Energy Update: August 9, 2018

Energy Update | August 9, 2018
Authors: Riley Smith and Mianmian Fei
 
LOOKING AHEAD
 
 

August 20-21: 2018 Singapore Business Mission

August 23-24: 2018 Laos Business Mission

September 4-6: Powertrends 2018 (Manila)

October 29-November 2: Singapore International Energy Week (SIEW) 2018

 
THE COUNCIL'S TAKE
 
 
Indonesia Makes Use of Biodiesel Blended Fuels Mandatory for All Vehicles and Heavy Machinery Starting September 1, 2018
Starting September 1, 2018, the Government of Indonesia will require that all vehicles and heavy machinery use B20 biodiesel fuel – 20% biodiesel blended into regular diesel. The new regulation, which Renewable Energy Director General Rina Mulyana announced on August 2, comes amid efforts by the administration of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to reduce Indonesia’s current account deficit, which is estimated to widen from US17 billion in 2017 to US$25 billion this year. President Jokowi reportedly requested the regulation as part of an immediate implementation of the expansion of Indonesia’s biodiesel program, one of the aims of which is to reduce the amount of diesel imports. As part of the new rules, fuel stations will be prohibited from selling unblended diesel fuel or will face a fine. Currently, only subsidized diesel users are required to use biodiesel. Fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) make up the “bio” part of biodiesel in Indonesia, but regulators and the automotive and oil industries have resisted efforts by the Government to increase FAME concentrations in biodiesel due to the corrosive effects higher concentrations can have on engine seals and gasket materials. Biodiesel with higher concentrations of FAME also require special handling and equipment, because of this corrosive property, and can also solidify at cold temperatures. With the new rules in place, Mulyana expects biodiesel consumption to increase roughly 50-55% – from 4 million kiloliters (KL) this year to 6-6.2 million KL in 2019. The Indonesian Palm Oil Association estimates that the expansion of the biodiesel program could increase the country’s utilization of its biodiesel production capacity to 30-50%. Currently, Indonesia is utilizing approximately 25% of its biodiesel production capacity. 
 
Malaysian Energy Companies Look to Philippine Market as Budget Cuts, Significant Electric Energy Reserve Result in Reduced Opportunities at Home

An estimated 30% electric energy reserve and a drive by the new government of Prime Minister Mahathir to cut government expenditures is providing an impetus for Malaysian energy companies to look beyond Malaysia’s borders as opportunities to grow in the domestic market slow. Given the expected 44 GW of additional power generation capacity that the Philippines is estimated to need by 2040 to meet rapidly rising electricity demand, the country looks to be an increasingly attractive market for Malaysian oil and gas and power generation companies. Over the last month Malaysia’s Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) held preliminary talks with the state-owned Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC) on the former’s interest in helping to build a US$2 billion liquified natural gas (LNG) hub in the Philippines that will feed gas-fired power plants. Philippine Secretary of Energy Alfonso Cusi also reportedly met with Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) during a recent working trip to Kuala Lumpur as part of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s delegation. Out of the two, the talks on the proposed LNG hub appear to the be furthest along, although still in the preliminary stages.

Petronas’ interest in the Philippine LNG hub stems from the market that is expected to open up once the current main source of LNG for the Philippines, Malampaya, is depleted, which is expected to occur between the mid- to late-2020s. The Philippine Department of Energy (DOE) envisions that the hub will be built in two phases. The first phase, which the DOE aims to have completed by 2021, would be a floating storage and regasification unit. The initial capacity of the first phase will be 200 MW, but scalable to 800 MW. The second phase would include onshore facilities, including storage, regasification, a power plant, and distribution facilities. The DOE plans to complete the second phase by 2024. The primary driver behind the DOE’s motivation for constructing a US$2 billion LNG hub is the need to adequately meet electricity demand that is expected to increase significantly over the next two decades. The DOE anticipates that 10 GW of additional power generation capacity will be needed by 2022 to meet demand. By 2040, the country will need an additional 34 GW. Beyond simply meeting demand, the Philippines will also need to expand it power reserve capacity. Currently, this stands at around 1%.

In Malaysia, energy companies are likely to increasingly look abroad for new business opportunities as a drive to reduce government expenditures, coupled with a relatively healthy electric energy reserve, leads to a decrease in opportunities at home. Malaysia produces an estimated 141.9 billion kWh of electric energy annually but consumes only 133 billion kWh. The country’s strong electric energy reserve, which the Malaysian Government estimates to be 30%, has prompted the new Minister of Energy, Green Technology, Science and Climate Change, Yeo Bee Yin, to cancel four Independent Power Producer (IPP) contracts that were awarded under the previous government. Yeo has indicated that more IPPs are under review and could also be scrapped as part of Prime Minister Mahathir’s initiative to cut government spending. Yeo has said that she hopes that the comfortable electric energy reserve will also give Malaysia enough time to reorient its energy sector so that it is more centered on renewable energy. According to Pakatan Harapan’s manifesto, the governing coalition pledges to increase the percentage of renewable energy in Malaysia’s energy mix from 2% to 20% by 2025.

Indonesia Inaugurates Largest Wind Farm in Southeast Asia, But Structural Challenges to Meeting Renewable Energy Goals Remain

On July 2, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo inaugurated Indonesia’s first commercial-scale wind farm, the largest wind farm in Southeast Asia to date. The power plant is one of several initiatives that the Government of Indonesia hopes will help it meet its ambitious goal of producing 45 GW of renewable energy and achieving 23% renewable energy in its national energy mix by 2025. Currently, renewables account for only around 8% of Indonesia’s energy mix. Out of 441.7 GW of potential renewable energy reserves, the country utilizes only 9.29 GW, just over 2% of its estimated potential. The drive to increase Indonesia’s renewable power generation capacity is also part of Indonesia’s larger initiative to expand its general power generation capacity by an extra 35 GW, as well as the program of reducing greenhouse gas to 29% in 2030.

Located in Sindereng Rappang regency in South Sulawesi, the Sidrap Wind Farm consists of 30 sets of 80-meter-high wind turbines that collectively can produce 75 MW, roughly enough to power up to 70,000 households. In his speech inaugurating the wind farm, Jokowi also mentioned other wind power projects that are being developed. These include projects in Tanah Laut in East Borneo, Sukabumi in West Java, and Jeneponto in South Sulawesi, with construction on the latter being approximately 80% complete.

