Energy Update: May 17, 2018

Energy Update | May 17, 2018
Authors: Riley Smith and Joyce Lin
 
LOOKING AHEAD
 
 

May 29: Malaysia Committee Call with Briefing by Ambassador Kamala Shirin Lakhdhir 

May 31: Workshop in Investment Arbitration in ASEAN

May 31: Welcome Luncheon for H.E. Virachai Plasai, Incoming Ambassador of Thailand to the United States

June 5: Farewell Luncheon in Honor of H.E. Pham Quang Vinh, Vietnam Ambassador to the U.S.

June 26-28: 2018 Thailand Business Mission

October 30-November 2: Singapore International Energy Week (SIEW) 2018

 
THE COUNCIL'S TAKE
 
 

Thailand Opens Bidding for Gas Blocks in Bongkot and Erawan Fields Under New PSC Scheme

After multiple postponements over the last two years, the Minister of Energy of Thailand, Siri Jirapongphan, announced the opening of bidding on April 24 for exploration and production (E&P) activities in offshore gas blocks No. G1/61 and No. G2/61 in the Gulf of Thailand's Erawan and Bongkot fields, respectively. Collectively, the fields account for up to 75% of Thailand's total gas output. Detailed descriptions of Exploration Block No.G1/61 and No.G2/61, as well as instructions to bidders and invitations for proposal can be found here and here. The exploration period outlined under the new Petroleum Bidding Round for these two areas will start from 24 April 2022. In May 2016, the Government of Thailand had announced plans to auction these concessions within the year, but the terms of the auction were not clarified until recently. Jirapongphan said he expects the winners of this bidding round to be announced this December.

Rather than relying upon the previously used concession method, in which the companies are the primary decisionmakers with regard to investments and E&P operations, the recently announced bidding will adhere to a new Production Sharing Contract (PSC) method. The new PSC method gives politicians and bureaucrats more of a say in the decision-making process for E&P operations and related investments. According to the new method, official Government approval will be needed in a way that is similar to the requirements for E&P in the Malaysia-Thailand Joint Development Area. It is the first time that the new PSC method will be used for bidding for E&P rights for the Bongkot and Erawan fields. Policymakers claim that it will ensure greater transparency and maximize public benefit, as companies are required to share at least 50% of their profits with the Government. However, it is unclear if the new PSC method will actually lead to increased financial benefits for the state. The greater role that the Government will play in the decision-making process also introduces an increased risk of political interference and rent seeking. The Details of the Production Sharing Contract can be found on page 42 of the information memorandum released by the Ministry of Energy for the recent bidding round.

The already two-year delay in opening the bidding for the offshore gas blocks has led to concerns among analysts that further delays in the auctioning process are possible. Such delays could lead to higher power generation costs as state utilities would likely have to resort to more expensive fuel imports to make up for the resultant natural gas shortage. Analysts also point out that winning operators for the recent bid round may not have sufficient time to prepare production facilities at both gas blocks, with only three years until the current concessions expire. Analysts have also raised concerns that any further delays could have a negative impact on the Government's Eastern Economic Corridor initiative, given that its 10 focus industries require petrochemical feedstock and ample electricity. A reduction in the domestically produced petrochemical feedstock coupled with a rise in the cost of power generation would likely hurt the competitiveness of these 10 focus industries.

Myanmar Government to Rely Increasingly on ODA, Promotes LPG Use Amid Rising Electricity Demand

In order to meet the targets of its National Electrification Plan at a time of increasing energy demand, the Government of Myanmar will likely have to increasingly rely upon Official Development Assistance (ODA) from multilateral financial institutions such as the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, as well as from government development agencies such as the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). While investment is also needed in the areas of sector planning and legal and regulatory support, most of the ODA will be directed to energy infrastructure development, with the aim of supporting the Government's focus on developing special economic zones to attract more foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country. 

The goal of Myanmar's National Electrification Plan is to provide 100% of households across Myanmar access to electricity by 2030. The intermediate goals for the plan are to provide 47% of households access to electricity by 2020 and 75% of households by 2025. However, with the compound annual growth rate of demand for electricity over the last seven years reaching 13.1%, a pace that analysts project will continue up to 2030, the Government of Myanmar has found itself racing to achieve its electrification targets and looking to ODA for the funding to do so. According to a study by the ASEAN Centre for Energy and the Korean Energy Economics Institute, ODA in Myanmar's energy sector has grown 36.4% per year. By 2016, cumulative ODA in the sector had reached US$2.66 billion, with China and Japan being the two largest donors. Nevertheless, in order to meet its 2020 target, the Government will require an additional US$650 million in loans and US$24 million in technical assistance, primarily to roll out a combination of grid-connected power plants and mini-grid and off-grid systems. In response, the World Bank and other donors reportedly are planning to increase ODA to Myanmar for energy sector development, while reducing ODA to Indonesia and Vietnam.

