Energy Update: June 14, 2018

Energy Update | June 14, 2018
Authors: Kim Yaeger, Mianmian Fei, Alex Nguyen, Annah Bachman
 
LOOKING AHEAD
 
 

June 18: Briefing on ASEAN Smart Cities Network

June 20: Roundtable with Tanita Sirisup, Director of the Thailand Board of Investment New York Office

June 25: Regional Updates (ASEAN & Southeast Asia) by Ambassador Michael Michalak (Kuala Lumpur)

June 26: Roundtable with H.E. Ignasius Jonan, Indonesian Minister for Energy & Mineral Resources (Washington, DC)

June 26-28: 2018 Thailand Business Mission

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

 
THE COUNCIL'S TAKE
 
 

Inflation Prompts Fuel Subsidies Across Southeast Asia

Since the U.S. announced in May plans to impose new sanctions on Iran, a major oil exporter, global oil prices hit their highest level since November 2014, leading to rising costs of not only retail crude but also other consumer goods. In Southeast Asia, the price surge has fired inflation, which is likely to weaken spending power and affect business operations. Governments across Southeast Asia have taken steps to mitigate negative economic effects.

Governments in Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Thailand have attempted to cap fuel prices using subsidies to protect consumers. In Indonesia, increasing fuel prices have prompted the government to continue subsidizing diesel fuel at the current rate until the end of 2019. In Vietnam, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s government has pursued several different efforts to keep prices under control, including using money from the petroleum-price-stabilization fund and instructing ministries not to increase electricity prices this year. Reintroducing fuel subsidies was a key campaign pledge of the newly elected Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. On June 7, the Ministry of Finance announced that the government has allocated 3 billion ringgit (USD$760 million) to finance fuel subsidies, despite the fact that cutting national debt has been part of the government’s agenda. Inflation in Thailand is low compared to its neighbors, but the government is still under public pressure to subsidize 50% of the price increase using the State Oil Fund.

Fuel subsidies, however, may not be sustainable in the face of a global oil price hike, and government may have to consider other mechanisms to solve the problem in the long term, such as reducing import tariffs, seeking other oil importers, and developing alternative fuel. The Thai government, for example, will end its subsidy in early July and introduce B20 fuel, an alternative fuel created by mixing regular diesel with 20% of biodiesel produced by agricultural products.

While not only attributable to rising oil prices, the Philippines is experiencing especially high inflation, with price growth at a five-year high. Some lawmakers attribute the price surge to the Tax Reform for Acceleration and inclusion (TRAIN) law in January, which meant to help fund President Duterte’s ambitious “Build, Build, Build (BBB)” infrastructure program. In response, President Duterte gave three marching orders to his Cabinet secretaries in late May, urging the Department of Trade and Industry to monitor and arrest businessmen who violate the suggested retail price, the Department of Labor and Employment to find out if there is a need to increase minimum wage, and the Department of Energy to look for other countries where the Philippines can get cheaper oil.

In Laos, the government has adjusted the price of fuel several times over the past few months to address the economic risk. The Cambodian government, on the other hand, has established an inter-ministerial committee composed of officials from the Ministry of Commerce, Economy and Finance, and Mines and Energy to help those affected by the rising oil prices across the country, although little progress has been made so far.

Petronas Files for Court Declaration as Exclusive Owner of Malaysia’s Petroleum Resources

On June 4, Malaysia’s national oil company Petronas filed an application before the Federal Court seeking declaration as the exclusive owner of the country’s petroleum resources as well as the regulator for the upstream oil industry. This follows as the state of Sarawak was granted complete mining rights over its territory in March and formed its own oil and gas company, Petros, in a move to earn its own revenues directly through exploration and downstream activities, rather than relying on payments from Petronas. The Sarawak state government was set to assume full regulatory authority for the upstream and downstream industries in its territory by July 1 in accordance to several state laws including the Oil Mining Ordinance 1958 (OMO), the Land Code of Sarawak and the Gas Distribution Ordinance 2016. Petronas said it has the exclusive powers to regulate upstream oil & gas activities throughout Malaysia under the Petroleum Development Act 1974 (PDA) and that the law supersedes the OMO. Petronas also added “it remains committed to support Sarawak’s aspiration to participate in the oil and gas industry in the state, for as long as it is within the framework of the PDA.”

The pending decision is significant as Petronas is a substantial contributor to Malaysia’s revenue, generating more than $2 billion in corporate taxes and dividends to the government last year, as well as the country’s largest employer in the country. However, there has been growing dissatisfaction in the Sarawak and Sabah governments over the years on oil royalties, despite the bulk of Petronas’ hydrocarbons coming from the two states. Party leaders in the United Sabah Alliance have urged the Sabah state government to intervene in the case, citing that a ruling from the federal court could be applied to them as well. The application is set to be heard on June 21 after being postponed originally from June 12. Amid the process of this application, Petronas is set to see leadership changes following the general election last month with Mohd Omar Mustapha, chairman of Petronas’ remuneration committee tendering his resignation effective June 30. Chairman Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan is expected to follow suit with his contract concluding at the end of the month. It is possible that former Petrona’s president Mohd Hassan Marican who retired in 2010 will reclaim the chairmanship.

 
IN THIS UPDATE
 
 
ASEAN
Inflation Bogeyman Prompts Fuel Subsidies Across Southeast Asia
Talks begin on how South East Asia can achieve green growth
Asean To Beef Up Power Grid
ASEAN vows to do more to build regional power grid

Brunei
Brunei enters new era of green technology

Cambodia
Two power plants get ministers council OK
Cambodian invests USD 1.34 bn on energy projects
Ministries convene to tackle oil price hike
Hydropower in Cambodia could threaten food security of region
A Break in the Clouds: Regulating Cambodian Solar Energy

Indonesia
Indonesia plans to raise diesel subsidies four-fold
Indonesia’s Looming Energy Challenges
Digging Deep: New Indonesian Mining Law to Replace the Mining Law?
Indonesia drafts low-cost financing scheme for green energy
No maximum limit for oil and gas bonus: ESDM Ministry
Indonesia committed to green development
Refueling stations to sell premium gasoline again
Coaltrans: Indonesia tenders to build remaining 12 GW of 35 GW power project by end-2017
Sri Mulyani: Govt Disbursed Rp39tn for Energy Subsidy
Cisokan hydropower plant project needs $800m in investment
Government appoints 5 operators for $292m oil and gas blocks
Government hands over oil blocks in gross split scheme
Provisions Relating to SKK Migas Redefined
Gov't to Foot Rising Fuel and Electricity Subsidy Bills
After coal, government pushes DMO on gas for electricity

Laos
Laos, Myanmar move forward in energy cooperation
Don Sahong Project Expected To Begin Power Generation In Late 2019
Fuel Prices Rise Again and May Rise Further
Rising Fuel Prices Cause Inflation

Malaysia
Changes seen at Petronas board
Domestic gas appliances need approval from energy commission, SIRIM label | Malay Mail
Sapura Energy discovers ninth gas discovery offshore Sarawak
Malaysia sets aside 3 billion ringgit to finance fuel subsidies
Malaysia's Petronas seeks court declaration on its ownership of...

