo Bulletin Online 10th Aug 2017
Brunei Darussalam is embarking on the world’s first Hydrogen Supply Chain Demonstration Project. This was announced yesterday by Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Awang Haji Mohammad Yasmin bin Haji Umar, Minister of Energy and Industry at the Prime Minister’s Office in a keynote address at the First East Asia Energy Forum in Bohol, the Philippines. In his keynote address, the minister shared that under the first Hydrogen Supply Chain Demonstration Project, liquefied hydrogen will be transported from Brunei Darussalam to Japan to fuel the cars used during the Tokyo Olympics 2020.

Cambodia

KrisEnergy to extract Cambodia’s first oil in 2019 Southeast Asia Globe Magazine 20th Oct 2017
KrisEnergy, the Singaporean oil and gas company that operates Cambodia’s offshore Block A in the Gulf of Thailand, has announced that it has reached a final investment decision (FID) “to proceed with the first phase of development for the Apsara oil field”, and expects to begin oil production in 2019. “FID is another step in progressing the Apsara development within the target timeframe following the formal signing of the petroleum agreement in late August,” Kelvin Tang, KrisEnergy’s chief executive officer, said in a statement, adding that the next stage for KrisEnergy was to source materials, equipment and services.

Solar, Wind Advances Offer Mekong Countries Alternatives to Dams, Coal VOA 19th Oct 2017
Advocates of renewable energy in the United States point to its increasingly competitive cost in arguing against greater use of fossil fuels. Experts at a U.S. think tank have the same message for countries in the Mekong region, which are considering plans to expand hydropower dams and coal plants. New economic and technological opportunities for improving and diversifying the Mekong Region’s energy mix are laid out in a report by the Washington-based Stimson Center.

Spotlight: Chinese-built biggest dam in Cambodia to start operation in November Xinhua 25th Sep 2017
The 400-megawatt Lower Sesan II Hydropower Plant, which is Cambodia's biggest hydropower dam so far, will start operation in November after almost four years of construction. Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen and Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia Xiong Bo presided over a ceremony to close the dam's water gates on Monday. According to a report by Cambodian Minister of Mines and Energy Suy Sem, the plant has eight turbines and each turbine has installed capacity of 50 megawatts.

Russia, Cambodia ink nuclear cooperation deal Anadolu Agency 19th Sep 2017
Russia's Rosatom and Cambodia signed an intergovernmental cooperation agreement on nuclear energy for peaceful purposes in Vienna on Tuesday, on the sidelines of the 61st International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) General Conference, the Russian company announced. The agreement aims at bilateral cooperation between Russia and Cambodia in nuclear education and training, fundamental and applied research, and the use of irradiation technologies in manufacturing, medicine, agriculture and environmental protection, the company said.

$400m solar project launched Khmer Times 19th Sep 2017
Global Purify Power (GPP), a joint venture behind $400 million worth of solar powered projects, started groundbreaking work on Friday with more than $10 million worth of investment in Kampong Speu province. It will be the first step for producing about 15 megawatts to supply the industrial zone. The GPP is a joint venture involving Cambodian, Thai and Laos investors, and has had a licence from the government to produce solar power since December 2015.

China, Cambodia agree to nuclear energy cooperation World Nuclear News 14th Sep 2017
The agreement was signed yesterday by CNNC chief accountant Li Jize and Tekreth Samrach, Cambodia's secretary of state of the Office of the Council of Ministers and vice chairman of the Cambodian Commission on Sustainable Development. It was signed during the 14th China-ASEAN Expo and China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit, being held in Nanning, the capital of China's Guangxi province. The signing was witnessed by Cambodia's minister of commerce and other government officials, CNNC said.

Agreement will boost power-industry cooperation The Nation 6th Sep 2017
ABB in Thailand has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA) on conducting studies and cooperation to formulate, develop and proceed on possible technical collaborations. The agreement will also cover sharing and supporting each other through training capabilities, workshops and exchange programmes, ABB and PEA said in a statement.

Indonesia

AC Energy’s Indonesia wind farm to go live early-2018 BusinessMirror 23rd Oct 2017
INDONESIA’S first wind farm being undertaken by AC Energy Inc. and partner is nearing completion, with commercial operations expected to happen early next year. “Indonesia’s first utility-scale wind farm’s construction stays on track, nearing 70-percent completion and is expected to be ready for commercial operations in the first quarter of 2018,” the power arm of conglomerate Ayala Corp. said on Monday. PT UPC Sidrap Bayu Energi (UPC Sidrap), the project proponent, has started the installation of 30 Gamesa G114 2.5-megawatt (MW) wind-turbine generators. The wind-farm power project will have a generating capacity of 75 MW and is estimated to cost $150 million. AC Energy has partnered with UPC Renewables Indonesia Ltd. for the development, construction and operation of the said wind project in Sidrap, South Sulawesi, Indonesia. The project will also be AC Energy’s first greenfield offshore investment through its affiliate AC Energy International Holdings Pte. Ltd., a Singapore private limited company.

Realization of oil, gas investment far away from target The Jakarta Post 27th Oct 2017
Head of the Upstream Oil and Gas Regulatory Special Task Force (SKKMigas) Amien Sunaryadi said that the shortfall in the realization of the oil and gas investment was caused by financial problems faced by the oil and gas contractors.

Indonesia to Become LNG Importer in 2020 as Population Grows: Pertamina Jakarta Globe 27th Oct 2017
Indonesia is expected to become a net importer of liquefied natural gas in 2020 as its population grows, notching up an LNG deficit of 4 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) by 2030, a senior official from state-owned energy firm Pertamina said on Wednesday (25/10). (Antara Photo/Basri Marzuki).