Rising electricity demand has also led the Government of Myanmar to increasingly promote the use of liquified petroleum gas (LPG) at the household-level, especially in cooking in an attempt to free up electricity supply for priority industries. The aim is to distribute LPG to a million households by 2020. Currently, less than 10% of domestic consumption is locally produced, and most LPG supplies in Myanmar are imported from Thailand, with some coming by China. One step that the Government has already taken to increase LPG supply and storage in the country was the leasing out in 2017 of state-owned facilities at the Thanlyin Refinery, located in the Yangon Region, for importing, storing and distributing LPG. However, industry representatives maintain that inadequate supply chain infrastructure continues to result in bottlenecks in distribution. They argue that in order for the Government to meet its LPG substitution goals, investment in import and storage infrastructure must also be accompanied by increased investment in distribution infrastructure, but that more governmental incentives are needed to spur such investments by the private sector. Industry representatives have also pointed out the need to strengthen safety standards at LPG facilities and for equipment installation. Zaw Aung, Director General of the Oil and Gas Planning Department, said at the recent World LPG Association (WLPGA) Myanmar Summit that the government is formulating LPG rules and regulations in accordance with the Petroleum and Petroleum Products Law in order to support sustainable LPG development and expansion of LPG usage.

 
ADVOCACY UPDATE
 
 
The Council would like to hear from member companies that are interested in meeting with Singapore's Energy Market Authority (EMA) and National Environment Agency (NEA) to discuss how companies will be affected by Singapore's planned carbon tax. If your company would be interested in attending a meeting with EMA and NEA on this topic, please contact Sunita Kapoor (skapoor@usasean.org) and Riley Smith (rsmith@usasean.org). More information on Singapore's planned carbon tax can be found here and here.
 
IN THIS UPDATE
 
 
ASEAN
Water stress and its link to renewables in ASEAN
Renewable energy in Asean

Brunei
AHEAD breaks the ground for hydrogen plant

Indonesia
Indonesia reaches 1,925 MW installed geothermal power generation capacity
Indonesia's Pertamina to take over 8 expiring oil blocks -energy ministry
Indonesia scales down investment target in energy, mining sectors
Gov't to Axe Complicated Regulations to Boost Oil & Gas Investment
PLN to phase out diesel-fueled power plants
50 upstream oil, gas projects to start production in 2018-2027
Pertamina chief executive replaced

Laos
Leaked report warns Cambodia's biggest dam could 'literally kill' Mekong river
Mining sector to contribute less to Lao economy: report
Laos: New Hydropower Dams, Old Mekong Worries

Malaysia
Analysis: Malaysia regime change heralds risks for Southeast Asian oil and gas
O&G players see impact from new industry updates
Abg Johari going ahead with O&G plans despite change in political scene
The changing face of electricity in Malaysia
Petronas, Saudi Aramco launch corporate identity of JVs in Pengerang
MGA strengthens leadership amidst promising industry outlook
RM5 billion fund to develop green industry
Malaysia's Petronas delivers LNG to South Korea's S-Oil
Foreign investment in Malaysia’s petrochemicals industry gains momentum

Myanmar
Myanmar’s electricity goals depend on ODA
Over the last year, Myanmar’s energy sector stumbles in right direction
Ministry selects winners of rental power tender
Infrastructure, safety standards needed for LPG industry to take off
Power games over Kayin coal-fired plant
Work on Myanmar dam goes on under heavy guard

Philippines
Power shortage expected to hit Luzon in 4 years
Lopez Group readies partnerships for $1-billion LNG terminal
NGCP bares power solutions during TechCon SE Asia 2018
Philippine joint oil exploration with China: path to peace or pipe dream?
‘Just let market forces decide’: Stakeholders seek D.O.E. clarification on pronouncement to alter power mix | BusinessMirror
DOE defers global petroleum roadshows to 2nd half this year
DOE eyes tweaks in energy mix policy
Sabang Renewable Energy to build Philippines 1st hybrid-powered grid | Philstar.com
Senate panel moves to reinforce natural-gas industry in PHL

Singapore
Opportunities for deeper collaboration between S'pore & Vietnam in clean energy, smart cities and digital economy
PUB eyeing two more reservoirs to harness solar power
S'pore shipbuilder Keppel Corp to deliver South-east Asia's first LNG-powered tugboat
Clean, affordable energy a challenge for Singapore

Thailand
PTT eyes airport rail link
New renewable plants to receive B2.4 feed-in tariff
Thai petroleum fields auction to begin Tuesday: Energy Minister - ET EnergyWorld
Analysts worried about gas auctions
Gas field auction details finalised

Vietnam
Indian investors keen on energy projects in Vietnam - News VietNamNet
Vietnam's Apr coal imports hit 2.25 mil mt, highest in 8 months
German-funded project on smart power network development approved
Oil firms pile up losses, shares take beating
PetroVietnam continues to show strong performance despite difficulties
PV Power given green light on new plants
 
ARTICLE CLIPS
 
 
ASEAN

Water stress and its link to renewables in ASEAN The ASEAN Post 14th May 2018
The renewable energy sector in Southeast Asia has progressed in leaps and bounds. From the harnessing of biomass to the use of water in generating electricity, there is room for tremendous economic growth as well as the obvious positive of caring for an ailing environment. However, one has to ask the question; are the mechanisms put in place for the harnessing of these resources safe for the trifecta that is air, land, and water? Irresponsible methods of harnessing renewables can be seen as a contributing factor to water scarcity in the region, a nascent issue that has and will continue to impact large segments of society in ASEAN and beyond.