Myanmar
Govt. to upgrade four sub-power stations in Yangon
19 agreements worth over $50 million signed for national power supply project | Eleven Myanmar
Domestic natural gas to be made available by 2023: MOEE
Government Aims to Provide LPG to 150,000 Households

Philippines
Dennis Uy forges partnership with China’s CNOOC for LNG terminal hub
DoE in discussions for CEZA nuclear power plant study
900 ‘e-trikes’ deployed in Manila
Philippines plans to import diesel from Russia, non-OPEC countries
US$976-M plant adds 420 MW to Luzon grid
Fuel excise tax suspension not doable for 2018 – DoF
Draft rules to make oil pricing transparent out
Duterte issues 3 marching orders to ease impact of oil price surge
DBP launches financing program for energy efficiency projects
Fuel excise tax may be suspended
House OKs bill requiring firms to get legislative license to operate mines
DOE, oil firms meet on measures to cushion petrol prices
Can nuclear power solve energy gap in the Philippines? Scientist explains
Solon prompts Duterte: Brace for $100 oil shock
Duterte, Cusi inaugurate Cebu oil field commercial production 
Green-energy groups show solar panels can go on rooftops of homes, factories, even ‘float’ on the lake
Cusi welcomes appointment of PSALM chief
Fuel excise tax suspension on $80/barrel eyed

Thailand
Social Media Furor Hits Oil Giant as Fuel Costs Squeeze Thailand
Government to cap diesel price
Thailand Biogas and Biomass Market is Expected to Reach Installed Capacity of 4,750 MW by 2022: Ken Research
Thai firm signs Laos power deal
Asia energy firms dive with oil, Trump-Kim hopes provide optimism
Samut Prakan taps Siemens turbines

Vietnam
Vietnam sets out green ambitions with bold targets for solar, rare earth
9 solar power projects receive investment licences
Vietnam's updated policy on inclusion of new solar power projects in power development plans
Binh Dinh approves US$63-million solar power project
Việt Nam spent $3.6 million on petrol imports
MPIC unit completes deal for Vietnam water firm
Quảng Trị gets one more wind power plant
Coal consumption surges in Vietnam
Vietnam needs just one, not 26 coal power plants
Vietnam launches design for clean energy future
EVN general director appointed MoIT deputy minister
MoF mulls increasing green tax
 
ARTICLE CLIPS
 
 
ASEAN

Inflation Bogeyman Prompts Fuel Subsidies Across Southeast Asia Bloomberg.com 5th Jun 2018
Oil-fired inflation that threatens to shoot ever higher is prompting governments across Southeast Asia to give some relief to pinched consumers. From fuel subsidies to tax incentives, governments are exploring ways to put a lid on rising prices -- for fear that consumers will revolt at the ballot box, or pull back on spending. Central banks in Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines have already raised interest rates this year to fight inflation and stabilize currencies as the U.S. tightens monetary policy. Elections loom in Thailand and Indonesia, and a new government in Malaysia is trying to boost support. Vietnam and the Philippines, too, are undertaking measures to control inflation across industries. “Oil prices are 50 percent higher than a year ago and in many countries in the region, core inflation is on the rise,” said Tamara Henderson, an economist at Bloomberg Economics in Singapore. “Consumption may be hampered in 2018 by weaker spending power, although government measures to support disposable incomes may contain the damage.”

Talks begin on how South East Asia can achieve green growth Power Technology 29th May 2018
Last week, government and business leaders met for the fifth Singapore Dialogue on Sustainable World Resources, following the release of a UN report that found South East Asia is failing to achieve two thirds of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The region is off-track for 37 of the 57 SDGs, with no progress evidenced in GDP growth, economic productivity, sustainable industrialisation, reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, achieving healthy oceans, sustainable use of forest areas and loss of biodiversity. Under discussion at the event was how the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) could achieve economic growth whilst ensuring development was sustainable and eco-friendly, with speakers from countries in the region proposing different methods of motivating green growth.

Asean To Beef Up Power Grid PNG Industry News 28th May 2018
In his opening remarks at the summit Vientiane, Laos Energy Minister Khammany Inthirath referred to the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Vision 2020. Vision 2020 is supported by the member nations, which highlights reliable and resilient electricity infrastructure to meet growing demand, and the potential advantages of an integrated system. "These interconnected electricity networks will add strength to ASEAN's economic integration, at the same time providing those countries with abundant natural resources but with little demand to generate income from their surplus supply; Laos is one of them," Inthirath said, reported by the Vientiane Times newspaper. "On the other hand, countries with higher power demand can meet their electricity shortfalls by importing energy from neighbouring countries at reasonable prices," he added. 

ASEAN vows to do more to build regional power grid Xinhua 23rd May 2018
More work is needed for ASEAN's power grid to be connected to enhance cross-border electricity trade, officials and experts from energy sectors have agreed here at the ASEAN Power Grid Summit held from Monday to Wednesday. In his opening remarks at the summit on Monday, Lao Minister of Energy and Mines Khammany Inthirath referred to the ASEAN Vision 2020, in which leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders gave importance to efficient, reliable and resilient electricity infrastructure to meet growing demand, and the potential advantages of an integrated system. "These interconnected electricity networks will add strength to ASEAN's economic integration, at the same time providing those countries with abundant natural resources but with little demand to generate income from their surplus supply; Laos is one of them," local daily Vientiane Times on Wednesday quoted Minister Khammany as saying. "On the other hand, countries with higher power demand can meet their electricity shortfalls by importing energy from neighboring countries at reasonable prices," he added.

Brunei

Brunei enters new era of green technology Borneo Bulletin 28th May 2018
A SIGNIFICANT development recently took place in Brunei Darussalam as a ground breaking ceremony was held for the construction of the world’s first global hydrogen supply chain demonstration plant at a project site located at Sungai Liang Industrial Park (SPARK). The ceremony was held by the Advanced Hydrogen Energy Chain Association for Technology Development (AHEAD), which was created by four companies, namely Chiyoda Corporation, Mitsubishi Corporation, Mitsui & Co Ltd, and Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha. AHEAD is funded by New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organisation (NEDO).

Cambodia

Two power plants get ministers council OK Phnom Penh Post 28th May 2018
The Cambodian government on Friday approved two power plant projects worth more than $1.3 billion in total in what authorities said was an effort to reduce the Kingdom’s dependence on imports. The Council of Ministers approved construction of two power projects, the first, a $1.29 billion, 700-megawatt coal-fired plant in Preah Sihanouk province, and the second, a $58 million, 60-megawatt solar-panel plant in Kampong Speu province. The two projects are under a build-operate-own concession (BOO) of 35 and 20 years respectively, said the Council of Ministers. However, their statement did not provide details of the projects, including the developers.