Coal Mining Industry Indonesia: Exports to China on the Rise | Indonesia Investments Indonesia Investments 27th Oct 2017
However, Indonesia's coal export figures to China during the aforementioned January-August 2017 period are still relatively low compared to Australian coal exports to China. Australia exported USD $6.51 billion worth of coal to the world's second-largest economy over the same period.

Indonesia to buy LNG from Qatar The Jakarta Post 23rd Oct 2017
Maritime Affairs Coordinating Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan has said Indonesia will buy liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Qatar at a price of US$7.16 per million British thermal units (MMBTU).

Govt begins work on gross-split regulation to urge oil & gas investment The Jakarta Post 4th Oct 2017
The  Finance Ministry has said that the government is preparing a regulation on the gross-split scheme, which will encourage oil and gas companies involved in exploration and exploitation to invest in the sector through the provision of tax incentives, according to a kontan.com report on Tuesday

ADB to Provide $1b Loan for Indonesia's Sustainable Energy Development Jakarta Globe 15th Sep 2017
Jakarta. Manila-based Asian Development Bank has approved a total of $1.1 billion in loans to support Indonesia's sustainable energy sector development, according to a statement it released on Thursday (14/09).

Indonesia Stops Gas Exports to South Korea, Taiwan in 2018 Tempo 13th Sep 2017
Indonesia will stop exporting gas to South Korea and Taiwan in 2018. The Upstream Oil and Gas Regulatory Special Task Force (SKKMigas) communications head Wisnu Prabawa Taher said that the gas export contract will be ended in 2018 with the total of 2.5 million tons per year (MTPA).

Indonesian coal miner shares tumble on possible new pricing rules U.S. 13th Sep 2017
Share prices of some of Indonesia’s biggest coal miners plunged on Wednesday after the country’s mining minister said he would be open to revising domestic coal pricing rules.

State electricity firm signs 11 contracts to buy clean energy The Jakarta Post 8th Sep 2017
State-owned electricity company PLN has signed contracts with 11 companies that will produce renewable energy with hydro power as its energy sources. The total capacity of the mini-hydro power plants is 291.4 megawatts (MW). PLN president director Sofyan Basir said in Jakarta on Friday that the private companies, which would act as independent power producers (IPP), would construct mini-hydro power plants in North Sumatra, West Sumatra, Bengkulu, Lampung, Central Java and South Sulawesi.

Russia offers nuke power to Indonesia The Jakarta Post 23rd Aug 2017
Russian Ambassador to Indonesia Mikhail Galuzin has said his country wants to invest in Indonesia’s nuclear energy future to help increase the country’s electrification rate, which currently stands at 89.5 percent. “We are of the view that Indonesia will not be able to meet its electricity demand in the conventional way. Therefore, we offer nuclear plants,” Galuzin told journalists in Jakarta on Wednesday as reported by Antara. He said his country had deep experience in developing nuclear energy and had helped many countries construct nuclear power plants. Last year, Russia helped Iran construct nuclear plants worth some US$10 billion.

Electrification on track: Jokowi The Jakarta Post 16th Aug 2017
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo says the national electrification program is on track,  as more and more people living in remote areas are enjoying electricity.

Indonesia's Once-Mighty Oil and Gas Industry Is in a Slump Bloomberg 14th Aug 2017
Once a cornerstone of the economy, Indonesia’s oil and gas sector is in a slump, even as the country’s appetite for energy soars. Hit by a drop in global prices, changing regulations and competition from neighbors that are proving more attractive to international energy companies, Southeast Asia’s biggest economy is facing a decline in oil revenue and steadily rising fuel imports. 

Laos

Laos - the 'battery' of South East Asia Phuket Gazette 17th Sep 2017
Number of power plants soon to be completed by 2020: 53 hydropower plants under construction or in the planning stage, including those set to be completed this year; there will be more than 90 hydropower plants in Laos with a combined installed capacity of almost 14,000MW by 2020. Transmission lines that connect with neighbouring countries: 14 carry power to Thailand, 2 to Vietnam, 1 to China, 2 to Cambodia, and 1 to Myanmar.

Hydro plants power Laos into middle-income status The Nation 3rd Sep 2017
The Laos government is leveraging its rich hydropower resources in a bid to lift the country out of lower-middle income status by 2020. Speaking at the official opening of the Xenamnoy 2-Xekatam 1 hydropower plant in Champasak province on Friday, Minister of Energy and Mines Dr Khammany Inthirath said the landlocked country has progressed rapidly in producing electricity, which it now supplies to local communities as well as Thailand and other Asian countries. Under the country’s development plan 2016-2020, Laos aims to graduate to a middle-income country, and the energy sector was vital for this, he said.

Lao Government Consults Stakeholders on Draft Mining Law KPL: Lao News Agency 4th Oct 2017
The Prime Minister’s Office, together with the Ministry of Energy and Mines held a consultation meeting with stakeholders to the new mining law. The World Bank’s Hydro-Mining Technical Assistance Programme and Australia together supported the meeting, which heard views from a diverse group of stakeholders, including Lao government ministries, the Lao National Assembly, international donors, embassies and industry representatives. The mining sector has made a significant contribution to Lao government revenue and Lao exports over the last decade. This has supported Lao economic growth and helped the Lao government achieve its development outcomes.

Malaysia

Chinese joint venture bags contract for 1285MW hydro project in Malaysia Asian Power 10th Aug 2017
The project is to be commissioned in 2025. Sarawak Energy Berhad awarded the contract to China Gezhouba Group and Untang Jaya JV for the main civil works of 1,285MW Baleh Hydroelectric Plant in Malaysia.

Malaysia's Green Islamic Sukuk funds green tech projects NST Online 25th Oct 2017
SINGAPORE: Malaysia has the potential for green financing 130 potential projects comprising 111 renewable energy (RE) projects and 19 energy efficiency (EE) projects that worth about RM1.9 billion and RM248 million, respectively.