Renewable energy in Asean Khmer Times 3rd May 2018
The current global energy landscape differs greatly from what it looked like a decade ago. The world is seen transitioning towards new and renewable energy (RE) in a quiet but fast pace, driven by various factors for the last ten years. This is due to a variety of reasons, including the arising concern over climate change which leads to a global commitment formulated in the Paris Agreement, the uncertainty of oil crisis as seemingly proven by the ‘Hubbert peak oil theory’, and the advancing technologies in RE. RE is the current rising star globally, reflected by many countries’ moves towards adding the capacity of these technologies. In 2016, two-thirds of additional global power capacity or almost 165 GW were coming from RE. It is also predicted that solar and wind (on-shore and off-shore) will represent 80 percent of global RE capacity in the next five years.

Brunei

AHEAD breaks the ground for hydrogen plant Borneo Bulletin Online 22nd Apr 2018
The Advanced Hydrogen Energy Chain Association for Technology Development (AHEAD), created by four companies – Chiyoda Corporation, Mitsubishi Corporation, Mitsui & Co Ltd, and Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha – and funded by New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), held a ground breaking ceremony yesterday for the construction of the world’s first global hydrogen supply chain demonstration plant at the project site located at Sungai Liang Industrial Park (SPARK). The plant is a collaborative project between the governments of Brunei Darussalam and Japan and a direct response to growing global concerns on greenhouse gas emissions and how it has adversely affected the planet as outlined in the Paris Agreement. Present during the ceremony to pray for the safety of the demo plant during its construction and eventual operation was Deputy Minister of Energy and Industry Dato Paduka Awang Haji Matsatejo bin Sokiaw, the guest of honour.

Indonesia

Indonesia reaches 1,925 MW installed geothermal power generation capacity Think GeoEnergy - Geothermal Energy News 14th May 2018
The installed power generation capacity in Indonesia has reached 1,924.5 MW  in the first quarter of 2018. It is expected that the capacity will reach 2,058.5 MW at the end of the year. With an achievement of 1,924.5 MW it put Indonesia in second place in the world after the United States in utilizing geothermal power, shifting second position previously occupied by the Philippines.

Indonesia's Pertamina to take over 8 expiring oil blocks -energy ministry ETEnergyworld.com 20th Apr 2018
Indonesia's Pertamina has signed agreements to take over the rights to eight expiring oil field blocks previously held by Chevron , CNOOC and Inpex, among others, an energy ministry official said on Friday. "Pertamina has paid a signature bonus of $33.5 million," Oil and Gas Director General Djoko Siswanto said, referring to the agreements. Pertamina had also committed to spending $556.5 million on developing the fields over the next three years, including for drilling programs, exploration and workovers, he said.

Indonesia scales down investment target in energy, mining sectors The Jakarta Post 20th Apr 2018
The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry has revised its investment target this year by 27 percent to only US$37.2 billion, with the biggest cut of more than 50 percent coming from the electricity sector. The ministry initially aimed to realize investments worth $50.96 billion this year, of which $24.88 billion was expected to be in the electricity sector, $16.76 billion in the oil and gas sector, $7.31 billion in the mining sector and $2.01 billion in the renewable energy sector. However, the latest data from the ministry show the targeted investment currently stands at $37.2 billion. Of the figure, the electricity and mining sectors are projected to get $12.2 billion and $6.2 billion, respectively. Meanwhile, the targets for the oil and gas and renewable energy sectors remain unchanged.

Gov't to Axe Complicated Regulations to Boost Oil & Gas Investment Jakarta Globe 3rd May 2018
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo told the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources on Wednesday (02/05) to continue axing several complicated regulations in a bid to accelerate more petroleum investment into Indonesia. "I told the [Energy Ministry] that our regulations are still not conducive. There are still [many regulations] that are complicated, and require a lot of procedure. The regulations should be axed and simplified. I want to discuss that at this forum, what kind of regulations that still give us a headache," Jokowi said at the 2018 Indonesian Petroleum Association (IPA) conference at the Jakarta Convention Center on Wednesday. "We expect to increase [oil and gas] production every year because it has been years that we have not been conducting large-scale oil exploration. Our production keeps declining, and we keep importing oil. That is the expectation," Jokowi said. Once a founding member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Indonesia is now only able to produce oil about 800,000 barrels per day (bpd), half of its daily need, and has since relinquished its place in OPEC.

PLN to phase out diesel-fueled power plants The Jakarta Post 27th Apr 2018
State-owned electricity company PLN is gradually reducing the use of diesel-fueled power plants (PLTD) to improve efficiency. According to PLN’s electricity procurement business plan (RUPTL) for the 2018-2027 period, the contribution of oil-fueled power plants is expected to fall to just 0.4 percent of the total electricity production by the end of 2027. Meanwhile, coal-fired power plants (PLTU) are projected to contribute the lion’s share of 54.4 percent, followed by renewable energy (23 percent) and gas (22.2 percent). “We will slash the basic cost of production by reducing the use of PLTD, which are replaced by plants that use other sources of energy,” said PLN corporate communication head I Made Suprateka in Jakarta on Friday, as reported by kontan.co.id. He added that such a move was important given the volatility of global oil prices.

50 upstream oil, gas projects to start production in 2018-2027 Antara News 25th Apr 2018
As many as 50 upstream oil and gas projects are targeted to start operations within the next 10 years by 2027. The projects have a total production capacity of 84,700 barrels per day of oil and 6,100 million standard cubic feet per day of natural gas. "It will need the support of all stakeholders for the projects to start production on time and contribute to the nation`s oil and gas production," Amien Sunaryadi, head of the Special Force for Upstream Oil and Gas Business Activities (SKK Migas), noted at the forum of oil and gas production facility (FFPM 2018) here on Wednesday. Of the total projects, 20 are onshore while 30 others are offshore projects.

