Energy Update: September 13, 2018

Energy Update | September 13, 2018
Authors: Riley Smith
 
LOOKING AHEAD
 
 

September 27: Reception and Dinner in Honor of H.E. Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, Prime Minister of Malaysia (New York)

October 2-3: 2018 Cambodia Business Mission

October 15: Energy Industry Mission to Malaysia (Save the Date)

October 16-18: 2018 Malaysia Business Mission

October 27-29: 2018 Mission to the ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM) (Singapore)

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

 
THE COUNCIL'S TAKE
 
 

Seeking to Curb Imports, Indonesia issues New Regulation Requiring Sale of Crude Oil to Pertamina and Postpones Construction of Electricity Projects

As part of its attempt to bolster the weakening rupiah by reducing imports, the Government of Indonesia issued on September 6 Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Regulation No. 42/2018, which private oil companies, including local subsidiaries of foreign parent companies, to offer all crude oil to Pertamina, the state energy holding company. The regulation aims to reduce crude oil imports by prioritizing the purchase of petroleum supplies originating within the country. All sales and purchase negotiations with Pertamina are required to be held under a business-to-business scheme, and, after negotiations are finished, Pertamina has the option to enter into a 12-month contract with oil companies once negotiations. The regulation projects that Pertamina will purchase approximately 225,000 barrels of oil on a daily basis. A copy of Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Regulation No. 42/2018 can be found here (in Bahasa).

As part of the same program to reduce imports, the Government of Indonesia also announced on September 11 that it would postpone the construction of over 15 GW of electricity projects to between 2021 and 2026. Minister for Energy and Mineral Resources Ignasius Jonan said that the postponement was necessary due to the need to import the majority of the components that would be needed for the projects. While the postponement will slow down the implementation of the Government’s 35 GW electricity program, Jonan said that it would not significantly affect the electrification program, which he claimed was 97.3%.

The move to bolster the rupiah by stemming imports comes as the currency weakened to its lowest value relative to the U.S. dollar since the 1998 Asian Financial Crisis. Since the start of 2018, the rupiah's value has fallen 8.93%, placing it among the worst performing currencies in the region. A strengthening U.S. dollar combined with monetary tightening by the U.S. Federal Reserve have raised concerns about the ability of developing countries to pay off their U.S. dollar-denominated debt. In the past, Indonesia has funded its current account deficit, which is expected to reach around US$25 billion this year, with foreign investment inflows, but thus far in 2018 US$3.8 billion has been pulled out of bonds and stocks. In addition, Indonesia recorded a trade deficit of US$1.02 billion for the first half of the year, after posting a trade surplus for the three years prior. This weak trade data, combined with high external debt relative to other Asian markets, has made the rupiah more vulnerable than most other emerging market currencies.

Negotiations Between China and the Philippines on Joint Oil and Natural Gas Development in the South China Progressing

Negotiations between the Philippines and China to share oil and natural-gas resources in the disputed waters of the South China Sea are reportedly progressing. According to Philippine officials, the two governments are working on a legal framework for joint exploration and development, with the aim of potentially making an announcement on the issue during an expected visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping in November. Legal experts and critics of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte say such joint activities would undermine a 2016 international tribunal ruling that invalidated China's claims that it has historic rights over most of the South China Sea. A joint development agreement between China and the Philippines would also likely encourage China to push for similar arrangements with other Southeast Asian countries that dispute Beijing's South China Sea claims, while also potentially blocking Western oil companies from operating in the resource-rich region. The Philippine Government is pressing ahead with negotiations in an attempt to find an alternative to the Malampaya gas field, which is expected to be depleted within the decade. Gas from the Malampaya field supplies a third of the electricity for the island of Luzon, where Manila is located. In order to ensure that new projects are up and running by the time Malampaya is depleted, experts say that exploration for a replacement needs to start now.

 
ADVOCACY UPDATE
 
 

CSR Book for 2018 Mission to the ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM)

In place of the regular CSR book that we prepare for the Council's annual mission to the ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM), the Council would like to use this year’s CSR book to highlight how our member companies have contributed to human capital and capability development in the energy sector in various ASEAN countries. We have chosen to highlight this aspect of CSR this year because of member company interest and the fact that it supports one of the overarching themes of mission – promoting U.S. companies as a source of expertise in human capital development, especially in the adoption and use of new technologies and processes that improve energy sector operations. You can submit CSR information in two ways. When registering for the mission (here), you have the option to upload your CSR material directly, using the provided template. You may also send your CSR material to Riley Smith at rsmith@usasean.org. If you have any questions about the requested CSR material or the 2018 Mission to AMEM, please contact Riley Smith.