Malaysia makes strides in sustainable energy NST Online 24th Oct 2017
KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Government has made major strides in the deployment of sustainable energy which involves renewable energy (RE), energy efficiency (EE) and addressing climate change, said Ministry of Energy, Green Technology’s Deputy Secretary General (Energy), Datin Badriyah Abd Malek. upply. - Bernama

Malaysia, Indonesia in talks with China to expand palm oil use in biodiesel Free Malaysia Today 23rd Aug 2017
Indonesia and Malaysia are currently in discussions with China to expand the use of palm oil in the world’s second-biggest economy through palm-enriched biodiesel, the plantations industries and commodities minister said today. Mah Siew Keong said at a news conference in Kuala Lumpur that China, also the world’s second-largest palm oil buyer, is looking into the possibility of implementing a requirement that biodiesel should contain a minimum 5% of palm oil, a mandate known as “B5”. “Malaysia and Indonesia will make a joint effort to discuss with China,” said Mah, adding that the two countries also want to play a part in expanding the biodiesel market in India. Mah did not disclose the precise nature of the discussions or a timetable for their conclusion, nor did he indicate how much more palm oil China would consume with a “B5” mandate. It wasn’t immediately clear how seriously China is reviewing the matter.

Myanmar

Suu Kyi trains policy spotlight on electricity- Nikkei Asian Review 10th Aug 2017
A recent village tour by Aung San Suu Kyi to discuss Myanmar's peace process doubled as a checkup on the country's electrification progress, signaling the de facto leader's determination to expand the power grid. Hundreds of residents of the Mandalay Region village of Myaytaingkan lined an unpaved road on Monday morning, waiting hours to welcome the state counselor. Many households in the village of 1,242 support themselves by growing rice and cotton or weaving cloth with simple equipment.

Making Myanmar an energy powerhouse The Myanmar Times 25th Oct 2017
In addition to the national energy policy signed in 2014 by then-President U Thein Sein, numerous strategies have been proposed. The Myanmar Energy Master Plan, adopted in 2015 as the country’s overall energy plan, favours renewable energy, particularly hydro and solar power. However, the most influential strategy is the proposal by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the largest supplier of official development assistance to Myanmar. JICA proposed developing a coal power plant with the catchy term “clean coal”. The aim is to push forward the projects that have stalled under the new administration. However, there is a catch: Myanmar needs to import a specific type of coal to run the plant and it will require 2-3 years to become operational. Thus, its benefits would only be reaped after the next elections. The government is therefore less likely to follow through on the project because it wants to tackle the trade deficit during its current term.

Electricity price rises coming soon, says ministry Frontier Myanmar 12th Oct 2017
The government is finalising its stalled plans to up the unit price of electricity, officials say, after an earlier attempts was called off due to public protests. But nearly six months after price rises were first flagged by the current government it remains unclear what the new tariffs will be for Myanmar’s electricity grid, which services less than 40 percent of the population and runs at a loss of US$300 million per year. U Htay Aung, deputy permanent secretary of the Ministry of Electricity and Energy, said an announcement of price increases would be unveiled in the near future.

Oil and gas contracts will be revoked unless exploration is carried out The Myanmar Times 10th Oct 2017
The contracts will be rescinded if these firms do not proceed according to the contract terms.”They can stop if they don’t want to continue. If they want to drill, they will have to drill by next year and if they don’t drill, we will revoke the contract. If they want to conduct further surveys without drilling, they can also do so,” the sources said. International oil and gas companies are given permission to explore for oil and gas in Myanmar after signing Production Sharing Contracts (PSC) with State-owned Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE), which controls the rights to the country’s offshore oil and gas blocks. The last PSCs were signed during 2014 and early 2015. Starting from 2015, the companies were granted study periods of up to one year for shallow water blocks and two years for deep water blocks.

Rakhine State to receive power from national grid this year The Myanmar Times 6th Oct 2017
Plans for Rakhine State to receive grid-supplied electricity before year-end are currentin being implemented, according to Assistant Secretary U Aung Kyaw Htoo from the Ministry of Electricity and Energy (MOEE). "We have an electrification plan for Rakhine based on the guidelines set by the State Counsellor's office. Aside from the MOEE, many other ministries are also working on the plan,” he said. Rakhine State is the second poorest state in Myanmar. Currently, most get electricity from solar power and small generators which are either donated by the government or funded by World Bank. However, these are not sufficient and grid-supplied electricity is urgently needed.

MOGE to reveal Other Account details in second EITI report The Myanmar Times 4th Oct 2017
Negotiations are underway for the Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE) to reveal details of its Other Account to facilitate a second report under the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). Myanmar published its first EITI report on January 2, 2016, opening up its extractive sector to public scrutiny for the first time. The country’s natural resources include oil and gas, minerals and gems. The EITI is a global standard which encourages good governance and transparency over the income generated within a country’s extractive sector. By implementing EITI standards, Myanmar also aims to improve its tax collection system.

Myanmar exports 2m tonnes of oil via pipeline over 4 months The Myanmar Times 21st Sep 2017
Over 2 million tonnes of crude oil has been exported to China through the Myanmar-China pipeline, according to U Toe Aung Myint, permanent secretary of the Ministry of Commerce (MOC). The pipeline connecting Made Island in Rakhine State to Kunming, capital of China’s Yunnan Probince was inaugurated on May 2, 2017.  By September 1, the export volume exceeded 2 million tonnes, according to MOC’s statistics. The project flourished in the framework of the oil export agreement, signed during President U Htin Kyaw’s visit to China in April this year. The pipeline amounted to US$2.45 billion, with 51 percent ownership to China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) and 49pc by state-owned Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE).