The Sidrap Wind Farm and other wind power projects are among several initiatives that the Government of Indonesia is either undertaking or considering to help it meet its renewable energy goal. On July 19 during a hearing at the Indonesian House of Representatives (DPR), Minister for Energy and Mineral Resources Ignasius Jonan proffered two other proposals to boost the share of renewable energy in Indonesia’s national energy mix. The first proposal is for power plants to shift from the use of fossil-based diesel fuel to crude palm oil (CPO)-based biodiesel. Jonan estimated that the contribution of CPO to electricity output would rise 5% within five years if the plan is implemented in 2018. The second proposal is to introduce a solar rooftop power program for high-income households. The Ministry for Energy and Mineral Resources will soon issue a ministerial regulation on solar rooftop power units according to the Ministry’s Renewable Energy Director General Rida Mulyana.

Despite the Government’s interest in more fully utilizing Indonesia’s renewable energy potential, structural challenges to meeting these goals remain. For example, the lack of adequate financing schemes for renewable energy projects continues to be an obstacle. Beyond financing, overestimation of projected electricity demand, due to slower than anticipated economic growth, led the Government to favor other energy sources that did not require longer build-out times over renewable sources.

 
IN THIS UPDATE
 
 
Indonesia extends 20% biodiesel blending to non-subsidy diesel amid depreciating rupiah
Exploitation of renewable energy only 2 percent of potential capacity
Indonesia keeps faith with coal to meet growing energy demand
Indonesia to auction three onstream blocks in August
Government highlights efforts to alleviate Pertamina`s burden
Indonesia may expand biodiesel rules to include all vehicles
CPO, solar energy could help achieve renewable energy target, minister says
Indonesia to raise 2018 energy subsidies to keep fuel, power prices unchanged
Indonesia accelerates use of B30 biodiesel fuels
Geothermal potential to contribute to energy security in Indonesia
Government to revoke coal price cap policy
Energy ministry inks new gross-split PSC for four blocks

Laos
No delay in completion of Laos hydropower project: Mega First
Lao government advised to boost renewable energy investment
UNDP and Laos government working together for power grid

Malaysia
Petronas keen to invest in Philippine LNG hub
Malaysia leads CPOPC this year
Malaysia evolving into SRI hub, says RAM Ratings
Gov't To Upgrade Electricity Grid In Sabah
Higher electricity charges could be passed to consumers, retailers say
Malaysia to have ore renewable energy projects in near term
Terengganu to explore opportunities in renewable energy
More renewable energy projects expected in near term
Ministry ready to harness energy produced from waste, says Yeo
Major changes seen in power supply sector
Ministry to review IPP contracts, four cancelled
Now, only one licence required for oil & gas exploration, prospecting and mining in Sarawak

Myanmar
Electricity access in Myanmar lowest within Asean: energy expert
PTT's Expansion Plans Will Benefit Myanmar's Natural Gas And LNG Sector
Electricity bill rise in the pipeline
Myanmar faces energy crossroads
Myanmar joins International Solar Alliance, becomes 68th member of grouping
PTTEP urges Myanmar to start gas power plant project

Philippines
Senate eyeing P204-billion Malampaya fund to cut consumers’ bills
Renewable energy development still not a priority
Industry group advocates for keeping fiscal incentives for geothermal development in the Philippines
DOE to identify RE zones in the country
‘Rollout of key energy projects to boost power supply in PHL’
Proposed energy projects gathering dust
Legarda renews call to pursue renewable energy development in the Philippines
Renewable Energy Law unable to cut heavy dependence on fuel imports
5,000 MW capacity projected for Mindanao grid by 2030
DOE seeks more investments in biomass ventures
UNDP seeks bids to develop renewable energy sector in Philippines

Singapore
Singapore awards license to put more electric taxis on road
Singapore's offshore industry recovering, but no return to glory days
Singapore refining margins on pace for biggest monthly gain since 2015
Businesses, home owners can access solar energy directly from power grid under JTC programme
Booming LNG Market Steps Out of the Dark as Transparency Push Grows
Wasted Hot Air Points to Cool Opportunity Worth $70 Billion
HDB eyes AI-powered energy system in Tengah

Thailand
Dept sees hike in royalty fees on rising crude prices 
PTT gains backing for LNG plans
Thailand 4.0: The Smart Grid Project
Hungry for Power
Egat tackles disruption with rejig
Gas subsidies to carry on, Eppo says
State targets 30% renewable power by 2030

Vietnam
Vietnam needs to promote alternative energy: expert
Energy efficiency and new energy sources key to Vietnam: official
Vietnam is reducing carbon emissions by transforming pig waste into energy
PM talks up Mekong Delta potential for gas-fired power plants
India and Vietnam can boost cooperation in oil and gas sector: V K Singh
Policies encourage renewable energy development
Tech status to decide future solar power pricing: officials
Lower power prices for hospitality industry need to be offset: EVN
NA Standing Committee delayed voting on environmental tax hike proposal
Cà Mau to build solar power plant
 
ARTICLE CLIPS
 
 
ASEAN

China’s ambitious plans to power Southeast Asia The Nation 23rd Jul 2018
Meanwhile countries such as Thailand have energy shortfalls while energy-rich countries such as Laos need to sell their surplus. China believes it can help solve these problems through developing a power grid infrastructure managed by its state-owned company China Southern Power Grid (CSG). Already CSG is working with Laos to develop that country’s electricity infrastructure and it plans to create a regional power grid that will link China, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Cambodia.

ANALYSIS: Solar Lessons for ASEAN from Thailand's Feed-in Tariff Success The News Lens International Edition 18th Jul 2018
Feed-in tariffs (FITs) are innocuous yet powerful financial tools that enable countries to rapidly build solar or other renewables when supply chains have not had time to develop. While it is true that globally the cost of solar and wind continues to decline, large discrepancies remain in various international markets. Globally, electricity generation makes up 25 to 35 percent of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), so transitioning to non-fossil fuel-based energy continues to be a major challenge. On top of that, you have major growth and therefore major electricity consumption in a rising Southeast Asia.

Will we see nuclear energy in Southeast Asia? The ASEAN Post 12th Jul 2018
In the past decade Asia has emerged as a booming market for nuclear energy. According to the World Nuclear Association, over half of the world’s nuclear plants under construction are in Asia. Most of them however are in China as they account for nearly 40 percent while the rest of Asia makes up 60 percent of nuclear plants under construction. The increase in interest for nuclear energy on the continent is due to the strong economic growth enjoyed by most countries in the region as well as an ever-increasing demand for energy. In Southeast Asia, several countries are beginning to flirt with the idea of nuclear energy as they begin to look at ways to meet growing energy demand. The International Energy Agency (IEA) highlighted in its Southeast Asia Energy Outlook 2017 report that, Southeast Asia’s energy demand would grow 60 percent by 2040.