Cambodian invests USD 1.34 bn on energy projects Devdiscourse 25th May 2018
The Cambodian cabinet ministers in their weekly meeting under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Hun Sen approved two energy projects worth in total more than USD 1.34 billion. According to a report of the Press and Quick Reaction Unit of the Office of the Council of Ministers, the two approved projects include a 700-megawatt coal-fired power plant in Preah Sihanouk province and a 60-megawatt solar power plant in Kampong Speu province. The coal-fire and solar power plants will be built under the BOO (Built-Own-Operate) contract for a 35- and 20-year period and with the investment capital of USD 1,290.54 million and USD 58.22 million.

Ministries convene to tackle oil price hike Khmer Times 24th May 2018
Officials from the Commerce, Economy and Finance, and Mines and Energy ministries are now working together to help those affected by the recent surge in gasoline prices across the country, a spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce said. With companies and consumers across the nation complaining about the recent hike in petrol prices – which have risen by 200 riels compared to the previous 10-day period – an inter-ministerial committee has been tasked with finding a solution that will satisfy everyone. A meeting to discuss the situation has already been held, but little progress has been made so far, based on comments from Seang Thay, spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce.

Hydropower in Cambodia could threaten food security of region ScienceDaily 18th May 2018
Farmers and anglers in Cambodia depend on the Mekong River's predictable seasonal patterns, but new dams for hydroelectricity are altering the hydrology of the river. These changes have the potential to threaten fish migration, livelihoods, and regional food security. A new paper from the University of Illinois and Iowa State University urges a participatory approach for managing the Mekong River basin that engages local residents who have deep knowledge of the river. This local knowledge, combined with technical and scientific findings, is important for developing effective strategies to adapt to the changing flows and uses of the river. "Due to years of civil wars that destroyed infrastructure and hindered modernization, only a little more than half of the Cambodian population has access to electricity. Hydropower is a critical building block for needed modernization. However, using the water resources for power presents difficult trade-offs for fishers and farmers," explains Kenneth Olson, professor emeritus in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences at U of I and co-author of the article.

A Break in the Clouds: Regulating Cambodian Solar Energy Lexology 25th May 2018
As a rapidly developing country, there is an ever-growing demand for electricity in Cambodia. Unfortunately, electricity in Cambodia is still relatively costly in comparison to its regional neighbors, which affects the competitiveness of companies operating in the country. However, many companies have noticed that Cambodia’s climate is well-suited for solar energy and are moving toward the use of solar energy to satisfy their demand for sustainable electricity at lower prices. The Cambodian government has also recognized the benefits and has recently adopted its first regulation on solar energy. In addition, the Cambodian government has legislation in the pipeline that provides incentives to companies investing in solar energy, which further reflects the government’s commitment to sustainable energy.

Indonesia

Indonesia plans to raise diesel subsidies four-fold The Business Times 6th Jun 2018
[JAKARTA] INDONESIA plans to quadruple its diesel subsidies to keep prices for the fuel unchanged through 2018 in spite of high global oil prices and a weak rupiah, the finance minister said on Tuesday. In March, the government said it would keep power tariffs for poor households and some fuel prices flat until 2019.

Indonesia’s Looming Energy Challenges The Diplomat 1st Jun 2018
In less than a year, Indonesians will head to the polls for presidential and legislative elections. In public discussions, the energy sector is seen as one of the most influential sectors in determining the present government’s performance, due to the country’s tremendous potentials in fossil fuels and renewable resources. However, with the possible changes brought by the upcoming political year, a change of priorities may affect Indonesia’s energy development. The government of Indonesia refers to the General National Energy Plan (Rencana Umum Energi Nasional/RUEN), a planning document to implement the National Energy Policy (Kebijakan Energi Nasional/KEN) which aims to direct the country towards independent, secure and sustainable development. According to Presidential Decree No. 22 in 2017, RUEN functions as a guideline to establishing national strategic plans. Various energy issues have been identified through RUEN. One crucial issue mentioned is how local commodities are still heavily used for export. For instance, Indonesia produced 461 million tonnes of coal in 2015, putting the country among the highest coal producers in the world. Yet, the domestic use of total coal production is only 20 percent. For this reason, RUEN encourages Indonesia to reinforce the internal use of coal.

Digging Deep: New Indonesian Mining Law to Replace the Mining Law? Lexology 25th May 2018
News of a new Indonesian mining law first emerged in 2016. Since then, the Indonesian House of Representatives (“DPR”) has prepared several revisions, including the latest draft dated 10 April 2018 by Commission VII of the DPR. While it is possible that the legislative process may be delayed, the DPR currently intends to finalise the new law by 30 June 2018. News of the proposal for a new Indonesian mining law (the “Draft Minerba Law”), regulating both mineral and coal resources, first emerged in 2016. Since then, the Indonesian House of Representatives (the “DPR”) has prepared several draft revisions, including the latest draft dated 10 April 2018 by Commission VII of the DPR. This is despite public criticism from Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Ignasius Jonan, who has warned that a new law may reinforce concerns about regulatory stability and the consistent application of mining policy as the existing Law No. 4 of 2009 on Mineral and Coal Mining is only 9 years old.

Indonesia drafts low-cost financing scheme for green energy The Jakarta Post 23rd May 2018
The National Development Planning Board (Bappenas) is now preparing a green financing scheme for companies that are appointed to develop new and renewable energy. Bappenas head and National Development Planning Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro said in Jakarta on Tuesday that such companies could get the low-cost financing through a blended finance scheme to fund their new and renewable energy projects. “We will make it low-cost financing through a blended scheme. We will blend commercial banking loans with non-commercial financing because if it relied on commercial financing only, [the cost would be] too high,” Bambang said as reported by kompas.com.

No maximum limit for oil and gas bonus: ESDM Ministry Antara News 21st May 2018
The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry said it has issued a new regulation under which there would be no ceiling on bonus for the government by signing new oil and gas production sharing contracts. Under the old regulation the state received a bonus ranging from US$1 million up to US$250 million for signing a production sharing contract. Now based on the new regulation of the ESDM Minister No 28 of 2018 there is no more upper limit. The bonus is at least Rp1 million and there is no maximum limit. Therefore, the state could received larger bonus, the information from the ESDM Ministry said here on Monday. Chief spokesman of the ESDM Ministry Agung Pribadi said the state revenue in bonus could be larger from oil and gas upstream industry.

Indonesia committed to green development Antara News 19th May 2018
Indonesia and other ASEAN member-states are ready to strengthen their commitment to green development based on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement. Under the Paris Agreement within the framework of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Indonesia has committed unconditionally to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 29 per cent in 2030. The target could be increased to 41 per cent if the country receives international support. During the 5th Singapore Dialogue on Sustainable World Resources on Friday, the National Development Planning Minister, Bambang Brodjonegoro, said that Indonesia continued to set some aggressive targets to reduce greenhouse gas emission. After establishing a framework for managing forests and peat lands, Indonesia was currently turning its attention to other large carbon producers, such as the transportation and energy sectors.