Singapore company plans to expand petroleum exploration in Myanmar Xinhua 17th Aug 2017
A Singapore-based company, Interra Resources Ltd, is negotiating with Myanmar's energy authorities to win an 11-year deal for expanding petroleum resources exploration and development in two oil fields, official media reported Thursday. The expansion project, which covers 1,800 square km, will be carried out in Chauk and Yenangyaung oil fields in central Myanmar. The extension agreement with the Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE) is expected to be signed later this month.

Tariffs and policies: The crux of Myanmar’s power problem The Myanmar Times 15th Aug 2017
In 2017, Myanmar is projected to generate a maximum of 2,700 megawatts of electricity, up from around 2,500 MW in 2016, as the population expands and demand for power in the country continues to rise. Yangon, its largest city, is expected to generate almost half, or 1,300 MW of the country’s maximum electricity demand for the year, and that is expected to rise by 30 percent per year in 2018 and beyond. Yet, that is just a fraction of the total energy consumed in Myanmar and 10pc of Thailand’s annual maximum demand. According to the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Energy Sector Assessment, Strategy and Roadmap dated December 2016, total final energy consumption in the country totaled some 14,000 MW in 2012-13. The bulk of that energy is produced via traditional biomass – firewood or agricultural wastes – and used mainly for cooking and lighting in rural Myanmar.

Partners find more gas off Myanmar Eleven Myanmar 13th Aug 2017
A consortium comprising Total E & P, Woodside Energy and Mynamar-owned MPRL E&P has announced its third discovery of gas in the country’s Rakhine basin. Moe Myint, chief executive officer of MPRL E&P, said that the Pyi Thit-1 well in offshore Block A-6 had tested the gas-bearing sand, indicating a discovery that could yield an estimated 50 million standard cubic feet of gas per day. He said the discovery extended the partners’ 100 per cent track record for gas discoveries in all three wells that they had tested in Block A-6. “This third success in three wells drilled so far confirms Block A-6 as the most advanced offshore exploration block to potentially bring much needed new gas resources to the nation,” Moe Myint said.

Philippines

Power plant pipeline signals continued dominance of coal BusinessWorld 26th Oct 2017
COAL remains the dominant source of power for Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao during the first half and will continue to be a major contributor to new capacities in the coming years, the Department of Energy (DoE) said in its latest report on the country’s power supply and demand. “Capacities which will be coming in the pipeline are largely coal power projects with 4,465 MW (megawatts) committed and 9,903 MW indicative capacities,” the DoE said. The DoE report validates power sector projections that coal will remain the country’s main power source in the coming years. The department has been vocal about being “technology neutral.” It has also encouraged investors to be guided by a system that requires 70% baseload or continuous 24-hour power, 20% mid-merit power that can run when needed, and 10% peaking power that produces maximum capacity at around the same time that electricity demand for the day reaches its peak level. As of the first half, the DoE said the country’s total installed capacity had remained dominated by coal at 35% or 7,568 MW, followed by renewable energy at 32% or 7,038 MW, oil-based at 17% or 3,584 MW, and natural gas at 16% or 3,431 MW.

Energy dep’t studying PSE electricity trading proposal BusinessWorld 23rd Oct 2017
The Department of Energy (DoE) is open to a proposal for the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) to operate a venue for trading electricity, the agency’s head said. Last week, PSE President and Chief Executive Officer Ramon S. Monzon was quoted as saying that he had started talks with the DoE about a plan for the bourse to also operate an electricity exchange. Mr. Monzon said the PSE’s selling point is for that exchange to be operated by a “professional organization” that is at the same time insulated from “political influences.” Mr. Cusi said the proposal is worth studying. The talks between the DoE and the PSE come about three months after Mr. Cusi ordered the creation of a “transition committee” for the management of the Philippine Electricity Market Corp. (PEMC), the governance arm of the wholesale electricity spot market (WESM).

DOE cites inroads in bid to fine-tune LNG rules | BusinessMirror BusinessMirror 10th Oct 2017
MORE than 50 local and foreign firms took part during Tuesday’s public consultation to fine-tune the draft Philippine Natural Gas Regulation (PNGR), the policy framework that will guide the development of the natural-gas industry in the country.

Ban on mineral ore export may backfire, mining stakeholders warn philstar.com 5th Sep 2017
A planned ban on the export of mineral ores may hit the country's economy and will likely risk its reputation in global markets, mining stakeholders warned. While the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (COMP) is all for the domestic processing of minerals, it maintained that a total ban on exports will not work for the country. Citing Indonesia, which instituted an export ban in 2014, as an example, COMP executive director Ronald Recidoro said the move may not be applicable to the Philippines and may even backfire. "Indonesia saw that the experiment did not work and it is now creating havoc within their economy. And we do not want to go through that," Recidoro said during the opening day of the Mining Conference Philippines 2017 on Tuesday. "We want to see the country get more benefits from its minerals. If it means mineral processing domestically, then we are all for it. But it cannot stop at just banning raw ore exports. It simply won’t work," he added. Recidoro added the Philippines cannot really ban the export of raw nickel without running afoul of the country’s obligations under the General Agreement on Tariff and Trade and the World Trade Organization.

Mining industry backs Cimatu as Environment chief philstar.com 5th Sep 2017
Unlike with his predecessor, the country’s mining industry is in full support of the confirmation of Secretary Roy Cimatu, saying the sector is already seeing a slow positive change for the local mineral sector this year. The Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (COMP) said it is in favor of the confirmation of Cimatu, who is set to face the Commission on Appointments on Monday, September 11. "Yes, we would like to see him as DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources) secretary. We see him as a very sober, intelligent person who can appreciate what responsible mining can contribute," COMP executive director Ronald Recidoro said during the opening day of the Mining Conference Philippines 2017 on Tuesday. While the industry still has some doubt on where the sector will be taken, Recidoro admitted that the situation has "vastly improved" since Gina Lopez, whose appointment the commission rejected, helmed the DENR. Environmentalists and progressive groups criticized the commission for allegedly siding with business interests.