Brunei

Low oil prices push Brunei's public universities to find new revenue streams The Scoop 28th Jul 2018
Low global oil prices have created significant financial challenges for local varsities, said the vice-chancellor of Universiti Teknologi Brunei (UTB) on Friday, with the higher education institute seeing its budget slashed by 18 per cent over the last three years. Speaking on a panel during the Brunei Dialogue 2018, Professor Dr Hjh Zohrah Hj Sulaiman said that as a public institution, UTB’s funds are dependent on government revenue, which took a hit when oil prices nosedived in 2014. The engineering and technology university saw a $3 million reduction in its budget, Dr Hjh Zohrah said during a panel titled “Challenges and trends impacting universities beyond 2020″.

Cambodia

ADB-backed solar park to be ready in November Khmer Times 20th Jul 2018
The results of a feasibility study on a 100-megawatt solar park conducted by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) will be available in November, just in time for the private sector to start bidding for the development of the project. “The study will conclude in November, and the bidding process will start right away,” said Victor Jona, director-general of the Electricity Department. The specific location for the massive ADB-backed solar park has not been determined yet, but Mr Jona said it will be built somewhere in the border between Kampong Speu and Kampong Chhnang provinces, an area that already has several energy sub-stations.

Hun Sen promises to slash electricity prices in major populist pitch to Cambodian voters Channel NewsAsia 19th Jul 2018
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen made electricity prices - long an economic grievance of much of the population - one of the key centre points in a populist push for a strong voter turnout in the upcoming national elections.

China firms eye investment in power plant, satellite technology Khmer Times 17th Jul 2018
Two Shanghai-based companies have revealed plans to invest in coal fired power plants and satellite technology in the Kingdom.

Indonesia

Indonesia to make biodiesel use compulsory from Sept 1 The Star Online 2nd Aug 2018
Indonesia aims to make the use of biodiesel blended fuels compulsory for all vehicles and heavy machinery from Sept. 1, Renewable Energy Director General Rida Mulyana said on Wednesday, amid efforts to reduce the current account deficit in Southeast Asia's biggest economy. President Joko Widodo in a cabinet meeting a day earlier said he wanted an immediate implementation of Indonesia's biodiesel expansion program to help save billions of dollars in diesel imports. The government is revising draft presidential and ministerial regulations on biodiesel, and working out quota allocations for biodiesel producers and fuel retailers, Mulyana said. Biodiesel use is currently only mandatory for subsidized diesel users, which some users cannot buy. Indonesian fuel stations will not be allowed to sell unblended diesel fuel once the new rules apply, he said, adding that companies found selling unblended fuel will be fined.

Indonesia extends 20% biodiesel blending to non-subsidy diesel amid depreciating rupiah S&P Global Platts 1st Aug 2018
Singapore — Indonesia plans to expand the use of B20 -- 20% biodiesel blended into regular diesel -- to include non-Public Service Obligation demand, with the devaluation of the rupiah against the dollar in the last few months making gasoil imports expensive, a senior government official said Tuesday. The new policy was expected be implemented in August, he added. Indonesia imports a large portion of its crude oil requirements, and the recent rise in international oil prices combined with a weakening rupiah due to US tighter monetary policy and has made importing crude in dollars extremely expensive. Indonesian media have reported that President Joko Widodo during a cabinet meeting on Tuesday stressed that more B20 diesel blending was required to help the country import less of the expensive gasoil. Currently, only PSO diesel demand is required to comply with B20.

Exploitation of renewable energy only 2 percent of potential capacity Antara News 1st Aug 2018
Indonesia has renewable energy reserves available in abundance, but production is only two percent of the potential, an official has said. "The renewable energy potential is not yet fully tapped," head of the Sub-directorate of Infrastructure Supervision of the Directorate General of New Energy and Energy Conservation Mustaba Ari said here on Tuesday. Mustapa was speaking on "Policy Direction and Funding Potential for Renewable Energy to Support Low Carbon Development" at a meeting on the Indonesia Climate Change Trust Fund Day 2018. He said Indonesia has potential reserves of 441.7 gigawatts of renewable energy but only 9.29 GW or two percent of which had been produced.

Indonesia keeps faith with coal to meet growing energy demand Financial Times 31st Jul 2018
As the world’s top diplomats edged towards the Paris agreement to curb climate change in late 2015, Indonesia’s president Joko Widodo made his position clear. The international accord aimed at curbing the destructive accumulation of carbon dioxide emissions, he said, “may be bind[ing], long-term, and ambitious” but it need not “obstruct the development of developing countries”. His remarks encapsulate the dilemma on energy policy faced by Indonesia, the world’s fifth-largest emitter of greenhouse gases, and other fast-growing emerging economies.  Indonesia, home to the fourth-largest population in the world, is keen to ensure affordable access to electricity to its 260m inhabitants dotted across some 17,000 islands. 

Indonesia to auction three onstream blocks in August The Jakarta Post 31st Jul 2018
The government is set to open bidding for three ready-to-produce oil and gas blocks — Makassar Strait, Selat Panjang and South Jambi B — in the first week of August. Deputy Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Arcandra Tahar said on Monday that there was enough data on the three blocks to entice potential bidders. “[The auction] will happen as soon as possible. We expect to start in the first week of August,” he said.

Government highlights efforts to alleviate Pertamina`s burden Antara News 27th Jul 2018
The government, through the Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) Ministry, elaborated on the efforts it made to alleviate the burden of state-owned oil and gas company Pertamina, which is assigned to manage and distribute fuels. The government will increase Pertamina`s contribution to the nation`s oil and gas production, which is a roadmap to build the company. "The government has provided Pertamina with 12 oil and gas termination blocks, including the blocks of Mahakam, ONWJ, Tengah, Attaka, East Kalimantan, North Sumatra Offshore, Sanga-sanga, Southeast Sumatra, Tuban, and Ogan Komering. The Jambi Merang and Raja-Pendopo blocks were the latest ones given to Pertamina in May 2018," ESDM Deputy Minister Arcandra stated on Friday.

Indonesia may expand biodiesel rules to include all vehicles ET EnergyWorld 21st Jul 2018
Indonesia is considering expanding the country's compulsory biodiesel use to include all diesel vehicles , Industry Minister Airlangga Hartarto said on Friday. Present rules, intended to boost consumption of palm-oil-based biodiesel in the world's biggest palm oil producer, apply only to subsidised diesel, which some users and vehicles are not allowed to buy.

CPO, solar energy could help achieve renewable energy target, minister says The Jakarta Post 20th Jul 2018
Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Ignasius Jonan introduced on Thursday two ideas to boost the share of renewable energy in the country's energy mix, namely fueling power plants with biodiesel made from crude palm oil (CPO) and installing solar cells on house rooftops.