Refueling stations to sell premium gasoline again Antara News 19th May 2018
The lower quality Research Octane Number 88 (R0N-88) Premium gasoline will come back to gasoline refueling stations (SPBU) in Jakarta and other regions in Java, Madura and Bali (Jamali). According to Acting President Director of state-owned oil and gas firm Pertamina, Nicke Widyawati, a total of 1,926 SPBUs will serve consumers in Jamali again after stopping selling premium for a few years. The government, through Presidential Regulation No. 191 Year of 2014, has regulated that the subsidized or Public Service Obligation Premium gasoline is only sold in regions outside Jamali. Premium sold in Jamali is no longer subsidized. Since then, Premium has disappeared in many SPBUs in Jamali. At the same time state-owned oil and gas company Pertamina introduced to consumers its relatively better quality gasoline, the RON-90 Pertalite. The basic idea of restricting the sale of subsidized Premium in Jamali is to encourage the financially capable consumers to migrate to non-subsidized fuels, which relatively has better quality such as Pertalite, Pertamax, and Pertamax Turbo. However, the government has decided to bring back Premium to refueling stations in Jamali. After all, it has been successful in encouraging consumers to migrate to Pertalite and other higher quality fuels.

Coaltrans: Indonesia tenders to build remaining 12 GW of 35 GW power project by end-2017 Platts 18th May 2018
Indonesia is tendering to build 12 gigawatts of electricity generating capacity as the final plank in Jakarta's plan to increase the country's power sector capacity by 35 GW by 2019, sources said at the 23rd Coaltrans Asia Conference in Bali this week. "Out of 35 GW, we are likely to close tenders for 11.7-11.8 GW by the end of the year," said Harlen En, head of the coal division at PLN (Persero) at the conference on Monday. Tendering process takes a lot of time, as does financial closure, Harlen said, adding it takes at least three-four years to commission a power plant. Harlen said PLN has long-term contracts with the some of the major miners, like Adaro, Kideco, Berau Coal, and Kaltim Prima Coal, until 2025. Moreover, to support both the success of the 35 GW project and to secure coal supply, PLN intends to partner in mine-mouth coal projects, Harlen said. According to market sources, around 60% of the 35 GW project's generating capacity will be fueled by coal. The move is likely to see a spark increase in domestic demand for Indonesian thermal coal, sources said. M. Arsajad Rasjid P.M., CEO of Indika Energy, said, the 35 GW power project would result in extra coal demand of around 110 million-120 million mt and progressively 140 million-150 million mt. Indonesia intends to raise its share of domestic thermal coal production to around 60% by 2019 from 22% in 2017, said Satry Nuguraha from the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources on Monday.

Sri Mulyani: Govt Disbursed Rp39tn for Energy Subsidy Tempo 18th May 2018
Finance Minister Sri Mulyani said that the government has disbursed Rp39.2 trillion for electricity and fuel oil subsidy, or about 23 percent of ministries/agencies Rp165.1 trillion expenditure budget. Of the disbursed amount, Rp26 trillion had been paid to Pertamina. Sri Mulyani said the government is consistent in paying energy subsidies to support PLN and Pertamina's finances as SOEs that supply energy for the public. 

Cisokan hydropower plant project needs $800m in investment The Jakarta Post 13th Jun 2018
State-owned electricity company PLN needs to invest US$800 million for a hydropower plant project located in Upper Cisokan, West Bandung, West Java.

Government appoints 5 operators for $292m oil and gas blocks The Jakarta Post 11th Jun 2018
The government has appointed operators to manage five of six oil and gas blocks, the contracts on which expire in 2020. The blocks will be operated using the gross split production sharing scheme.

Government hands over oil blocks in gross split scheme The Jakarta Post 8th Jun 2018
The government has officially signed contracts for two oil and gas exploration blocks under the gross split scheme. The two contracts related to the on and offshore Merak-Lampung block located between Banten and Lampung province with oil firm PT Balmoral Gas and the Citarum block, an onshore block in West and East Java, with a consortium involving PT. Cogen Nusantara Energi and PT Hutama Wiranusa Energi.

Provisions Relating to SKK Migas Redefined Hukum Online 7th Jun 2018
The government has issued Regulation of the President No. 36 of 2018 (“Amendment”) which amends Regulation of the President No. 9 of 2013 on the Management of Upstream Oil-and-Gas Activities (“Regulation 9/2013”).

Gov't to Foot Rising Fuel and Electricity Subsidy Bills Jakarta Globe 5th Jun 2018
The government has reiterated its commitment to keep fuel and electricity prices steady this year, amid rising global oil prices and the recent strengthening of the US dollar. State Enterprises Minister Rini Soemarno said the government will continue to subsidize diesel fuel at the current rate, which is four times higher than planned in the state budget. The government will also increase its subsidies for electricity.

After coal, government pushes DMO on gas for electricity The Jakarta Post 17th May 2018
After introducing its domestic market obligation (DMO) policy for coal on March 12, the government is going forward with its plan to introduce a DMO for gas in an effort to reduce electricity prices. Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry Electricity Director General Andy N. Sommeng said in Jakarta on Thursday that the DMO was expected to take effect by the end of this year. He said that gas was the most efficient option for electricity production in outermost, frontline and disadvantaged regions, most of which are not connected to the main networks of state-owned electricity company PLN. Andy said the government had considered the impact of the policy on the upstream gas sector.

Laos

Laos, Myanmar move forward in energy cooperation Eleven Myanmar 31st May 2018
Laos and Myanmar have taken another step towards implementing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on power cooperation that was signed in January this year.

Don Sahong Project Expected To Begin Power Generation In Late 2019 Laos News Agency 30th May 2018
(KPL) The 260-mw Don Sahong hydropower dam, which is a roller-compact dam – RCC – with a designed annual power output of 2,000 Gwh, is expected to begin generating electricity by the end of 2019. Once fully completed and put into operation, the dam will ease power shortage in southern provinces including Champassak, a fast growing province of Laos. A huge amount of generated power will be exported to neighbouring Thailand and Cambodia.

Fuel Prices Rise Again and May Rise Further The Laotian Times 26th May 2018
The retail price of fuel has just risen again as of Saturday (May 26). According to a statement signed by the Minister of Industry and Commerce, petrol companies and gas stations across the country must now increase the retail price by 200 kip/liter for premium grade, 100 kip/liter for regular petrol, and 100 kip/liter for diesel. In the capital city for example, petrol now costs 10,510 kip/liter for premium grade, up from 10,310 kip. One liter of regular petrol sells now for 9,370 kip, up from 9,270 kip and diesel will cost 8,400 kip/liter, up from 8,300 kip.

Rising Fuel Prices Cause Inflation The Laotian Times 18th May 2018
The rising price of fuel has been identified as the culprit behind inflation in Laos, causing the government to take steps to address this economic risk. According to the latest report from the Lao National Statistics Bureau, inflation has risen by 1.88%, due to the rising price of fuel, which apparently is the main force behind the rise in the general prices of other consumer goods. The price of fuel in Laos has increased by 17.15% compared to last year. The increase drove up the consumer price index of the transport sector by 3.61% compared to the previous year, stated the report.

Malaysia

Changes seen at Petronas board The New Straits Times 8th Jun 2018
Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) could be facing several changes in its boardroom following the 14th General Elections. Chairman Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan is expected to leave soon while Mohd Omar Mustapha, chairman of Petronas’ remuneration committee, has reportedly tendered his resignation, effective June 30.