House allocation of P1K budget could squeeze ERC dead InterAksyon 5th Sep 2017
In a move that could effectively dissolve the Energy Regulatory Commission, the House of Representatives gave the agency a measly budget of P1,000 for 2018. During plenary deliberation of the agency’s budget Tuesday, September 5, lawmakers supported a motion by Zamboanga City Representative Celso Lobregat to give ERC only P1,000. The proposed budget of ERC for 2018 is P350.9 million. The P1,000 budget is not yet final, though, as the 2018 budget bill will still go to the Senate for deliberation. “This is a strong message that the ERC should fixed its problems,” Lobregat said. The agency has been mired in controversy, including allegations of corruption and infighting. It chairman, Jose Vicente Salazar, remains suspended. In February this year, Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez filed a bill seeking to abolish the ERC following the suicide of a director over alleged pressures to award an anomalous contract. “The suspicions raised against the integrity of the ERC, which is primarily entrusted with regulating the country’s electric industry and promoting competition in the market, cannot be ignored,” Alvarez said in introducing House Bill No. 5020. The Speaker proposed to replace the ERC with the Board of Energy, which will be attached to the Department of Energy.

DoE seeks feedback on draft green energy rules The Manila Times 5th Sep 2017
The Department of Energy (DoE) is seeking feedback from the public at large concerning the final draft of the rules empowering Filipino consumers to choose renewable energy (RE) sources. The National Renewable Energy Board (NREB) said it approved the guidelines encompassing the inception of the Green Energy Option Program (GEOP) in the Philippines which has been endorsed to the DoE. Before the DoE releases the circular on the green option program, the NREB was to conduct a public consultation on September 4 in Bacolod, to be followed by others in Davao (September 12) and Manila (September 19). The program is a mechanism seeking to provide end-users the option to obtain RE resources in fulfilling their power needs. It covers the technical feasibility and stability of transmission and distribution grid systems, as well as other rules to attain the green option program. The RE identified by the DoE include biomass, solar, wind, geothermal, ocean wave, and hydropower that conform to internationally accepted standards on dams and other emerging RE technologies. Consumers can source RE from a distribution utility (DU), electric cooperative (EC) or suppliers, regardless of demand size.

Philippines’ LNG imports seen rising as maritime dispute thwarts exploration BusinessWorld 10th Aug 2017
The Philippines’ reliance on imported liquefied natural gas (LNG) will rise in the coming decade as its sole source in the Malampaya gas field “nears the end of its production cycle” and a maritime dispute prevents the country from tapping other sites in the South China Sea, Fitch Group’s BMI research said in an Aug. 7 note released on Tuesday. “The Philippines’ natural gas production is set to be nearly depleted by the end of our 10-year forecast period, as low oil prices and ongoing maritime disputes in the South China Sea hamper exploration in its most prospective offshore blocks,” the note read. “This will entail greater reliance on LNG imports over the coming years,” it added.

EICC to fast-track approval of big-ticket energy projects | BusinessMirror BusinessMirror 26th Oct 2017
In a bid to fully implement a Malacañang-issued policy meant to fast-track the approval of energy projects, the Department of Energy (DOE) moved to designate agency officials to the Energy Investment Coordinating Council (EICC).

NREB set to present proposed rules on sourcing of renewable energy | BusinessMirror BusinessMirror 6th Oct 2017
THE National Renewable Energy Board (NREB) will endorse to the Department of Energy (DOE) the proposed rules on renewable portfolio standards (RPS), which requires distribution utilities (DUs) to source a portion of their power supply from eligible renewable-energy (RE) sources.

PH advancing planned LNG investments Manila Bulletin Business 30th Sep 2017
The Philippines is targeting to finally push to groundbreaking rites by 2018 its planned $2.0 billion worth of integrated liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities, but conspicuously absent still is the regulatory framework that shall underpin the country’s gas reset strategy.

Supreme Court: PSALM sale of power plants not subject to VAT | BusinessMirror BusinessMirror 20th Sep 2017
THE Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has lost a P3.81-billion tax case against the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) involving the sale of Pantabangan-Masiway Plant and Magat Hydroelectric Power Plant in 2006.

Power producers face tough times on oversupply, pricing | BusinessMirror BusinessMirror 18th Sep 2017
COMPANIES engaged in power generation may face tougher times ahead on account of a foreseen capacity oversupply and tough pricing condition. AC Energy Holdings Inc., which has installed around 1,000 megawatts (MW) last year, said oversupply is “obviously good for customers and more challenging for suppliers”.

Singapore

‘No evidence’ carbon tax drives companies away TODAYonline 25th Oct 2017
Despite concerns repeatedly voiced that a carbon tax could dent competitiveness, there is no evidence it has led any company to move out of a country, said a panellist at a Singapore International Energy Week discussion on Wednesday (Oct 25). Forty-seven countries and states today have some form of carbon pricing, such as a carbon tax or an emissions trading scheme. Prices range from US$1 to US$140 per tonne of emissions, noted World Bank senior carbon finance specialist Wang Xueman. Asked at a panel discussion on carbon tax if Singapore’s decision to impose a carbon tax from 2019 – announced earlier this year – could hurt its competitiveness, Ms Wang said: “Currently, if you look at all the evidence, the industry does not move away because there is carbon pricing. They move away because of many other… considerations.” Singapore is looking to charge large emitters such as power stations between S$10 and S$20 per tonne of greenhouse gases emitted. If passed on to households, electricity prices could increase by 0.43 to 0.86 cents per kilowatt hour, a fraction of current tariff rates -- although observers cautioned there should not be a disproportionate impact on the poor.