Indonesia to raise 2018 energy subsidies to keep fuel, power prices unchanged ET EnergyWorld 17th Jul 2018
JAKARTA: Indonesia's government plans to increase spending on energy subsidies by 69 trillion rupiah ($4.81 billion) to 163.5 trillion rupiah to keep some fuel prices and electricity tariffs unchanged throughout the year, the finance minister said. Despite the increase in spending, the 2018 budget deficit is seen shrinking slightly to 2.12 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) from 2.19 percent, as the government is expecting higher income, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati told a parliamentary hearing on the 2018 budget on Tuesday. According to a finance ministry document submitted to parliament on Tuesday, the government expects royalties from the oil and gas sector to nearly double earlier projection, at 144.3 trillion rupiah, due to higher global prices.

Indonesia accelerates use of B30 biodiesel fuels The Jakarta Post 17th Jul 2018
The government plans to accelerate the use of fuel with 30 percent biodiesel content (B30 biofuel) in the transportation sector by next year from the initial plan of 2020, an official has said. The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry’s renewable energy and energy conservation director general, Rida Mulyana, said the government had studied the use of B30, which was produced from palm oil as its raw material, as part of efforts to improve energy self-sufficiency. “We will accelerate the use of B30 from 2020 to 2019,” Rida said in Jakarta on Monday as reported by kontan.co.id, adding that the next step was to carry out road test for B30, which was expected to start in August.

Geothermal potential to contribute to energy security in Indonesia Antara News 14th Jul 2018
Deputy chairman of the House of Representatives Agus Hermanto said geothermal, which is available in abundance in Indonesia is potential to contribute to the country`s energy security. Geothermal is highly potential , renewable, clean and available in abundance in the country, Agus said here on Saturday. Indonesia has the largest geothermal reserves in the world but most of the reserves remain untapped largely on difficulty in finance and technology.

Government to revoke coal price cap policy The Jakarta Post 28th Jul 2018
The government plans to revise its domestic market obligation (DMO) on coal price next week during a high-level meeting with President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, with among considerations being to increase state revenue from coal, the efforts of which are currently hampered because of the formula.

Laos

No delay in completion of Laos hydropower project: Mega First The Sun Daily 26th Jul 2018
PETALING JAYA: In the wake of the collapse of the Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy (XPXN) hydropower dam in Laos, Mega First Corp Bhd, the developer of the nearby RM2 billion Don Sahong Hydroelectric Power Project, said there will not be a delay in the completion of the project or a material change in its overall cost. Mega First said in a stock exchange filing today it made enquiries with the management of its subsidiary Don Sahong Power Co Ltd (DSPC) and the project consultants after receiving queries from various stakeholders on the risk of a similar situation happening to the Don Sahong project and its implications.

Lao government advised to boost renewable energy investment vietnamplus.vn 16th Jul 2018
Vientiane (VNA) – The Lao government has been advised to invest in renewable energy, as the country holds great potential to develop environmentally-friendly power. Mekong Watch, a Japanese non-profit organisation based in Tokyo, proposed that the Lao government encourage private companies’ investment in renewable energy development, especially wind, solar and biomass energy, to replace hydroelectricity projects.  The construction of dams on Laos’ rivers and the Mekong River in its territory has adversely impacted the environment and the livelihoods of people in the lower Mekong region, according to the organisation.

UNDP and Laos government working together for power grid Devdiscourse 20th Jul 2018
In support of the Lao government’s national rural electrification targets, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is looking into possible solutions for providing electricity to Kabong and its neighboring villages. The Ministry of Energy and Mines' Institute of Renewable Energy Promotion is implementing the project, supported by Germany and its International Climate Initiative IKI. On a recent mission to Kabong, it was determined that the communities would need more reliable and stable power sources than what solar power home systems can supply. The Ministry of Energy and Mines is now looking into whether it’s possible to combine solar power with another solution. A mini-hydro plant is in the discussion, generating power from the natural precipitation of a small river behind the village. This way, the power supply would be guaranteed regardless of the weather.

Malaysia

Petronas keen to invest in Philippine LNG hub The Edge Markets 1st Aug 2018
PETROLIAM Nasional Bhd (Petronas) has held initial discussions with the Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC) to invest in a planned US$2 billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) hub in the Philippines, says the country’s Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi. State-owned PNOC is spearheading the LNG project. “Petronas [has] expressed interest in our LNG hub … to invest in it. It is looking to partner PNOC. We are especially keen to leverage Petronas’ expertise in commercial trading,” Cusi tells The Edge in an interview in Kuala Lumpur.

Malaysia leads CPOPC this year The Straits Times 26th Jul 2018
PUTRAJAYA: The Malaysian government, via the Primary Industry Ministry, will lead in proposing and implementing initiatives of the Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries (CPOPC), as chairmanship rotates to Malaysia, this year. "This year, the CPOPC chairmanship rotates to Malaysia. So, we'll be taking the lead role in promoting the interests of oil palm producing nations," said Primary Industries deputy minister Shamsul Iskandar Akin. He highlighted the global palm oil industry is consistently subjected to anti-palm oil campaigns in the EU, particularly by Western non-governmental organisations and even lawmakers there.

Malaysia evolving into SRI hub, says RAM Ratings The Star Online 24th Jul 2018
RAM Ratings sees Malaysia evolving into a sustainable responsible investment (SRI) hub, supported by its prominent global presence in Islamic finance.  The rating agency said on Tuesday the proactive efforts and strong commitment of Bank Negara Malaysia, Securities Commission  (SC) and Bursa Malaysia have paved the way for both responsible and green finance to thrive in Malaysia. 

Gov't To Upgrade Electricity Grid In Sabah Malaysian Digest 23rd Jul 2018
The government will upgrade the electricity grid in Sabah to increase electricity supply from the west coast to east coast, said Minister of Energy, Technology, Science, Climate Change and Environment Yeo Bee Yin. For that purpose, she said six projects for the grid reinforcement and upgrading were identified as critical projects to ensure that the distribution capacity of between 200 to  400 megawatt (MW)  could be achieved.

Higher electricity charges could be passed to consumers, retailers say Malay Mail 19th Jul 2018
KUALA LUMPUR, July 19 — The additional electricity charges for businesses from this month onwards will increase costs which companies may be forced to pass on to consumers, retailers have said.