Pertamina chief executive replaced Antara News 20th Apr 2018
The Government has replaced Chief Executive of the energy company PT Pertamina Elia Massa Manik at an extraordinary shareholders` meeting of the country`s largest state company here on Friday. Deputy for Mining, Strategic Industry and Media of the State Enterprise Ministry Fajar Harry Sampurno said there are a number of reasons for the dismissal of the Board of Directors of PT Pertamina "The process was conducted together with inputs from the Board of Commissioners," Fajar said. The first reason was related to the recent process of making Pertamina a holding company for state-owned oil and gas companies, he said, adding the government wants to strengthen and speed up the implementation. The second reason was the change in the management of Processing and Petrochemical mega project of Pertamina and other officials of the company.

Laos

Leaked report warns Cambodia's biggest dam could 'literally kill' Mekong river the Guardian 16th May 2018
A Chinese-backed plan to build Cambodia’s biggest dam could “literally kill” the Mekong river, according to a confidential assessment seen by the Guardian which says that the proposed site at Sambor is the “worst possible place” for hydropower. The report, which was commissioned by the government in Phnom Penh, has been kept secret since it was submitted last year, prompting concerns that ministers are inclined to push ahead regardless of the dire impact it predicts on river dolphins and one of the world’s largest migrations of freshwater fish.The proposed hydropower plant would require a 33km-wide concrete barrier across the river at Sambor, Kratie province. This quiet rural district is best known as a place for watching Irrawaddy dolphins, whose critically low numbers have just shown their first increase in 20 years.

Mining sector to contribute less to Lao economy: report - Xinhua | English.news.cn Xinhua 16th May 2018
The mining sector's contribution to the Lao economy will continue to drop over the coming years as a lower output is forecast for this natural resource-based business, according to an update from the Lao National Economic Research Institute. The institute released its domestic economic update last month, which highlighted projections for 2018 and beyond, local daily Vientiane Times reported Thursday. According to the report, the output of the mining sector, one of the main contributing sectors to the economy, has witnessed continued decline. This has deflated the sector's contribution to the economy.

Laos: New Hydropower Dams, Old Mekong Worries The Diplomat 14th May 2018
Laos has not been reluctant to let the world know about its ambition to become the largest energy exporter in the region, or the “Battery of Asia.” As of part of efforts to realize its goal, the landlocked communist country has pushing for building more hydropower plants over the years, in spite of the current and projected impacts on the future of the Mekong River, one of the world’s longest, largest, and resource-rich rivers. With a current installed capacity of approximately 6,000 MW, the Lao government aims to achieve 14,000 MW of energy production by 2020. Its primary export targets are neighboring countries where there are growing demands for more energy. With Thailand as its current main customer, the country is poised to export more to others, including potentially other countries in mainland Southeast Asia as well.

Malaysia

Analysis: Malaysia regime change heralds risks for Southeast Asian oil and gas Platts 16th May 2018
The surprise outcome of Malaysia's historic 2018 elections has elevated risks for the oil and gas sector in Southeast Asia, stemming from the winning coalition's stance on fuel subsidies, its position on Chinese business investment and potential interference in the working of Petronas -- one of the largest national oil companies in the region. Malaysia is currently the world's third-largest exporter of LNG, having been displaced by Australia from second place in 2017, and the second-largest oil and natural gas producer in Southeast Asia after Indonesia.

O&G players see impact from new industry updates BorneoPost Online 16th May 2018
With just two more months before Sarawak state-owned Sarawak Petroleum Bhd (Petros) assumes full regulatory authority over the upstream and downstream aspects of the state’s oil and gas (O&G) industry, existing industry players are wondering if their business activities will be impacted. During an industry engagement session on the implementation of the Oil Mining Ordinance (OMO) and Distribution of Gas Ordinance (DGO) in Sarawak held yesterday, Petros’ chief executive office Saau Kakok explained that most, if not all, entities undertaking activities in the O&G industry will need to apply or reapply for their respective licenses and leases.

Abg Johari going ahead with O&G plans despite change in political scene BorneoPost Online 16th May 2018
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg is keeping his cool over the state’s oil and gas plans going forward amid the present political uncertainties and complexity. While the state government has not given a clear reaction about navigating the uncertainties and most importantly on Sarawak’s political future, Abang Johari however dismissed concerns that the federal government might derail his plans for the oil and gas sector in Sarawak. “I don’t think so (that I am concerned about the Pakatan Harapan’s promise of 20 per cent oil royalty). But let them (federal government) settle down first… be fair to them plus I have communicated with them,” he said.

The changing face of electricity in Malaysia Eco-Business 16th May 2018
At the Fourth International Sustainable Energy Summit (ISES) held last month in Kuching, Malaysia, it was obvious that the cost of electricity is indeed coming down and, importantly, the reduced cost of renewable energy is shifting utilities towards becoming greener and cleaner. Yet renewable energy still only accounts for about a fifth of electricity use worldwide. Speakers at the Summit said this did not have to be the case, and findings from the two-day Summit disclosed that utilities need to capitalise more on innovation to scale up variable renewable energy, and that unlocking financing was key for renewable projects.