New National Energy Transformation Office to coordinate energy efforts TODAYonline 25th Oct 2017
A new National Energy Transformation Office has been set up to plan and coordinate energy research and development, as well as policies for the adoption of game-changing energy solutions. The office will look at ways to improve industrial energy efficiency and deployment of solar energy, for instance. It will work with the National Environment Agency, Singapore Economic Development Board, Land Transport Authority and Building and Construction Authority, among other agencies. Heading the office is Mr Toh Wee Khiang, who was the programme director for a low-carbon district project at the Energy Research Institute at Nanyang Technological University (ERI@N). He was previously in the public service for 20 years.

Singapore bags 6 clean energy investments, creating 400 professional jobs Channel NewsAsia 24th Oct 2017
A wave of clean energy investments in Singapore is set to create 400 professional jobs and generate S$500 million in business spending over the next five years, the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) said on Tuesday (Oct 24). Six clean energy investments across the fields of solar, wind, microgrids and energy management in Singapore were secured by EDB in recent months, helping Singapore in its bid to be positioned as Asia’s leading clean technology (cleantech) hub, EDB said. The investments were announced at the Asia Clean Energy Summit (ACES), which will be held in Singapore from Oct 24 to Oct 26. VDE, a leading quality assurance provider headquartered in Germany, is investing S$20 million to set up a major energy storage testing and certification lab here to serve the Asian region. The lab in Singapore will also be the first in the world to provide bankability and insurability services for energy storage solutions at the system level, plugging a critical gap in the existing global energy landscape. These investments come as Singapore aims to play a meaningful role in a global transition towards clean energy, said Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Koh Poh Koon, who was speaking at the summit on Tuesday.

Slew of measures to support uptake of solar energy announced at SIEW TODAYonline 23rd Oct 2017
Singapore will boost its ability to forecast solar energy output through a S$6.2 million research grant awarded to a consortium led by the National University of Singapore, one of a slew of solar-related initiatives announced on Monday (Oct 23). The consortium will work with the Energy Market Authority (EMA) and the Meteorological Service Singapore to develop a forecasting model. The model would help to improve management of the fluctuations in solar output to ensure grid reliability, said Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Sim Ann at the opening of the Singapore International Energy Week. Singapore’s deployment of solar energy could reach 350 megawatt-peak (MWp) by 2020, and more than one gigawatt-peak after that, which would represent about 15 per cent of electrical power demand at peak during the day, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean had said in June. The EMA also announced on Monday parties that produce less than 10 MW of solar energy will be able to sell excess electricity back to the main grid – up from the previous cap of below 1 MW under the Central Intermediary Scheme. And by 2023, Singapore will test its first urban micro-grid at the Singapore Institute of Technology’s (SIT) future campus in Punggol.

ExxonMobil opens new plant in Singapore to boost Jurong refinery energy efficiency Channel NewsAsia 12th Oct 2017
US oil giant ExxonMobil officially opened its third cogeneration plant in Singapore on Thursday (Oct 12), to help increase energy efficiency at its Jurong refinery. The 84-megawatt plant uses natural gas and waste heat from the refinery to generate both electricity and steam in order to power plant operations, replacing two older and less efficient boilers. It will produce enough electricity to power the equivalent of more than 150,000 four-room Housing and Development Board flats, said ExxonMobil, and will improve energy efficiency by up to 5 per cent. This will result in a cut in carbon dioxide emissions by more than 265 kilotonnes of carbon dioxide - equivalent to removing more than 90,000 cars from Singapore's roads, according to ExxonMobil. "Cogeneration technology is an energy-efficient solution for facilities that require both thermal energy and electricity," said the National Environment Agency's CEO Ronnie Tay. "ExxonMobil's investment in such technology will bring about both cost savings and carbon emissions reduction."

Keppel O&M to explore LNG developments in Indonesia Singapore Business Review 8th Sep 2017
Keppel Offshore & Marine Limited (Keppel O&M) will look at developing small-scale Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) distribution in Indonesia. According to a press release, it entered a Heads of Agreement (HOA) with Pavilion Energy and Indonesian-owned Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) to collaborate on the small-scale LNG value chain. The HOA will combine the companies' capacities to distribute LNG economically to remote areas in West Indonesia. According to Keppel, LNG can be delivered to both floating and onshore LNG terminals using special carriers. These are regasified and used to generate electricity at PLN's power plants. Keppel O&M does not expect the HOA to affect company performance for the year.

Is the worst finally over for the offshore and marine sector? Singapore Business Review 6th Sep 2017
Two struggling companies got fresh equity injections. Two financially challenged listed offshore and marine (O&M) entities recently nabbed fresh equity injections, and analysts say it buoys hopes that those still holding up three years into an industry downturn may make it to the light at the end of the tunnel. Emas Offshore Limited is in line for $67.6m (US$50m) of new equity from Baker Technology and privately owned buyout firm Point Hope. Moreover, Marco Polo Marine is also looking to restructure under a scheme of arrangement that will see at least $60m injected into its group of companies. According to KGI, at least three others undertaking debt revamp or restructuring, Ezion Holdings, Nam Cheong and Pacific Radiance, are said to have potential investors lining up. "Singapore's banks, as largest lenders to the sector, thus face a tough decision. If they are serious about riding this out with their O&M clients, they may need to bend further backwards to accept haircuts in addition to exchanging debt for equity," KGI said.