Malaysia to have ore renewable energy projects in near term Retail News Asia 17th Jul 2018
More renewable energy (RE) projects are expected to come up for bids in the near term as the new Energy, Green Technology, Science, Climate Change and Environment Ministry is committed to push up the nation’s RE capacity. MIDF Research, which recently attended the Minister Yeo Bee Yin’s maiden townhall, said the latter pointed that the country already attains abundant reserve capacity of 30%, which is much higher than most countries. “While there is no indication of an ideal or target reserve capacity, the new Minister indicated that the abundant reserve capacity gives the industry decent time to build up its RE capacity within the next three to seven years, without the need for much more major new plant-ups in the near-term. “This suggests in the near future, sector opportunities could tilt heavily towards RE project awards and a dearth of future fossil fuel plants,” the research firm said in its report last Friday.

Terengganu to explore opportunities in renewable energy The Star Online 16th Jul 2018
Terengganu is prepared to explore more opportunities for renewable energy, says its Mentri Besar. Dr Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar said the use of renewable energy, such as solar and wind, not only improves the understanding and appreciation for greener energy generation, but could potentially lead to further technological developments and improvements. “The more it is used, the better the understanding for green technology and this could lead to more locals being involved in the field,” he said on the sidelines of the launch of Eastern Pacific Industrial Corp Bhd's (Epic) large scale solar photovoltaic plant here Monday.

More renewable energy projects expected in near term The Sun Daily 15th Jul 2018
PETALING JAYA: More renewable energy (RE) projects are expected to come up for bids in the near term as the new Energy, Green Technology, Science, Climate Change and Environment Ministry is committed to push up the nation’s RE capacity. MIDF Research, which recently attended the Minister Yeo Bee Yin’s maiden townhall, said the latter pointed that the country already attains abundant reserve capacity of 30%, which is much higher than most countries. “While there is no indication of an ideal or target reserve capacity, the new Minister indicated that the abundant reserve capacity gives the industry decent time to build up its RE capacity within the next three to seven years, without the need for much more major new plant-ups in the near-term. “This suggests in the near future, sector opportunities could tilt heavily towards RE project awards and a dearth of future fossil fuel plants,” the research firm said in its report last Friday.

Ministry ready to harness energy produced from waste, says Yeo New Straits Times 14th Jul 2018
The Ministry of Energy, Technology, Science, Climate Change and the Environment is ready to manage energy produced from the treatment of waste, known as waste-to-energy (WTE). Its minister Yeo Bee Yin said the process of managing waste and producing energy from the waste was under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Housing and Local Government (KPKT), but that her ministry was ready to talk to KPKT to encourage them to take the initiative.

Major changes seen in power supply sector The Star Online 14th Jul 2018
THE POWER sector looks poised for a reset with a push towards renewable energy (RE) and the return of competitive bidding in awarding contracts. On Thursday, the Energy, Green Technology, Science and Climate Change Ministry said it has cancelled four independent power producer (IPP) contracts that were awarded under the previous administration, Its newly minted minister Yeo Bee Yin said none of the four are existing IPP contracts and one involves a listed company. She said the Government is still in the midst of reviewing other contracts and intends to cancel as many as eight IPP contracts, including the four that have been cancelled.

Ministry to review IPP contracts, four cancelled The Star Online 12th Jul 2018
The Energy, Green Technology, Science and Climate Change Ministry has cancelled four Independent Power Producer (IPP) contracts that were awarded under the previous administration, said its minister Yeo Bee Yin. She said the ministry will continue to review the contracts of other IPPs. "The previous government had approved many IPP contracts through direct negotiation and direct award," said Yeo in her inaugural town hall session with energy stakeholders on Thursday. "We are reviewing the IPP contracts, especially those that bring no cost implication to the Government," she said.

Now, only one licence required for oil & gas exploration, prospecting and mining in Sarawak The Sun Daily 12th Jul 2018
PETALING JAYA: The Sarawak State Assembly has passed the Oil Mining (Amendment) Bill 2018 which requires only one licence for exploration, prospecting and mining of oil and gas, a move which Sarawak feels will encourage more investments into the state.

Myanmar

Electricity access in Myanmar lowest within Asean: energy expert Eleven Myanmar 1st Aug 2018
Myo Myint, an energy expert from the World Bank, says that access to electricity in Myanmar stands at the lowest in the Asean countries. He claimed so at the dissemination workshop for the Multi-Tier Framework (MTF) global survey in Myanmar held in Thigaha Hotel in Nay Pyi Taw on July 31. “It is so sadden to know that getting electricity in Myanmar is the lowest in Asean nations. According to the survey, about 70 percent of households in Myanmar gets electricity from national grid and outside of national grid for at least 2 to 3 hours per day,” said energy expert Myo Myint.

PTT's Expansion Plans Will Benefit Myanmar's Natural Gas And LNG Sector Fitch Solutions 31st Jul 2018
Myanmar looks set to benefit from PTT's overseas expansion plans, as the state-owned firm looks to diversify away from the mature and saturated domestic energy market. After years of subdued investment activity and adhering to stringent cost-optimisation efforts, PTT remains keen to deploy its sizable cash reserves to pursue a more expansionist agenda going forward, amid a positive backdrop of stronger oil prices and energy demand growth across Asia's EMs. PTT has long-identified Myanmar as a top investment destination, due to its large, growing population and significant unmet energy demand. In 2018, PTT allocated nearly 30.0% of its USD1.8bn upstream capex for E&P operations in Myanmar, the largest allocation among overseas markets.

Electricity bill rise in the pipeline Eleven Myanmar 24th Jul 2018
Ministry of Electricity and Energy is likely to raise electricity bills as an estimated loss of Ks-500 billion occurs every year, Dr Tun Naing, Deputy Minister for Electricity and Energy told the media after the upper house parliamentary session on July 23.

Myanmar faces energy crossroads Petroleum Economis 20th Jul 2018
Myanmar's government has announced new oil and gas tender plans just as green shoots are being sighted in Southeast Asian upstream investment. But the country's private sector has said tough fiscal measures must be carefully revised to entice international energy investment. The Ministry of Electricity and Energy plans to offer 18 onshore and 13 offshore blocks by the end of year, Daw Khin Htay, director of state-owned Myanmar Oil & Gas Enterprise (MOGE) told reporters on 13 July. She also revealed an added incentive that "it will no longer be mandatory to join with local firms", without giving further details.

PTTEP urges Myanmar to start gas power plant project The Myanmar Times 26th Jul 2018
If the project goes forward, it will be handled by PTTEP International Co Yangon Branch, the company’s wholly owned subsidiary in Myanmar. Piya Sukhumpanumet, general manager of PTTEP International, said the plan is to partner up with sister firm Global Power Synergy Plc (GPSC) on the project.