Petronas, Saudi Aramco launch corporate identity of JVs in Pengerang NST Online 15th May 2018
Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) and Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco) have launched a corporate identity of their joint ventures (JVs) at Pengerang Integrated Complex (PIC) in Johor. Petronas group president and chief executive officer Tan Sri Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin said the JVs are Pengerang Refining Company Sdn Bhd (PrefChem Refining) and Pengerang Petrochemical Company Sdn Bhd (PrefChem Petrochemical). Petronas and Saudi Aramco finalised their share purchase agreement (SPA) in March involving investments of US$7 billion (RM27.4 billion) for the equal stakes in selected oil refining operations, petrol and petrochemical operations at PIC.

MGA strengthens leadership amidst promising industry outlook NST Online 15th May 2018
The Malaysian Gas Association (MGA) has announced a new line-up of council members and outlined increased gas advocacy efforts in 2018. In a statement released today, MGA announced that Hazli Sham Kassim will continue to be the association president, followed by the appointment of two female leaders joining council members. Hazli, who is also a senior general manager, Integrated Hydrocarbon Management, Malaysia Petroleum Management at Petronas, said the association looks forward in engaging with policy makers and regulators to play a role in ensuring Malaysia’s socio-economic progress.

RM5 billion fund to develop green industry NST Online 3rd May 2018
A RM5 billion fund has been allocated under the Green Technology Financing Scheme (GTFS) 2.0 to spur green technology industrial growth in the next five years. Launched by Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili, the GTFS attracted participation from 28 financial institutions since it was introduced in 2010. Its objective is to help finance green project nationwide such as energy, construction, transportation, water and waste. “As of last year, RM3.5 billion funding has been approved by finance institutions to support 319 green projects throughout the nation. “Of the figure, 37 projects were implemented in Sabah with a total of RM288 million funding. Nine of them (37 projects) are in Kudat involving RM59 million funding,” said Maximus at the launch of GTFS 2.0 here today.

Malaysia's Petronas delivers LNG to South Korea's S-Oil ETEnergyworld.com 24th Apr 2018
New Delhi: Malaysian state-owned oil company Petroliam Nasional Berhad, better known as Petronas, on Tuesday said it had delivered its first liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargo to South Korea's No.3 refiner S-Oil Corp. The April 22 delivery, via subsidiary Petronas LNG Ltd, marks the beginning of a 15-year supply contract. Petronas is committed to delivering up to 700,000 tonnes of LNG a year to S-Oil, Petronas said in a statement. S-Oil announced in August that it had signed a long-term LNG supply contract with Petronas from March, 2018 through March, 2033. It plans to use LNG as fuel to run refining plants and as a feedstock for petrochemical products.

Foreign investment in Malaysia’s petrochemicals industry gains momentum BorneoPost Online 12th May 2018
Projects to expand refining capacity coupled with rising demand for downstream hydrocarbons products are attracting increased investment in Malaysia’s petrochemicals industry, while recovering oil prices are driving increased upstream expenditure. In late March Malaysia’s national oil and gas company, Petronas, and Saudi Aramco announced the creation of two joint ventures for the Refinery and Petrochemicals Integrated Development (RAPID) project in Johor. This came a month after the two companies concluded negotiations regarding Saudi Aramco’s US$7 billion investment in the project.

Myanmar

Myanmar’s electricity goals depend on ODA The Myanmar Times 14th May 2018
Myanmar’s National Electrification Plan aims to electrify 100pc of households by 2030, with intervening targets of 47pc by 2020 and 76pc by 2025. Myanmar will require a total investment of US$5.8 billion (K7.74 trillion) for this project. To reach the government electrification programme’s 2020 target, about $650 million in loans and $24 million in technical assistance will be required during 2015-2019 for implementation of grid-connected power plants and mini-grid/off-grid establishment. Indeed, the government seeks to get as much Official Development Assistance (ODA) as it can for energy development.

Over the last year, Myanmar’s energy sector stumbles in right direction The Myanmar Times 14th May 2018
Myanmar’s proven natural gas reserves are about 1,820 billions of cubic feet (BCF) and its crude oil reserves are estimated to top 139 million barrels. With Myanmar now open to international exploration, major firms are making substantial investments in the country, using updated technology to discover new deposits. Being a sector with great potential to contribute to the country’s development, it’s worth bearing in mind that it is only in recent years that Myanmar’s oil and gas industry has made strides towards providing a reliable energy supply. The last year, in particular, has seen developments in some areas and setbacks in others.

Ministry selects winners of rental power tender Frontier Myanmar 14th May 2018
The Ministry of Electricity and Energy has selected the winners of a tender for rental power projects in Mandalay Region, an official says. Although the winners have not been formally announced, U Han Zaw, chief engineer at the Electric Power Generation Enterprise, told Frontier that the tender evaluation committee had already made a decision. He confirmed that VPower of Hong Kong has been selected to operate a plant at Myingyan, while National Infrastructure Holding Company will run a plant at nearby Kyaukse. Both will be fuelled by natural gas from the Shwe field.

Infrastructure, safety standards needed for LPG industry to take off The Myanmar Times 14th May 2018
The government is now more than half way through its term and time is running out for it to make good on its promise to double Myanmar’s supply of electricity within the next two years. But the government is not without backup plans to help it achieve its goals, one of which is replacing the use of electricity for household cooking with liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). By the time its term is up in 2020, the government wants at least 1.5 million households across Myanmar to be cooking with LPG, which will free up more power to electrify the cities and industrial zones. But while investments for the import, storage and distribution of LPG in Myanmar has risen over the past year, industry insiders say the government may not meet its deadline to make LPG available at the targeted scale. 