Domestic gas appliances need approval from energy commission, SIRIM label | Malay Mail philstar.com 28th May 2018
KUALA LUMPUR, May 28 — All domestic gas appliances using liquid petroleum gas (LPG) have to be approved by the Energy Commission (ST) and have the SIRIM labels before they are marketed in the country.

Sapura Energy discovers ninth gas discovery offshore Sarawak NST Online 11th Jun 2018
KUALA LUMPUR: Sapura Energy Bhd’s subsidiary Sapura Exploration and Production (Sarawak) Inc (Sapura E&P), together with its partners Sarawak Shell Bhd and Petronas Carigali Sdn Bhd, has discovered its ninth gas exploration well in offshore Bintulu, Sarawak. The discovery followed the completion of its 2017 drilling campaign within the SK408 Production Sharing Contract (PSC).

Malaysia sets aside 3 billion ringgit to finance fuel subsidies U.S. 7th Jun 2018
KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysia’s government has allocated 3 billion ringgit ($760 million) to subsidize pump prices till the end of 2018, the finance ministry said in a statement on Thursday. The funds will be used to keep prices of RON95 gasoline and diesel at fixed prices, while the higher grade RON97 gasoline will be floated on a weekly basis.

Malaysia's Petronas seeks court declaration on its ownership of... U.S. 4th Jun 2018
KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysia’s Petroliam Nasional Berhad [PETR.UL], or Petronas, has filed a court application to declare its exclusive ownership of the country’s petroleum resources, following a move by the state of Sarawak to take a more active interest in local resources.

Myanmar

Govt. to upgrade four sub-power stations in Yangon Eleven Myanmar 1st Jun 2018
Ministry of Electricity and Energy signed an agreement with Japanese firm Mitsubishi Corporation on May 29 to upgrade and maintain Ahlon, Ywarma, Hlawkar and Thaketa sub-power stations in Yangon region within 33-months time, according to the ministry. Although the sub-power stations are currently fulfilling electricity needs for Yangon region, the ministry is constructing new sub-power stations to meet rising demand in the region. The ministry is implementing to upgrades to aged power stations and sub power stations, build new power stations, power lines and sub-power stations using state budget and overseas loans, said Win Khaing, Minister for Electricity and Energy.

19 agreements worth over $50 million signed for national power supply project | Eleven Myanmar Eleven Myanmar 8th Jun 2018
Nineteen agreements worth over US$50 million have been signed for the national power supply project to be implemented with a World Bank loan, according to the Ministry of Electricity and Energy. Thanks to the project, over 5,000 villages in 14 regions and states in Myanmar will enjoy electricity.

Domestic natural gas to be made available by 2023: MOEE The Myanmar Times 23rd May 2018
“Gas production will be a priority for the government over the next few years. However, we do not have the capital or the technology to do so. We need to cooperate with international oil and gas firms to produce the gas and in doing so make it available for the country as soon as possible,” he said.  U Win Khaing’s announcement comes even as ongoing price negotiations on the import and distribution of liquefied natural gas (LNG) takes place between the MOEE and several international gas firms.

Government Aims to Provide LPG to 150,000 Households Myanmar Business Today 21st May 2018
Ministry of Electricity and Energy is planning to provide liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)  to 150,000 households by 2020, according to it’s press release regarding deploying CNG Compressor at No.1 gas station at Palait, Sintgain Township, Mandalay.

Philippines

Dennis Uy forges partnership with China’s CNOOC for LNG terminal hub philstar.com 6th Jun 2018
Davao-based businessman Dennis Uy is partnering with China’s largest offshore oil and gas company for a liquefied natural gas project in the Philippines, which could potentially make Uy the first LNG proponent in the country. Uy’s Phoenix Petroleum will enter into a memorandum of understanding with China’s CNOOC Gas and Power Group Co. Ltd. to study, plan, and develop an integrated liquified natural gas (LNG) project in the Philippines, the listed company said in a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) yesterday. CNOOC Gas is a subsidiary of China National Offshore Oil Corp. The CNOOC Group is the largest offshore oil and gas company in China and is also one of the largest independent oil and gas exploration and production companies in the world. The planned venture with CNOOC comes just after Phoenix said in April that it is adding LNG to its portfolio, amid the looming depletion of Malampaya gas project.

DoE in discussions for CEZA nuclear power plant study BusinessWorld 6th Jun 2018
The Department of Energy (DoE) has held discussions with a South Korean company which tackled a possible feasibility study for a modular nuclear reactor in an economic zone in Cagayan province. In a statement on Wednesday, the DoE said the modular reactor being considered would have a capacity of 100 megawatts (MW) to be located in an area managed by the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA). The Energy department identified the company as Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power, or KHNP, with its president and chief executive officer, Chung Jae Hoon, holding talks with Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi, Undersecretary Donato D. Marcos and Assistant Secretary Gerardo D. Erguiza, Jr. CEZA supervises the development of the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport in the northeastern Philippines. The freeport includes Sta. Ana town and islands in Aparri town in Cagayan province. It covers around 54,118.95 hectares.

900 ‘e-trikes’ deployed in Manila GulfNews 2nd Jun 2018
Starting this month, a total of 900 “e-Trikes” will be plying the streets of the four Metro Manila cities under a government programme to transition towards “cleaner” transport alternatives. “The Department of Energy (DOE) e-Trike is a project that encourages the transition from oil to cleaner sources of energy,” Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said. The Philippines' Department of Energy (DOE) will provide 100 e-trikes to Las Piñas, 150 to Muntinlupa, 400 to Pateros and 250 to Valenzuela. Each e-trike costs P450,000. The donations are part of the DOE’s joint effort with the Asian Development Bank called the Market Transformation through Introduction of Energy Efficient Electric Vehicles (E-Trikes) Project.  

Philippines plans to import diesel from Russia, non-OPEC countries Reuters 31st May 2018
The Philippines’ energy ministry plans to import initially about 240 million liters of diesel, equivalent to three days of the country’s requirements, from Russia and other non-OPEC countries for stockpiling purposes, it said on Thursday. The southeast Asian country is looking to establish what it calls a “strategic petroleum reserve” that it can tap if and when fuel supply tightens in the world market. The reserve will complement the minimum inventory requirement that oil companies such as Petron Corp, Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp and other local retailers must comply with, the Department of Energy (DoE) said.

US$976-M plant adds 420 MW to Luzon grid Manila Bulletin Business 31st May 2018
Luzon grid gained another 420-megawatt (MW) capacity of supply shoring up with the commercial commissioning of the US$976-million Pagbilao-3 coal-fired power project of the Aboitiz Group and the joint venture of Japanese firms Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) and Marubeni Corporation. President Rodrigo Duterte led on Thursday (May 31) the power plant’s commercial inauguration – a project that had construction gestation period of more than three years, kicking off in the past administration. The plant was initially synchronized to the grid late last year. This facility, which is under corporate vehicle Pagbilao Energy Corporation (PEC) had equally split its capacity of 200 MW each to project sponsors Aboitiz Power Group and TeaM Energy Philippines.