Philippines

Senate eyeing P204-billion Malampaya fund to cut consumers’ bills BusinessMirror 30th Jul 2018
ACTING on the initiative of Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph G. Recto, the Senate’s Committee on Energy is now “studying the possibility” of tapping the P204-billion Malampaya Fund to reduce the universal charge (UC) paid by end-consumers on their monthly electricity bills. Sen. Sherwin T. Gatchalian, Energy Committee chairman, estimates that Recto’s recommendation, if adopted, “could result in household savings as high as P2,033.76 annually” from lower electric bills. The Committee tackled on Tuesday Recto’s Senate Bill 924 which, once enacted into law, will allocate the net national government share from the Malampaya Natural Gas Project for the payment of the stranded contract costs and stranded debts of the National Power Corp. SCC and SD are components used to compute the UC imposed on consumers under the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (Epira law) embodied in Republic Act 9136.

Renewable energy development still not a priority philstar.com 29th Jul 2018
MANILA, Philippines — The Renewable Energy (RE) Act of 2008 has spurred the development of more cleaner energy resources, but not as much as it had hoped to do. The law is pushing the country to achieve energy self-reliance and reduce dependence on fossil fuels through the shift to cleaner and indigenous forms of energy. Harnessing renewable energy will eventually minimize the country’s exposure to price fluctuations in the international markets as these do not need fuel to supply electricity to end-users. But a decade after the law was passed, several measures have not yet been fully implemented and this has slowed the pace of renewable energy developments.

Industry group advocates for keeping fiscal incentives for geothermal development in the Philippines Think GeoEnergy 23rd Jul 2018
During its general assembly held last week, the National Geothermal Association of the Philippines (NGAP) has announced it will seek an exemption for renewable energy (RE) amid plans to rationalize investment incentives in the second package of the tax reform program. Members of the association said they hope to maximize the potential of geothermal development and preserve the status of the Philippines as a prime investment destination for geothermal energy developers. “We need the incentives more than ever,” NGAP President Noel D. Salonga told reporters during the event.

DOE to identify RE zones in the country Manila Bulletin Business 22nd Jul 2018
The Department of Energy (DOE) will be identifying areas in the country that will be specifically developed into renewable energy (RE) zones. The department is currently gathering pace on its public consultation on the demarcation of sites that it calls the competitive renewable energy zones (CREZ) – and such requires parallel study on proposed “Greening the Grid: Solar and Wind Integration.” By mapping out specific areas where the RE facilities will be sited, the DOE opined that it will be easier for it to firm up the Philippine Energy Plan (PEP) as well as for the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) to address transmission bottlenecks associated with these kinds of installations.

‘Rollout of key energy projects to boost power supply in PHL’ BusinessMirror 22nd Jul 2018
The Department of Energy (DOE) is pushing for the implementation and timely completion of key energy projects to ensure reliable, stable, sustainable and secure energy supply in the Philippines. In a report prepared by the agency for President Duterte, who will deliver his third State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, the DOE identified six plans and programs that are up for implementation.

Proposed energy projects gathering dust Inquirer 21st Jul 2018
In addressing the opening joint session of Congress in the past two occasions, President Duterte had barely mentioned the energy sector—briefly in 2016 and not at all in 2017. Having been in office for barely a month, Mr. Duterte in 2016 said the Philippines needed more sources of electricity and that the government should see power generation projects through or at least along the regulatory obstacle course. He had stressed the need for such facilities to support the country’s “industrialization.” And with customarily defiant words against global institutions like the United Nations and worldwide initiatives such as climate change mitigation (about which he later backtracked), he rolled out the welcome mat for coal-fired power plants, saying these provide the cheapest electricity and that such plants use “state-of-the-art” technology—most likely referring to “clean coal technology.”

Legarda renews call to pursue renewable energy development in the Philippines BusinessMirror 20th Jul 2018
Senator Loren Legarda today renewed her call to scale up green initiatives and investments in renewable energy as part of a long-term solution to the growing power needs of the country and to mitigate the effects of environmental degradation and climate change. Legarda, one of the authors of the Renewable Energy Law, made the call during the Convergence for 100% Renewable Energy Philippines, a symposium on Challenges Faced by Stakeholders in Advancing Renewable Energy in the Philippines, convened by the Power to People Coalition.

Renewable Energy Law unable to cut heavy dependence on fuel imports philstar.com 19th Jul 2018
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines still heavily depends on imported fuel, 10 years after the passage of the Renewable Energy (RE) Law  which pushed for the country’s energy independence through the development of indigenous and sustainable resources, a lawmaker said. In a symposium hosted by Power 4 People Coalition yesterday, Sen. Loren Legarda said there lacks a clear and strong political commitment to develop and stimulate a healthy market for renewable energy development as detailed under the RE Law. Enacted in December 2008, the RE Law was designed to help the country achieve energy independence.

5,000 MW capacity projected for Mindanao grid by 2030 Business World 16th Jul 2018
DAVAO CITY — An additional power supply of about 3,000 megawatts (MW) is projected to be required by the Mindanao grid by 2030, according to Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Assistant Secretary Romeo M. Montenegro. Mr. Montenegro, who also heads the technical working group of the Mindanao Power Monitoring Committee, said this projection covering all sectors is based on the Department of Energy’s (DoE) outlook using a 7% to 8% growth rate in demand.

DOE seeks more investments in biomass ventures Manila Bulletin Business 14th Jul 2018
The Department of Energy (DOE) has been intensifying efforts on enticing investors into injecting capital flow for biomass ventures in the country. Renewed call on biomass investments had been channeled through a recent conference involving the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asian Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) bloc. Biomass is among the renewable energy (RE) investments that the Philippines has been promoting, given the vast resources that the country can offer on this sphere.

UNDP seeks bids to develop renewable energy sector in Philippines philstar.com 11th Jul 2018
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is seeking bids to develop a nationwide system for the  commercialization of renewable energy markets in the Philippines. UNDP’s Philippine Country Office is inviting interested parties to submit their expression of interest (EOIs) to bid for the development of software, supply and delivery of hardware for the implementation of the Philippine Renewable Energy Market System (PREMS). According to UNDP, the contractor will be responsible in developing, customizing, installing and testing application software, hardware and equipment, as well as provide system documentation for any development activities for the PREMS. It will provide user trainings.

Singapore

Singapore awards license to put more electric taxis on road ZDNet 31st Jul 2018
HDT Singapore Taxi (HDDT) has been awarded an operator license that will see at least 800 electric cabs rolled out island-wide within four years. Singapore's Land Transport Authority (LTA) said Tuesday it had issued the Taxi Service Operator License following a two-year trial involving 100 electric taxis run by HDDT. The license would run for a decade, effective August 1 this year. Under the license agreement, HDDT would have to roll out at least 800 e-taxis in the country within the next four years, including registering its existing fleet as regular taxis by end-August.