Power games over Kayin coal-fired plant Frontier Myanmar 14th May 2018
THE FATE OF a proposed coal-fired power plant in Kayin State remains in doubt, with government officials appearing to walk back comments from Union Minister of Electricity and Energy U Win Khaing that Nay Pyi Taw would not grant permission for the project. Speaking at an infrastructure seminar on March 14, Win Khaing reportedly said that the 1,280-megawatt plant near the state capital, Hpa-an, would not be approved because it was not required and was unpopular with locals.

Work on Myanmar dam goes on under heavy guard The Straits Times 7th May 2018
Work on a massive hydropower dam appears to be picking up in eastern Myanmar as the electricity-starved nation seeks ways to light more homes amid protests from locals and environmentalists. Locals say employees of a Chinese state-owned power firm in Shan state have been working under heavy guard at the Mong Ton Hydropower project along the Salween river. The Mong Ton dam is backed by a consortium, including the China Three Gorges Corporation and a subsidiary of the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand. In its original form, the dam would have been the tallest in the country and created a reservoir larger than Singapore. But its design was reportedly modified to reduce local impact.

Philippines

Power shortage expected to hit Luzon in 4 years Manila Standard 14th May 2018
Power industry executives expressed concern over potential supply problems by 2022 or 2023 amid the slow construction of new power plants and rapidly increasing demand. Officials of the energy sector said while there was currently enough power in the Luzon grid, the low reserve margin, deteriorating power plants and regulatory delays should be addressed soon. GE Philippines chief executive Jose Victor Emmanuel De Dios said power supply was “still healthy,” but new capacity would be needed over the next few years. “My view is that the greater the reserve margin, the better, since it can easily take five years to develop large-scale power projects. Some of our Asean neighbors have much greater reserve margins than the Philippines, ensuring energy supply security,” De Dios said.

Lopez Group readies partnerships for $1-billion LNG terminal philstar.com 10th May 2018
The Lopez Group plans to start developing its $1 billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in 2019 as it looks to close partnerships and engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts within the year. In a briefing, First Gen Corp. president and COO Francis Giles Puno said the company has set a goal to finalize partnerships within the year. “Ideally, we’ll bring in maybe at least one foreign partner and potentially local partners as well. We don’t have to solely underwrite this. It’s an important infrastructure for the country,” Puno said. Puno said they are open to having a minority interest in the LNG terminal. First Gen also hopes to finalize the EPC contractor for the LNG terminal. The planned LNG terminal, which will have a capacity to supply a minimum five million tons of natural gas equivalent to 5,000 MW, will be located within the Lopez Group’s clean energy complex which houses the 1,000-MW Sta. Rita, 500-MW San Lorenzo, San Gabriel and 97-MW Avion gas plants.

NGCP bares power solutions during TechCon SE Asia 2018 BusinessMirror 26th Apr 2018
GRID operator National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) is spearheading efforts in Southeast Asia to find innovative solutions for sustainable, reliable, resilient and efficient power services. The move seeks to ensure nonstop operations of all power facilities and systems in the Philippines and the rest of the region. To boost its efforts, NGCP organized and brought to the Philippines the Technical Congress Southeast Asia 2018 (TechCon SE Asia 2018). Hosted by Wilson Transformer Co., together with TJ/H2b Analytical Services, the conference gathered experts from across the globe to share their knowledge, experience and expertise on electricity transmission and the power industry.

Philippine joint oil exploration with China: path to peace or pipe dream? The Nation 20th Apr 2018
Following Duterte’s latest trip to China to attend the Boao Forum for Asia, his Foreign Secretary Alan Cayetano announced that the two leaders had “essentially given the go-signal” to work out a framework for the project, with Xi saying that if the Philippines wanted joint exploration, Beijing would be willing “to discuss and find a solution” to the dispute in the South China Sea. Cayetano said that if this venture goes ahead, it could benefit the Philippines on a huge scale since Reed Bank – the area targeted for exploration – has reserves of 5.4 billion barrels of oil and 55.1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, according a study estimate by the US Energy Information Administration. He added that the planned venture with China could be bigger than Malampaya – the natural gas extraction project with Shell in the waters off Palawan where the government is getting 60 per cent of the net earnings.

‘Just let market forces decide’: Stakeholders seek D.O.E. clarification on pronouncement to alter power mix | BusinessMirror BusinessMirror 13th May 2018
Power-industry stakeholders are still clueless on how the Department of Energy (DOE) would implement its plan to alter the country’s energy mix. The DOE’s pronouncement, they said, remains vague and ambiguous, thus, the need for further clarifications on whether it is a policy or a mere guideline. At the end of the day, energy players stressed, market forces should be left as the deciding factor on which energy mix the sector would follow.

DOE defers global petroleum roadshows to 2nd half this year Manila Bulletin Business 5th May 2018
Due to the length of required preparations, the Department of Energy (DOE) has indicated that the roadshows on the country’s petroleum contracting will have to be deferred to second half, instead of having a June kick-off this year. Energy Undersecretary Donato D. Marcos, who is the lead official in the department’s energy resource development initiatives, noted that they will formally launch the fortified Philippine Conventional Energy Contracting Program (PCECP) first in the Philippines prior to them undertaking offshore investment promotions. “We will launch the PCECP first between mid-June this year to early July, …unfortunately, our targeted timeframes have already been overrun by events,” he said. For instance, he noted that the original target for a roadshow in the United States should have been May this year, “but that is no longer possible –  logistics and preparations wise.”