Fuel excise tax suspension not doable for 2018 – DoF Manila Times 29th May 2018
The Finance department has rejected calls for the prompt suspension of higher excise taxes on petroleum products, saying this cannot be done under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (Train) law that took effect at the start of the year. “The DoF (Department of Finance) does not have any plans on immediately suspending the increased rates of excise taxes on petroleum products for 2018 as this is not the mechanism sanctioned by law,” Finance Undersecretary Karl Kendrick Chua said on Monday. Republic Act (RA) 10963 or the Train law increased taxes on a range of goods and services in exchange for lower personal income tax rates. In particular, it raised excise taxes — or imposed, in the case of items previously not covered — on refined and manufactured mineral oils and motor fuels, to be implemented over three years up to 2020.

Draft rules to make oil pricing transparent out BusinessMirror 28th May 2018
AS continuing price surges have shifted public anger mostly to the TRAIN law that mandated higher fuel excise taxes, the government moved to require a more transparent, unbundled system for informing people of the breakdown of petroleum product prices. The Department of Energy (DOE) has released the draft rules on petroleum price monitoring, meant to guide the consumers in making informed decisions in the management of their fuel oil requirements. The agency wants oil companies or bulk suppliers to submit a report on the computation and the corresponding explanation of the unbundled items comprising the pr ice of all petroleum products.

Duterte issues 3 marching orders to ease impact of oil price surge Manila Bulletin News 26th May 2018
President Duterte has issued three marching orders in a bid to cushion the impact of the increasing prices of oil products, Malacañang assured Saturday. “The President is not numb. Nobody wants the price of oil to increase like this so he gave three marching orders to his Cabinet secretaries,”Presidential spokesman Harry Roque Jr., speaking in Filipino, told radio DZMM Saturday. According to Roque, Duterte ordered the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to activate all its surveillance teams to strictly monitor the price of commodities and arrest those who go far beyond the suggested retail price. “The first order was for the DTI to monitor and arrest businessmen who violate the suggested retail price because there are many who take advantage of the situation,” he said.

DBP launches financing program for energy efficiency projects Manila Bulletin Business 25th May 2018
State-owned Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) is stepping up its efforts to promote energy efficiency and conservation with a new program that will finance the energy efficiency projects of public and private institutions, a top official said. DBP president and chief executive officer Cecilia C. Borromeo said the DBP Energy Efficiency Savings (E2SAVE) Financing Program is designed to assist public and private firms to enhance their productivity by adopting new technologies that will advance optimal power consumption in their energy-related projects.

Fuel excise tax may be suspended philstar.com 23rd May 2018
As fuel prices soar, Malacañang expressed openness yesterday to the suspension of hefty excise taxes on diesel, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), kerosene and bunker fuel that is used to produce electricity. Magdalo party-list Rep. Gary Alejano said that under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law, the tax on these products must be suspended when the price of crude oil in the world market reaches $80 per barrel. Malacañang agreed, with presidential spokesman Harry Roque saying, “We’re ready, if it reaches that price, to suspend the collection of excise taxes on oil products.” He said the departments of finance and budget would be consulted before any suspension, particularly on its impact on certain social services. Since the law’s implementation in January this year, he said the total price increase as of last Monday has been P8.07 per liter for gasoline, P8.95 for diesel and P9.15 per liter of kerosene. He said people are already reeling from increases in the cost of diesel and other oil products and their domino effect on prices of products and services. Administration officials have admitted that the monthly increases in consumer prices since January were largely due to oil taxes imposed under TRAIN.

House OKs bill requiring firms to get legislative license to operate mines BusinessMirror 23rd May 2018
LAWMAKERS on Wednesday opened the door so miners can continue to operate in the country and can effectively overhaul an existing law that has a predilection for resource conservation. This after the House Committee on Legislative Franchises and House Committee on Natural Resources jointly endorsed for plenary approval a measure requiring the acquisition of legislative franchises for all mining operations in the country. The two committees unanimously passed at the committee level the still-unnumbered substitute bill, which seeks to amend the Philippine Mining Act of 1995. The bill was principally authored by Speaker Pantaleon D. Alvarez. The bill requires all private contractors to secure a legislative franchise as a prerequisite before they could apply for a large-scale quarrying permit or an exploration permit for purposes of entering into a mineral agreement, or financial and/or technical-assistance agreements. The bill also provides that contractors presently holding exploration permits, mineral agreements, financial and/or technical-assistance contracts and large-scale quarrying permits shall have two years from the effectivity of the proposed law to secure a legislative franchise. Failure to do so shall render said permits void and agreements terminated. The bill also proposes a measure to extend the duration of a minerals-processing permit up to 10 years from the current five. The permit, however, shall not exceed a total term of 30 years. The bill also provides fiscal and nonfiscal incentives for private contractors performing domestic mineral processing. It added that to further promote the domestic processing of raw ore, an export tax regime shall be imposed based on the selling price or the gross value of raw ore exported, whichever is higher. A 20-percent export tax shall be imposed two years upon the law’s effectivity; 40 percent on the third year; and 60 percent on the fourth year onward.

DOE, oil firms meet on measures to cushion petrol prices BusinessMirror 23rd May 2018
The Department of Energy (DOE) convened oil companies late Tuesday to discuss various ways to cushion impact of spiraling prices of petroleum products. “We talked about how to cushion the impact of rising oil prices. A lot of options were discussed and they will get back to us once they have made their position,” said DOE secretary Alfonso Cusi in a text message Wednesday. During the meeting, Cusi said “bigger fuel price discount and staggered implementation of oil price increases” were raised. The oil firms have yet to agree on some of the proposals laid on the table. “These are all exploratory. The oil companies said they still need to study. They will get back as to us immediately,” added the energy chief. Local pump prices shoot up Tuesday, reflecting movements in the international petroleum market. Gasoline prices now jumped by P1.60 per liter, diesel increased by P1.10 per liter and kerosene shoot up by P1 per liter.

Can nuclear power solve energy gap in the Philippines? Scientist explains philstar.com 22nd May 2018
Being one of a handful of Southeast Asian countries planning to invest in nuclear power, the Philippines faces hurdles to taking a collective national position on whether the country really needs it. The Philippines, with a population of more than 100 million people spread over 7,000 islands, aims to double its power generation capacity by 2030 to prevent major power failures experienced during the energy crisis in the 1990s. But resorting to nuclear power to solve energy gap, according to Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI) Director Carlo Arcilla, remains a political issue. 

Solon prompts Duterte: Brace for $100 oil shock BusinessMirror 21st May 2018
THE Duterte administration was prodded on Monday to prepare for a looming “oil shock,” as a solon said global market crude prices may skyrocket to $100 per barrel (bbl) and pump prices were jacked up by local oil companies. Noting that Filipinos are already “feeling the negative effects” of rapidly rising global oil prices, Sen. Sherwin T. Gatchalian said the Duterte administration should prepare ahead “in the event that crude prices reach the $100-per-barrel threshold in the global market.”