Singapore's offshore industry recovering, but no return to glory days Channel NewsAsia 30th Jul 2018
SINGAPORE: A big drag on Singapore's growth in recent years, the embattled offshore and marine industry has broken a three-year losing streak. Yet industry executives aren't betting on a return to the glory days anytime soon. The industry, along with a top-class finance sector, has been a key pillar of Singapore's economic transformation into a first world economy since independence from British colonial rule in 1965 and a source of national pride. But a 2014 collapse in oil prices has resulted in thousands of jobs lost, several defaults and billions of dollars in debt restructurings. Now, as oil prices pick up, the industry is coming back to life. A 28.3 per cent year-on-year jump in output from the marine and offshore engineering sector in June was the biggest since March 2014.

Singapore refining margins on pace for biggest monthly gain since 2015 ET EnergyWorld 27th Jul 2018
SINGAPORE: Refining margins in Singapore are set for their biggest monthly gain since 2015 as surging demand for gasoline and jet fuel lifted fuel prices at the same time crude oil dropped, reducing feedstock costs for refiners. The profit from refining a barrel of benchmark Dubai crude into fuels in Singapore rose to $6.81 a barrel on Wednesday, the most since May 22. The margin, a proxy for refiners across Asia, was at $6.70 on Thursday, on pace for a 66 percent monthly increase since the of June, the most since September 2015.

Businesses, home owners can access solar energy directly from power grid under JTC programme The Straits Times 24th Jul 2018
Businesses and some home owners can now directly access solar energy from the national grid for the first time, under a new programme. Under the programme, dubbed SolarRoof, power is harnessed from solar panels on the rooftops of government agency JTC Corporation's buildings, and will allow consumers to purchase this electricity even if the buildings they occupy are not equipped with solar panels. The programme is run by JTC and solar energy retail company Sun Electric.

Booming LNG Market Steps Out of the Dark as Transparency Push Grows Jakarta Globe 14th Jul 2018
Long dominated by deals struck in secret, the $230 billion liquefied natural gas industry is slowly seeing light as global traders push for more transparency in the booming market. Over the past two months, commodity price agency S&P Global Platts and Australia-headquartered LNG trading marketplace Global LNG Exchange (GLX) facilitated the first transparent physical trades in their platforms. It was the first time in nearly a decade since Platts kicked off its Asian LNG derivative price assessment that it disclosed trading parties of a physical trade on its platform.

Wasted Hot Air Points to Cool Opportunity Worth $70 Billion Bloomberg.com 13th Jul 2018
The summertime blast of hot exhaust from air conditioners onto city streets from Soho to Singapore is a global energy efficiency investment opportunity Engie SA sees hitting $70 billion next decade. Massive district cooling projects, which use chilled water from underground facilities to provide cold air to entire city blocks, may be the way forward as governments increasingly want developers to phase out individual AC units, according to Didier Holleaux, the French company’s executive vice president. Penthouses or solar panels could also replace air-conditioners that take up space on the roofs of office buildings, he said.

HDB eyes AI-powered energy system in Tengah Singapore Business Review 11th Jul 2018
A study will be conducted in the town for a year starting July. The Housing & Development Board (HDB) inked a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with SP Group to study the potential of developing Tengah into a first-of-its-kind Smart Energy Town. According to an announcement, the project involves developing and test-bedding a centralised energy software system, akin to a ‘brain’ that will collect, process, analyse, and learn data on energy consumption at the town, neighbourhood, and apartment-levels. The study, which will enable a more efficient and sustainable model of energy management, will be conducted over a one-year period from July 2018.

Thailand

Dept sees hike in royalty fees on rising crude prices  The Nation 31st Jul 2018
The Department of Mineral Fuels (DMF) expects a rise of 4.4-6.9 per cent in its collection of petroleum royalty fees to Bt42 billion to Bt43 billion this year, boosted by rising global prices for crude oil. For the half of the year, it received Bt21.92 billion in royalty fees. Veerasak Pungrassamee, director-general of the department, said that of the first-half collection in fees, Bt20.84 billion has been given to the Ministry of Finance as national revenue and the remaining Bt1.08 billion was allocated to local organisations. Since the royalty fees were imposed in 1981 until June 2018, total operating income from petroleum operations in Thailand amounted to Bt2.14 trillion. The revenue streams came from the petroleum royalty fees, extraordinary gains, income from a Thailand-Malaysia joint organisation, and petroleum income tax, another other sources.

PTT gains backing for LNG plans The Nation 30th Jul 2018
Wirat Uanarumit, chief operating officer of the upstream petroleum and gas business group of PTT, said that in the future, PTT will be able to manage markets by itself and gain a chance for domestic sales, sales to non-pool gas customers, and exports to other countries. In other words, this could lead PTT to reach its target as a liquefied natural gas (LNG) trader, and trade prices will follow a market mechanism, he said.  “We understand that the Ministry of Energy will allow PTT to buy gas from the Mozambique project and there could be other players to import gas under non-pool gas system. So, we will manage our trading portfolio,” he said, referring to the Mozambique Rovuma Offshore Area 1 Project.

Thailand 4.0: The Smart Grid Project OpenGovAsia 20th Jul 2018
Thailand 4.0 is an initiative to transform cities like Phuket, Chiang Mai, Khon Kaen and Bangkok into technology hubs. The Thai government aims to develop 100 smart cities within two decades. Thailand 4.0 is an initiative put in place by the Thai government, with the aim to drive Thailand into a “smart”, high income nation. Smart City is part of the Thai government’s 4.0 initiative to change big cities like Phuket, Chiang Mai, Khon Kaen and Bangkok into technology hubs. In 2017, The Thai government announced that it aims to develop 100 smart cities within two decades. The government has established the National Smart City Committee and invited various agencies and experts to join including the Digital Economy Promotion Agency (DEPA). DEPA is the primary agency in charge of initiating the project under the government’s digital economy roadmap, providing high-speed internet infrastructure and free WiFi for smart city development.

Hungry for Power Asian Legal Business 13th Jul 2018
Thai energy companies are on a roll. The national oil and gas champion, a coal miner and power utility, upstart solar and wind companies, virtually all are expanding across Southeast Asia, applying practices and technology developed at home.  Thailand is reaping the benefits of two decades of government energy policies that have supported the sector. Companies are also profiting from oil and gas prices that are recovering from a three-year slump, increasing electricity demand due to economic growth, and renewable technologies that have become competitive against fossil fuels. 