DOE eyes tweaks in energy mix policy BusinessMirror 1st May 2018
ENERGY Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi said a possible shift in energy mix policy is still under consideration and that extensive studies must be conducted before any changes are introduced. “It’s just being discussed. No harm there. If it’s possible, then we will look at it. We will study it first, of course,” Cusi said  in an interview when asked if the Department of Energy (DOE) was bent on revising the policy again. This after DOE Undersecretary Felix William B. Fuentebella announced earlier that the agency was looking at a shift of the energy mix to 50 percent baseload and 50 percent flexible plants.

Sabang Renewable Energy to build Philippines 1st hybrid-powered grid | Philstar.com philstar.com 25th Apr 2018
Local renewable energy developer Sabang Renewable Energy Corp. (SREC) is putting up the country’s first hybrid-powered micro-grid in Sabang, Palawan to reduce diesel consumption and generate savings on rural electrification. SREC – composed of Singapore-based WEnergy Global, Gigawatt Power Inc. and Vivant Corp. – broke ground on the hybrid micro grid project consisting of 1.4-megawatt peak (MWp) solar PV with a 2.3-megawatt hour (MWh) battery storage system and 1.2-MW diesel generators to power its 14-circuit kilometer distribution facility.The company claimed it is the first of its kind Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) and Department of Energy (DOE) approved project in the country as well as in the ASEAN region.

Senate panel moves to reinforce natural-gas industry in PHL BusinessMirror 25th Apr 2018
The Senate Committee on Energy is eyeing remedial legislation reinforcing the Philippines’s downstream natural-gas sector well in advance of the 2024 expiration of the Malampaya gas field franchise. Sen. Sherwin T. Gatchalian, committee chairman, is calling a public hearing on Thursday to consult industry players and regulators as the panel moves to craft a law aimed at “establishing a stronger legal framework to develop and regulate the country’s downstream natural-gas sector.” Confirming the scheduled committee hearing, Gatchalian said the Senate panel needs to “clarify the government’s policy on our natural-gas resources given the complexity of the industry, the current lack of an institutionalized regulatory framework  and the need to replace the fuel sources of existing natural gas plants.”

Singapore

Opportunities for deeper collaboration between S'pore & Vietnam in clean energy, smart cities and digital economy The Business Times 3rd May 2018
Vietnam offers strong growth prospects for Singapore companies especially in the clean energy, smart cities and digital economy sectors, said Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong. Mr Wong, who was speaking at the Vietnam-Singapore Business Dialogue held at the Fairmont Hotel, noted that Singapore's economic cooperation with Vietnam has traditionally focused on manufacturing but there are opportunities emerging in a number of new growth areas. The forum celebrates 45 years of diplomatic relations and five years of strategic partnership between the two countries.

PUB eyeing two more reservoirs to harness solar power The Straits Times 1st May 2018
With little space to accommodate sprawling solar fields, Singapore is looking into installing solar panels on its water spaces. Engineering studies for solar systems are being carried out at Tengeh and Upper Peirce reservoirs, and now national water agency PUB is looking at adding them to two more reservoirs here to power its energy-intensive water treatment processes in a greener way. Yesterday, it called a tender for engineering studies to be carried out at Bedok and Lower Seletar reservoirs to facilitate the deployment of floating solar photovoltaic systems there.

S'pore shipbuilder Keppel Corp to deliver South-east Asia's first LNG-powered tugboat TODAYonline 27th Apr 2018
Singapore-based Keppel Corp said on Wednesday (April 25) that its offshore rig-building unit is on track to deliver in May what the shipbuilder said will be the first tugboat in South-east Asia that can run on liquefied natural gas (LNG). The vessel will be one of seven dual-fuel vessels the company is building, and will be able to run on LNG and diesel, a spokesman for Keppel said, without disclosing how much the ship cost to build. A second dual-fuel LNG tug is due to be delivered by June or July, he said. The introduction of the vessels comes as Singapore's Maritime and Port Authority pushes ahead with an LNG bunkering pilot programme, designed to support the building of LNG-fuelled vessels.

Clean, affordable energy a challenge for Singapore The Straits Times 21st Apr 2018
Singapore fully supports the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, but achieving the goal of affordable and clean energy will be a challenge because it does not produce green energy alternatives, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Thursday. Even then, Singapore is among the 20 most carbon-efficient countries in the world. It is also committed to addressing climate change, which has a tremendous impact on the country's sustainable development efforts, he added when addressing a meeting of 53 Commonwealth heads of government.

Thailand

PTT eyes airport rail link Bangkok Post 26th Apr 2018
PTT Plc, the national oil and gas conglomerate, is conducting a feasibility study for a high-speed railway linkage between three major airports in Bangkok and Chon Buri worth 200 billion baht. The project is a key infrastructure in the government's much-touted Eastern Economic Corridor scheme, consisting of 10 targeted industries operating in three strategic provinces: Chachoengsao, Chon Buri and Rayong. "This project is interesting to PTT because it will be relevant to our core business in those provinces such as electricity supply, but the board has yet make a decision until the feasibility study is completed," said Mr Piyasvasti, a former energy minister.