Singapore's installed solar capacity reaches 129.8MW Asian Power 10th Aug 2017
Non-residential installations grabbed the lion's share of installed capacity. Mercom Capital Group reported that the adoption of solar PV systems in Singapore has accelerated over the last three years with cumulative solar installations reaching 129.8 MW in the first quarter of 2017, according to the Energy Market Authority (EMA) of Singapore.

Thailand

Delay in Tender Process for Wind and Solar Plants The Nation 8th Oct 2017
The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) might have to postpone to mid-next year its schedule to sell price-bid documents for contractors to install energy storage systems in Chaiyaphum and Lop Buri provinces. The projects need to be sent to the National Economic and Social Development Board’s consideration first. The project in Chaiyaphum is to support its plan to develop a wind turbine plant with 16 megawatt capacity, while that in Lop Buri will support its plan to develop a solar power plant with 21 MW capacity, said Saharath Boonpotipukdee, Egat deputy governor for renewable and new energy.

German towers mobile in Thailand reNEWS - Renewable Energy News 28th Sep 2017
Max Bogl is to set up a mobile factory in Thailand to build hybrid towers for the 207MW Korat 1&2 wind farms. The German manufacturer has begun shipping 10 containers a day from it's base in Sengenthal, Bavaria, to the village of Huai Bong, 260km north-east of Bangkok. Bogl Wind director Josef Knitl said: “To better meet the global demand for wind turbine systems with hub heights between 130 and 180 metres we developed the concept of a mobile production facility."

Thailand renewables update: ALRO land - new Order and Applications Lexology 23rd Sep 2017
Please find below our latest update about the legality of using ALRO land for the development of wind and other energy power projects in Thailand following issue of the recent NCPO Order. The Order requires existing projects to make an Application to ALRO within 60 days of the issue of ministerial regulations. We understand that the new ministerial regulations are still under discussion within the government. It will be important for companies which use Sor Por Kor land to monitor and be ready to act once the regulations are published. Once published, there will be only 60 days to assess whether you need to apply, and then to prepare and submit an Application to ALRO.

Oil consumption expected to increase as prices rise Bangkok Post 13th Oct 2017
Thai oil consumption is expected to grow by 10% this year for both diesel and petrol as demand is increasing even as retail prices rise, says the Department of Energy Business (DOEB). DOEB director-general Witoon Kulcharoenwirat said retail prices of petrol and diesel have risen by around 2-3 baht per litre this year, but fuel demand is still rising. DOEB reported yesterday fuel demand grew in the single digits for the first nine months this year. It expects demand to rise further the remaining three months of the year as the high season for tourism should result in more people using more fuel.

Thailand seeks to change FTA with China Bangkok Post 2nd Oct 2017
Thailand is seeking a review of the Thailand-China free trade agreement as the 0% import duty for electric vehicles could derail the country's plan to attract foreign manufacturers. Kulit Sombatsiri, director-general of the Customs Department, said on Monday the FTA scheduled to take effect on Jan 1 next year would cover 703 goods items including farm products and electric vehicles.

Bangchak innovation centre to focus on green energy The Nation 7th Sep 2017
Bangchak Corporation Plc has opened the Bangchak Initiative and Innovation Center (BiiC) to build upon existing green energy and bio-based businesses. In line with the Thailand 4.0 strategy, the centre will feature international experts in the field of green energy and innovative bio-based products at the Bangchak head office in Sukhumvit.

Energy conference to discuss renewables plans The Nation 31st Aug 2017
The transition to a low carbon, high-efficiency energy future will dominate discussions at the conference and exhibition of the international power industry. Supporting Thailand’s move toward sustainable energy future under the Thailand 4.0 policy will be one discussion theme at the Asia Power Week 2017, as it celebrates the exhibition’s 25th confab.

Energy Mahanakorn in MEA deal for charging stations The Nation 29th Aug 2017
Energy Mahanakorn Co Ltd, a subsidiary of Energy Absolute Plc, signed an agreement with Metropolitan Electricity Authority (MEA) yesterday to build charge stations for electric vehicles nationwide, under the trademark EA Anywhere. The project will promote the use of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and battery electric vehicles nationwide, MEA governor Chaiyong Puapongsakorn said yesterday.

Thailand's PTT looks to LNG partnership deals to secure supply The Edge Markets 10th Aug 2017
Thai state energy group PTT Pcl's July purchase of a stake in a liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant operated by Malaysia's Petronas will be its model for securing natural gas in the future, its chairman told Reuters. Thailand plans to triple its LNG intake by 2022 as its domestic natural gas output dwindles, and the strategy it is adopting is similar to Japanese utilities such as Tokyo Gas and Osaka Gas taking small stakes in Australian gas developments to lock up supplies.

Thailand-Vietnam sign 10 deals for greater cooperation The Nation 17th Aug 2017
Thailand and Vietnam on Thursday signed 10 deals for cooperation in trade, investment, science and technology as Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Van Phuc led a delegation to a three-day visit to the Kingdom. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and Phuc witnessed the signing of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) on economics and trade; science and technology; information and telecommunication; banking; and the establishment of sister cities between Thailand’s Trat and Vietnam’s Ca Mau provinces. Phuc and many of his cabinet members arrived in Bangkok in the afternoon before a plenary meeting with Prayut at Government House. Vietnamese and Thai companies also signed a number of business deals. They included an MoU between Viet Nam Oil and Gas Group and the Siam Cement Public Co Ltd; PetroVietnam Ca Mau Fertilizer JSC, PetroVietnam Fertilizer and Chemicals Corporation, Binh Son Refining and Petro Chemicals Co and SCG Chemicals Co Ltd; between SCIC Investment Co Ltd and Kasikorn Bank Public Co Ltd. An MoU on cooperation was also signed on the 700MW Bac Lieu/Ca Mau Wind Power Project between Super Energy Group Co Ltd and Cong Ty Trach Nhiem Huu Han Xay Dung–Thuong Mai-Du Lich Cong Ly.