Duterte, Cusi inaugurate Cebu oil field commercial production  BusinessMirror 21st May 2018
President Duterte and Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi graced the ceremonial commencement of the oil and gas production of the Alegria Oilfield in Southern Cebu last Saturday. The Alegria Oil field is currently operated by China International Mining Petroleum Co. Ltd. (CIMP), with its partners Skywealth Group Holdings Ltd. and Phil-Mal Energy International Inc. in a $8.563-million investment under Service Contract 49. With this development, Cusi urged more investors in the oil and gas industry to develop the country’s energy resources. “More oil-exploration activities in the country will boost economic activities and generate jobs for more Filipinos,” Cusi said. The energy chief added this milestone is a proud moment for all Filipinos. The Alegria Oil field serves as a major breakthrough in the Philippine oil and gas industry. The Department of Energy monitors the six exploration wells drilled by CIMP and its partners with its first well in October 2014 until the completion of its sixth well in March 2018. The six exploration wells resulted in the discovery of oil and gas resources with potential commercial quantities of 27.93 million barrels of oil and 9.42 billion cubic feet of gas, respectively. For 2018 CIMP has programmed to drill three additional development wells.

Green-energy groups show solar panels can go on rooftops of homes, factories, even ‘float’ on the lake BusinessMirror 9th Jun 2018
SOLAR panels are not solely for wide, open spaces as these can be installed in strategic locations in megacities like Metro Manila, where lack of space is a major concern in providing city dwellers easy access to renewable energy (RE). At a news briefing on the sidelines of the Clean Energy Forum held from June 4 to 8 at the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Headquarters in Manila, International Energy Agency (IEA) chief economist Laszlo Varro cited the use of solar panels in dense urban centers in China. Varro said these solar panels are placed on rooftops of homes and business establishments, thus giving populated areas in China’s eastern regions access to affordable and reliable RE.

Cusi welcomes appointment of PSALM chief Business World 28th May 2018
ENERGY Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi is looking forward to a “productive cooperation” with the newly-appointed head of Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM). On Sunday, PSALM said with the signing by President Rodrigo R. Duterte of Irene Joy Besido Garcia’s appointment papers, its board of directors held a special meeting on May 25 for her election.“PSALM can now move full steam ahead and I look forward to a productive cooperation between our agencies,” Mr. Cusi said, when asked to comment on Ms. Garcia’s as director, president and executive officer of the state agency tasked to privatize the government power generation assets. In a statement, PSALM said Ms. Garcia will lead the agency in “optimizing the proceeds from the sale of power generation and real estate assets, settling the outstanding financial obligations and liabilities of PSALM and administering the Universal Charge among other urgent matters.”

Fuel excise tax suspension on $80/barrel eyed BusinessMirror 22nd May 2018
THE government is ready to suspend the collection of excise taxes on fuel if global oil prices reach $80 per barrel, according to Malacañan Palace. “What I know is that excise taxes will be suspended if they reach a certain amount. If I’m not mistaken, $80 [per barrel], so we are ready if oil prices reach [as high as $100 per barrel] to suspend the collection of excise taxes on fuel,” Presidential Spokesman Harry L. Roque Jr. said on Tuesday when asked about the government’s contingency plan to protect the public from the impact of oil prices reaching $100 per barrel. The Palace statement also came a day after Sen. Sherwin T. Gatchalian urged the Duterte administration to prepare ahead “in the event that crude prices reach the $100-per-barrel threshold in the global market.”

Thailand

Social Media Furor Hits Oil Giant as Fuel Costs Squeeze Thailand Bloomberg.com 30th May 2018
Thailand has joined the global wave of anxiety over climbing energy costs. A social media furor over pump prices erupted in the past week, prompting state-run oil refiner PTT Pcl to defend itself in a Facebook post by Chief Executive Officer Tevin Vongvanich. Last Thursday, the country’s military government rolled out fuel subsides for diesel and cooking gas.

Government to cap diesel price Bangkok Post 23rd May 2018
The government will cap the diesel price at 30 baht per litre as part of efforts to ease the impact from increasing world oil prices. The Energy Ministry announced the move Tuesday, saying world oil prices have fluctuated greatly for two months. The price of Dubai crude rose US$15.30 (490 baht) per barrel on Saturday to cost more than $77. The spike in the crude oil price resulted in the price of diesel in Southeast Asia soaring by about $17 to $93.24 per barrel. This resulted in the price of diesel in Thailand jumping by 3.82 baht per litre in one day. "The prime minister [Prayut Chan-o-cha] is very concerned about the impact steady increases in world oil prices have had over the past two months," Energy Minister Siri Jirapongphan said. As a result, the Energy Ministry will use the State Oil Fund to cap the diesel price at not more than 30 baht per litre until the development of B20 fuel reaches commercial viability. As of Tuesday, the local diesel price had reached 29.79 baht per litre, he said.

Thailand Biogas and Biomass Market is Expected to Reach Installed Capacity of 4,750 MW by 2022: Ken Research PR Newswire 12th Jun 2018
The market for biogas and biomass is expected to register high growth as it has gained fresh momentum due to enhanced focus of the government. Demand for energy generation from biogas and biomass industry in Thailand will be largely driven by increased concern for environment and increased dependency for energy on neighboring countries. The growth was mainly driven by implementation and amendments of regulatory norms to push the use of biogas and biomass as alternative fuel. Increased demand for energy and rise in awareness about clean energy among the people has promoted the development of biogas and biomass industry. North-Eastern part of Thailand is the biggest market for biogas generating companies accounting for majority of the market in 2017, swiftly followed by Central and Southern provinces. Heavy presence of a number of host industries was the key driver. For biomass North- Eastern part of Thailand was the largest contributors. It was followed by Central Thailand.

Thai firm signs Laos power deal The Nation 30th May 2018
Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding Public Company Limited (Ratch) is ready for expansion into the 340 megawatt (MW) Xekong hydroelectric power project in Laos in a joint investment with the government in Vientiane. Kijja Sripatthangkura, Ratch CEO, said that the company is pursuing an 850 MW goal for 2018 with Lao World Engineering and Construction Co, Ltd (LW) and B Grimm Power Public Company Limited. They completed the feasibility study together as well as the environmental and social impact assessment that had been approved by the Ministry of Energy and Mines and Ministry of Natural Resource and Environment in Vientiane.

Asia energy firms dive with oil, Trump-Kim hopes provide optimism The Nation 28th May 2018
Energy firms plunged with oil prices in Asia Monday after Saudi Arabia and Russia signalled they could lift output, while indications Donald Trump's summit with Kim Jong Un could be back on provided support to equity markets. Both main contracts tanked on Friday after Saudi oil minister Khaled al-Faleh said his country could open the taps wider in the second half of the year to insure against any supply shocks. His Russian counterpart Alexander Novak said they had spoken about a two-year-old deal capping production, adding OPEC and other members of the pact would discuss lifting limits next month.

Samut Prakan taps Siemens turbines Bangkok Post 18th May 2018
A new power plant replacement project in Samut Prakan, scheduled to open in 2019, is expected to have the highest power efficiency in Thailand, driven by two advanced Siemens gas turbines. The combined-cycle power facility is meant to generate 1,200 megawatts and power about 1.5 million households. The SGT5-8000H engines that will power the Samut Prakan facility are of the same class as those operating at the Fortuna unit of Lausward power station in Dusseldorf, Germany, said Markus Lorenzini, president and chief executive of Siemens Ltd Thailand.