New renewable plants to receive B2.4 feed-in tariff Bangkok Post 26th Apr 2018
Energy policymakers announced new renewable power generators will have the same feed-in tariff as fossil-fuel power generators, 2.40 baht per kilowatt-hour, because their production cost is equal to or lower than their traditional peers. The new rate is effective for new power plants immediately. Energy Minister Siri Jirapongphan said this move is aimed at making public power bills more affordable as the new rate is significantly below the adder rate (the rate state utilities pay operators) renewable power generators pay of 5-8 baht. Mr Siri said the price renewable energy generators sell to state utilities should be equal or less than the price from the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand.

Thai petroleum fields auction to begin Tuesday: Energy Minister - ET EnergyWorld ETEnergyworld.com 24th Apr 2018
Thailand will begin auctions on Tuesday for petroleum fields in the Gulf of Thailand, Minister of Energy Siri Jirapongphan said on Monday. After months of delay, the National Energy Policy Committee approved the terms of the auction and will invite bids on the offshore Erawan and Bongkot natural gas fields on Tuesday, Siri said. Conditions include a combined output level in the two fields of at least 1.5 billion cubic feet per day at prices not higher than current levels for 10 years, the Energy Ministry said in a statement.

Analysts worried about gas auctions Bangkok Post 1st May 2018
Energy analysts are anxious about the possibility of further delays in the upcoming auction for the two gas blocks in the Gulf of Thailand, even as policymakers kicked off the official bidding on April 23. The auction process allows exploration and production (E&P) investors to download applications for the Erawan and Bongkot blocks. Policymakers will then screen applicants' qualifications. Winning bidders are expected to be announced around December, with contracts to be signed next February.

Gas field auction details finalised Bangkok Post 24th Apr 2018
The auction plans for the Bongkot and Erawan gas blocks in the Gulf of Thailand have finally been determined after almost a dozen postponements in the last two years. The winning bidders for the Erawan and Bongkot gas blocks in the Gulf of Thailand are expected to sign production-sharing contracts with the government by February 2019, said Energy Minister Siri Jirapongphan.

Vietnam

Indian investors keen on energy projects in Vietnam - News VietNamNet Vietnam net 14th May 2018
In early March 2018, at the invitation of H. E. Shri Ram Nath Kovind, President of the Republic of India, Tran Dai Quang, President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, paid a State visit to the Republic of India. With the satisfactory and significant rise in trade turnover during the last two years and the vision to accelerate economic potential to a further level, the two representatives urged the leaders of business and industry of both countries to explore new trade and investment opportunities in prime areas of cooperation, including hydrocarbons, power generation, renewable energy, and energy conservation. During the visit, both India and Vietnam affirmed that the cooperation in oil and gas exploration, thermal and hydroelectric power, and renewable energy and energy conservation is making significant progress.

Vietnam's Apr coal imports hit 2.25 mil mt, highest in 8 months Platts 14th May 2018
Vietnam imported 2.25 million mt of coal in April, up 132.5% year on year, the highest volume since August last year, according to preliminary customs data released Wednesday. Indonesia remained the biggest supplier of coal in the month with 1.29 million mt, up 161.2% year on year. Imports from other major suppliers including Australia and Russia also surged in April.

German-funded project on smart power network development approved vietnamnews.vn 15th May 2018
Deputy Prime Minister Phạm Bình Minh has signed Decision 519/QĐ-TTg approving the proposal on a German-funded project to apply smart power network to develop renewable energy and energy efficiency. The project, which will use non-refundable Official Development Assistance (ODA) capital of the German government, aims to complete the legal framework related to promoting and supporting the development of various sources of renewable energy in the power system, as well as a smart energy network in Việt Nam.

Oil firms pile up losses, shares take beating vietnamnews.vn 14th May 2018
The first quarter of this year saw the Petroleum Equipment Assembly & Metal Structure Joint Stock Company (PXS)’s revenues plummet to a mere VNĐ18.5 billion (US$815,000), 94.4 per cent down year-on-year. It had been VNĐ343.6 billion in the comparable period last year. Gross profit was down 94 per cent to VNĐ2.85 billion, and the company ended VNĐ20.1 billion in the red. Another oil company, Petrovietnam Drilling and Well Services Joint Stock Company (PV Drilling), reported a gross loss of VNĐ201 billion.

PetroVietnam continues to show strong performance despite difficulties vietnamnews.vn 10th May 2018
The Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) pumped 4.8 million tonnes of crude oil in the first four months of 2018, exceeding the target by 1.7 per cent. This also accounted for 36.2 per cent of its annual goal. Domestic production fetched 4.16 million tonnes, 1.6 per cent higher than the target, while its exploitation abroad was 0.63 million tonnes, exceeding the target by 2.3 per cent.

PV Power given green light on new plants vietnamnews.vn 27th Apr 2018
Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has given the go-ahead to PetroVietnam’s proposal of transferring the two gas-fuelled power plants – Nhơn Trạch 3 and 4 – to PetroVietnam Power Corporation (PV Power). In an official letter dated April 23, the PM agreed to allow PV Power to replace PetroVietnam as the investor of the two thermal power plants. Late in March, PetroVietnam proposed the transfer plan which aimed to reduce capital pressure on the group so that it can focus on other major State-owned coal, oil and gas projects.