Egat tackles disruption with rejig Bangkok Post 25th Jul 2018
The board of the state-run Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) has approved an organisational restructuring plan to respond to disruptive technology in the power sector and stay competitive in the domestic market. The restructuring plan will trim staff to 15,000 people within five years and decrease the number of deputy governors to eight in 2019 from 13 last year, said chairman Witoon Kulcharoenwirat. Egat currently has 22,000 employees. Hundreds are scheduled for retirement during 2018-22, and Egat will push an early-retirement scheme to help reach the staff cutback target.

Gas subsidies to carry on, Eppo says Bangkok Post 20th Jul 2018
The Energy Policy and Planning Office (Eppo) insists the State Oil Fund is stable and the government will reduce the burden for consumers of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), Eppo director-general Twarath Sutabutr said Thursday. Authorities will also work harder to promote free competition in the domestic market, he added. Mr Twarath was referring to the results of an Energy Policy Administration Committee (Epac) meeting chaired by Energy Minister Siri Jirapongphan on Wednesday.

State targets 30% renewable power by 2030 Bangkok Post 20th Jul 2018
The Energy Ministry has announced plans to double installed power capacity of renewable energy to 30% by 2030. Energy Minister Siri Jirapongphan said renewable power capacity now stands at 14.5% of the total or 20,000 megawatts, up from 9.6% in 2014, thanks to government promotions targeted at private investors.

Vietnam

Vietnam needs to promote alternative energy: expert VietNamNet 1st Aug 2018
The Xe Pian – Xe Namnoy hydropower dam in southern Laos collapsed on July 23, causing severe damage to the surrounding area. The Saigon Times spoke to Dr. Dao Trong Tu, director of the Center for Sustainable Development of Water Resources and Climate Change Adaptation, about hydropower dam safety in Vietnam. 

Energy efficiency and new energy sources key to Vietnam: official Nhan Dan 31st Jul 2018
Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Tran Van Tung made the statement during the Vietnam Technology and Energy Forum 2018, held in Hanoi on July 31 by the Ministry of Science and Technology in coordination with the Ministry of Industry and Trade. The event aims to promote the application and development of technology with the goal of increasing energy efficiency, while discussing the challenges and technological solutions for sustainable development in the energy sector.

Vietnam is reducing carbon emissions by transforming pig waste into energy Quartz 28th Jul 2018
Like the rest of the world, Vietnam needs to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. Animal husbandry contributes around 5% (link in Vietnamese) to Vietnam’s GDP—the country’s pork output is ranked sixth in the world. Without proper care, pig waste not only pollutes the environment, but also naturally degrades to produce methane. Burning methane produces carbon dioxide, which is a greenhouse gas, but simply letting methane escape is worse, because it is 84 times more powerful in warming the planet than CO2.

PM talks up Mekong Delta potential for gas-fired power plants VnExpress International 27th Jul 2018
The Prime Minister was speaking at a reception this week for investors seeking to set up a liquefied natural gas (LNG) power plant in the southern province of Bac Lieu. The plant is expected to have a capacity of 3,200 MW, cost around $4 billion and sell its power at 7 US cents per kWh. If advocated by the government, its 1,000 MW first phase is expected to go on stream by 2021.

India and Vietnam can boost cooperation in oil and gas sector: V K Singh The Economic Times 26th Jul 2018
There is scope for India and Vietnam to deepen cooperation in the oil and gas sector despite "all the troubles" the Southeast Asian country faces, Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh said today, in an oblique reference to Vietnam's disputes with China There was also great potential to enhance cooperation in the pharmaceutical and the healthcare sectors, especially in the wake of the government's implementation of the Ayushman Bharat scheme, or the National Health Protection Mission, Singh said at a conference on strengthening India-Vietnam economic ties.

Policies encourage renewable energy development vietnamnews.vn 24th Jul 2018
Despite the Government’s determination to develop wind and solar power as well as biomass electricity, many renewable energy projects have lagged behind schedule due to inefficient planning and lack of vision. Although wind power projects in Binh Thuan Province, Ninh Thuan Province and several provinces of the Mekong Delta, including Ca Mau and Bac Lieu, for example, have received significant amounts of money, they have been abandoned for over 10 years. However, with efficient policies from authorities, some of these projects have officially restarted, and clean energy has actually been generated. The Prime Minster has recently approved 15 wind power projects in Ninh Thuan Province, 12 of which have total registered capital of about VND27.5 trillion.

Tech status to decide future solar power pricing: officials VnExpress International 24th Jul 2018
Workers at the world’s largest floating solar power plant in a lake in Huainan, in China’s central Anhui province. Photo by AFP As the June 2019 deadline nears for solar power project investors to benefit from an attractive feed-in-tariff (FIT) of 9.35 U.S. cents per kWh, there is considerable discussion and speculation about subsequent pricing schemes. For now, the official response is that several options are being considered. “How the feed-in-tariffs are decided after June 2019 will depend on what technology prices will be in a specific period of time,” said Le Minh Duc, director of the Center for Electricity Market Development & Workforce Training, under the Electricity Regulatory Authority of Vietnam (ERAV).

Lower power prices for hospitality industry need to be offset: EVN VnExpress International 12th Jul 2018
The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOIT) is inviting feedback from other government agencies and the general public on a draft proposal that would apply production sector power prices to the hospitality industry. Production sector power prices are significantly lower than those charged for non-production sectors like the services industry. In response, Vietnam Electricity (EVN), the nation’s power utility, has said that the losses incurred as a result of this price reduction for the hospitality industry should be compensated with a five-percent increase in prices for non-peak hour consumption by the production sector.

NA Standing Committee delayed voting on environmental tax hike proposal vietnamnews.vn 24th Jul 2018
The National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee postponed a vote on a proposal made by the Finance Ministry to hike the environmental protection tax yesterday, urging serious consideration of its economic impacts. Presenting the bill, Minister of Finance Đinh Tiến Dũng said that the current socio-economic situation made it necessary to adjust environmental protection duties on a number of products to better reflect the amount of pollution they caused and to fulfill Việt Nam’s commitments to environmental protection.”

Cà Mau to build solar power plant vietnamnews.vn 23rd Jul 2018
The southernmost province of Cà Mau is expected to build a solar power plant in order to boost its renewable energy sources. The 50MW plant will cover nearly 64ha of Rạch Gốc Township, Ngọc Hiển District, Dân Trí online newspaper reported. With total investment of over VNĐ1.1 trillion (US$47.8 million), the plant is scheduled to be completed in the second quarter of 2019.