Vietnam

Vietnam sets out green ambitions with bold targets for solar, rare earth Free Malaysia Today 4th Jun 2018
Vietnam plans to more than triple the amount of electricity it produces from renewable sources and push for a 26% increase in household solar energy usage by 2030, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc told Reuters in an interview. Speaking ahead of Vietnam’s participation in the expanded G7 summit that will be held in Canada from June 8 to 9, Phuc also said he hopes the country can utilise its roughly 20 million tonnes of rare earth reserves, which he said are the world’s third-largest, in building new energy technologies.

9 solar power projects receive investment licences vietnamnews.vn 1st Jun 2018
The People’s Committee of Ninh Thuận Province has granted investment licences to nine solar power projects worth more than VNĐ12 trillion (US$527.4 million). The construction of the projects will commence in the second and third quarters of 2018 and will be completed at the end of 2019, with a capacity of nearly 500MW.  Speaking at a ceremony to grant the licences, held in the south-central locality on Thursday, chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Lưu Xuân Vinh urged investors to speed up the implementation of the projects and ensure quality and labour safety. They were asked to pay attention to generating jobs for the local people and boosting close ties with the locality.

Vietnam's updated policy on inclusion of new solar power projects in power development plans Lexology 25th May 2018
On 10 May 2018, the Office of the Government issued Official Letter No. 174/TB-VPCP ("Official Letter No. 174") regarding policies for including solar power projects in power development plans. Under Official Letter No. 174, the Government provided the following policies and instructions to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) in terms of the approval process for inclusion of solar projects in relevant power development plans pending completion and issuance of a National Solar-specific Power Development Plan: a) Only projects which the MOIT has completed its appraisal for and submitted a consolidated proposal to the Prime Minister for approval can continue to be considered for inclusion in the existing amended National Power Development Plan VII. As this point deals with the national-level plan, it only applies to solar power projects that have an installed capacity of larger than 50MWp. b) For projects that are still undergoing the MOIT appraisal process, regardless of their installed capacity (of up to or larger than 50MWp) and the approval authority level (i.e., the MOIT for provincial-level plans or the Prime Minister for the national-level plan), the MOIT must carry out a comprehensive review to include them to a to-be-issued National Solarspecific Power Development Plan, which the MOIT is still working on. As such, for most of the projects that have not been included in relevant power development plans, developers will likely not be able to obtain approval from the MOIT or the Prime Minister on a project-by-project basis for the time being until the National Solar Power Development Plan becomes available.

Binh Dinh approves US$63-million solar power project VOV 13th Jun 2018
Chairman of the People’s Committee of the south central province of Binh Dinh Ho Quoc Dung on June 12 approved a proposal of a solar power project worth VND1.44 trillion (US$63.36 million) in Tra O lagoon in My Chau commune, Phu My district. Invested by the Vietnam Renewable Energy JSC, the project uses 60 hectares of water surface and 0.6 hectares of land.

Việt Nam spent $3.6 million on petrol imports vietnamnews.vn 12th Jun 2018
Việt Nam imported more than 5.56 million tonnes of oil and petroleum products worth nearly US$3.6 billion in the first five months of the year. The information was revealed by the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT). The figures showed year-on-year rises of 9.1 per cent and 38.2 per cent in terms of quantity and value, respectively. Petrol imports in May alone rose by 12.3 per cent. However, its value increased by 49.4 per cent compared to the same period last year due to the rise of the world oil prices.

MPIC unit completes deal for Vietnam water firm BusinessWorld 12th Jun 2018
A UNIT of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) has completed the acquisition of a 49% stake in Vietnamese company that will allow its expansion into the Southeast Asian country’s industrial water concessions, the listed company told the stock exchange on Monday. MetroPac Water Investments Corp. (MPW) bought the shares in Tuan Loc Water Resources Investment Joint Stock Co. (TLW) for 865.6-billion Vietnamese dong, or equivalent to P2 billion. The company made the payment in cash.

Quảng Trị gets one more wind power plant vietnamnews.vn 11th Jun 2018
The central province of Quảng Trị is getting another wind power plant, thanks to a total investment of US$68 million from a domestic company. The province’s People’s Committee has approved an investment proposal by the Tân Hoàn Cầu Joint-Stock Company to build a wind power plant in the province’s mountainous Đakrông District. It will be the fifth wind power plant built in the province.

Coal consumption surges in Vietnam VnExpress International 9th Jun 2018
The Vietnam National Coal and Mineral Industries Group (Vinacomin) has topped its business goal for the first five months of the year with coal consumption reaching 17.6 million tons. This figure was 2.8 million tons over the same period last year. The nation’s consumption of 4.2 million tons of coal last month was the highest recorded in years, according to Vinacomin. High demand from power plants, fertilizer and cement makers are behind the surge in coal consumption, the government portal says. Increasing growth of electric generators, minerals and industrial explosive materials has also contributed. Vinacomin has reported a 22 percent year-on-year increase in revenue for the first five months at over VND52 trillion. It has contributed over VND5.9 trillion to the state budget.

Vietnam needs just one, not 26 coal power plants VnExpress International 7th Jun 2018
Vietnam needs just one, not 26 coal power plants Vietnamese environmental non-profit GreenID said Vietnam only needs to build one new coal power plant after 2020. Vietnam should remove 25 coal power plants from its post-2020 energy master plan, prevent massive environmental pollution and save a lot of money, experts say. At a conference on energy conservation held in Hanoi on Tuesday, they said that the coal power plants were not needed to sustain the national grid.

Vietnam launches design for clean energy future VOV 5th Jun 2018
Nguy Thi Khanh, Executive Director of the Green Innovation and Development Centre (GreenID), said the design is the result of a GreenID study on development scenarios for electricity sources in Vietnam. With criteria focusing on health benefit, feasible cost, and national energy security, the research showed Vietnam might not need to build coal-fired thermal power plants but still archive energy security at affordable prices. Nghiem Vu Khai, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations (VUSTA), said green energy is a smart move for Vietnam in response to climate change, as the country hold potential in solar and wind power.

EVN general director appointed MoIT deputy minister Vietnam Net 21st May 2018
With the appointment, the position of the ministry’s fifth deputy minister has been filled after it was left vacant for nearly a year due to the dismissal of former deputy minister Ho Thi Kim Thoa. The decision came into effect on May 15.

MoF mulls increasing green tax vietnamnews.vn 17th May 2018
The Ministry of Finance (MoF) has proposed increasing environmental protection tax on gasoline from the current VNĐ3,000 to ceiling level of VNĐ4,000 per litre, to help raise the State budget. In a draft resolution sent to the National Assembly Standing Committee, the ministry said if the proposal was approved, in addition to the increase tax on oil to VNĐ2,000 per litre, it’s estimated that the State budget will reach more than VNĐ55 trillion (US$2.4 billion) annually, up VNĐ14.37 trillion, from oil and gasoline.