Vietnam

Updates on Vietnam's proposed increase of feed-in-tariff for wind power projects Lexology 28th Sep 2017
The Ministry of Industry and Trade ("MOIT") recently proposed to the Prime Minister a new draft Decision amending Decision No. 37 on the support mechanisms for development of wind power projects in Vietnam ("Draft Decision"). This comes following a couple of earlier drafts proposed last year and earlier this year. The Draft Decision proposes an increase of the Feed-in-Tariff ("FiT") from 7.8 UScents per kWh to UScents 8.77 per kWh (for onshore wind power projects) and to UScents 9.97 per kWh (for offshore wind power projects). In addition, it includes some clarifications and updates in terms of the development of wind power projects.

Low feed-in tariff freezes wind power projects VietNamNet 29th Aug 2017
Although wind power development is considered a great potential sector in Vietnam, investors have been hesitant to develop new or expand their existing projects due to the low regulated selling price of wind power lengthening the time to recover investment capital by a significant margin. In November 2016, Thuan Binh Wind Power JSC started the operation of the first phase of Phu Lac wind far,, with a capacity of 2MW. To date, the plant contributes 56 million kWh to the national grid. However, the investor has raised concerns about the time to recover the investment capital. According to Bui Van Thinh, chairman of Thuan Binh Wind Power JSC, the regulated selling price of wind power in Vietnam is among the lowest in the world, only 7.8 cent per kWh (compared to the 20 cent per kWh  in Thailand, the 29 cent per kWh in the Philippines, and 30 cent per kWh in Japan). The first phase of the project has a total investment capital sum of VND1.1 trillion (US$48.4 million). With the existing selling price, it will take the company 14 years to recover their investment. Thinh stated that with the existing selling price, it is difficult for Vietnam to reach the target of generating 800MW of wind power by 2020.

HCM City looks to expand solar power network VOV 1st Nov 2017
Sun power output in Ho Chi Minh City was estimated to grow an average of 2.5 times on an annual basis since 2014. In 2014, the output was recorded at 400 kilowatt peak. In 2016, it increased to 4 megawatt peak in comparison to the national figure of 7 megawatt peak. Official surveys showed that more than 300,000 roofs are suitable to solar battery installation for the generation of more than 6.4 green watt power. Sun energy in Vietnam is consumed through grid-tied and off-grid systems, with price being at VND2,086 per kilowatt hour (excluded VAT tax). A household or business using grid-tied solar power can reduce energy costs and even sell excess power back to the utility for money.

Coal imports surpass US$1 billion in nine months VOV 25th Oct 2017
Vietnam imported more than 1 million tons of coal in September, bringing the total import volume in the first nine months of this year to 10.4 million tons with a value of US$1.03 billion, according to the General Department of Vietnam Customs. Meanwhile, coal exports in the period reached only US$207 million, equal to 15% of the import quantity. Most of the imported coal came from Indonesia, Australia, Russia, China and Malaysia, 8.7 million tons of which were from Indonesia, Australia and Russia which made up nearly 84% of the country’s total import volume. Although the import volume inched up 0.1% (around 1 million tons), the import price rose by nearly 53%, pushing the value up to US$1.03 billion.

MoIT’s new decision benefits gas producers VOV 15th Oct 2017
Gas and oil power plants are expected to benefit from the new decision of the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) that has suspended the operation of the competitive electricity generation market. The competitive electricity generation market (CGM) was launched in July 2012 to diversify power sources, reduce the country’s dependence on hydropower plants and make the power market more competitive. MoIT Decision No 3698/QD-BCT that took effect on October 1 suspends the CGM operation to maximise the consumption of gas-based power production, thus benefiting gas power producers at least in the fourth quarter, according to HCM City Securities Co (HSC).

Vietnam imports more and more energy VietnamNet 13th Oct 2017
Since 2015, Vietnam has shifted from an energy exporting country to an importing country. It has to import 3 percent of the primary energy needed, but the figure will rise to 24 percent by 2030. Nguyen Van Vy from the Vietnam Energy Association warned that if Vietnam doesn’t step up the development of renewable energy, the proportion may be up to 44 percent by 2030 instead of the predicted 24 percent.  Hydropower, the primary source of renewable energy, according to Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Hoang Quoc Vuong, has reached the critical point. Vietnam strives for 21,600 MW of installed capacity by 2020, 24,600 MW by 2025 and 27,800 MW by 2030.

Experts bullish on solar power in VN Vietnamnews 13th Oct 2017
Rooftop solar power in Việt Nam could be smoothly integrated into the national grid, energy experts said on Thursday at a seminar in Hà Nội. Co-organised by the EU Energy Initiative Partnership Dialogue Facility (EUEI PDF) and the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Electricity Regulatory Authority of Việt Nam (ERAV), the seminar struck an optimistic tone on the future of solar energy in Việt Nam. Experts from an EU consultants group shared the results of a four-month pilot project on rooftop solar power in Đà Nẵng City’s Hòa Cầm industrial zone. Industrial parks are good places to build solar panels because they have large rooftops and strong electrical connections already available.

World Bank and Vietnam to pilot solar power auctions VietnamNet 15th Sep 2017
In preparation for the coming open energy market in Vietnam, the World Bank and the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) will implement the pilot programme to auction solar power with the floor price of 9.35 US cent per kWh. The programme is aimed at accelerating the development of registered projects, while simultaneously luring in more new investment capital. This was announced by Tran Hong Ky, energy expert of the World Bank, at the inception workshop themed “National Assessment of the Development Potential of Grid-Connected Solar Photovoltaic Projects in Vietnam until 2020 with a Vision to 2030,” organised on September 14 in Hanoi.