 
IN THIS UPDATE
 
 
Brunei
China's Hengyi pushes back Brunei refinery start-up to Q2 2019 -...
Pioneers break down hydrogen’s growing potential as new energy source | Borneo Bulletin Online
Minister launches PHH’s Micro Filling Gas Plant at PMB
UTB inks deal with BSP to initiate fresh projects

Indonesia
MEMR Regulation on Geothermal Data Protection Finally Issued
PGN appoints Pertamina's Gigih Prakoso as new president director
New regulation requires all crude to be offered to Pertamina
Hyundai, LG to construct biodiesel factories in Indonesia
No increase in subsidized fuel prices, government says
Indonesian Minister of Finance highlights great role of geothermal for Indonesia
Electricity producers upset over postponement of power projects
Pertamina profit plummets as govt insists on cheap fuel
Pertamina officially takes over SES Block from CNOOC
Govt postpones 15,200 MW power projects
Indonesia Implements Expanded B20 Program on 1 September 2018 | Indonesia Investments
Pertamina finds new oil and gas reserve
Govt temporarily revokes export permit for 4 miners

Laos
Laos’ PM Thongloun Confirms Hydropower Policy at WEF on ASEAN
Laos to press on with dam-building after deadly collapse: PM
How better hydropower planning can avert future disasters on the Mekong
Lao’s Sekong River under siege

Malaysia
Petronas to explore for new O&G reserves — ministry
Natural gas and renewable energy to fuel a sustainable future
Malaysia finally scraps US$3bil China-backed pipeline plans
Sabah seeks to strengthen regulatory control over oil and gas resources
Venezuela seeks opportunities with new Malaysian government — Foreign vice-minister
Petronas, Shell, Petron - all supply petrol, diesel for government official vehicles

Myanmar
130 MW solar project announced in Myanmar
Govt urged to tap clean energy | Eleven Myanmar

Philippines
China Poised to Win Major Victory in Sea Dispute With Help of Philippine Resources Deal
Electricity rates drop this month
DOE says no takers for 995 areas under QTP electrification program
PH, Israel firm to ink oil exploration deal
Energy circulars on uniform electricity bill, RE use inked
Energy regulator to clarify rules on microgrids in cooperative franchise areas
Petrol prices up: P0.95 a liter for gas, P1.20 for kerosene
Malampaya template pitched for joint exploration in West Philippine Sea

Singapore
In climate-stressed Singapore, the future is super low energy buildings

Thailand
Energy Ministry aims to boost alternative sources of power
Thailand sets sights on bioenergy
Thailand's Blockchain Solar Power Producers Face Extra Fees to Offset State Utility Losses
PDP with private trade planned
State energy bodies to see key position changes
Egat eyes February LNG deadline
Officials try to sort waste import ban
Egat seeks to import LNG directly for first time
Dams told to release water ahead of rain
Power plant licences up for consideration
Energy policymakers to step up renewable power ambition
Epac sticking with LPG price limit until 2019
Waste-to-power plants eyed

Vietnam
New tariffs could recharge Vietnam’s wind power projects - VnExpress International
USTDA to support energy storage system in Vietnam
Environment tax on fuels to remain unchanged until 2020
Thai investors jump into renewable energy sector in Vietnam
Vietnam goes solar
Rooftop solar panels can satisfy half of power demand: experts
Renewable energy aids electrification target achievement
PetroVietnam subsidiaries raise $320.5m in IPOs
Hà Tĩnh to build two solar power plants
 
ARTICLE CLIPS
 
 
Brunei

China's Hengyi pushes back Brunei refinery start-up to Q2 2019 -... Reuters 5th Sep 2018
The start-up a refinery-petrochemical project in Brunei by China’s Hengyi Industries International Pte Ltd will likely be delayed by a few months to the second quarter of next year, four industry sources said on Wednesday.

Pioneers break down hydrogen’s growing potential as new energy source | Borneo Bulletin Online Borneo Bulletin Online 5th Sep 2018
A seminor on the utilisation of hydrogen was co-hosted by the Embassy of Japan in Brunei Darussalam together with a consortium of companies, Chiyoda Corporation, Mitsubishi Corporation and also Universiti Teknologi Brunei (UTB) yesterday.

Minister launches PHH’s Micro Filling Gas Plant at PMB Borneo Bulletin Online 19th Aug 2018
Minister of Energy, Manpower and Industry Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mat Suny bin Haji Mohd Hussein yesterday launched PHH Gas and Chemical Sdn Bhd’s Micro Filling Gas Plant. The gas plant is situated at Pulau Muara Besar (PMB) and it is the first wholly Bruneian-owned plant producing oxygen and argon.

UTB inks deal with BSP to initiate fresh projects Borneo Bulletin Online 14th Aug 2018
A significant milestone was reached yesterday as Universiti Teknologi Brunei (UTB) and Brunei Shell Petroleum Company Sdn Bhd (BSP) signed a Supplemental Agreement in the presence of Shell Eastern Petroleum (Pte) Ltd (Shell) to continue their relationship in supporting research and development, education and the application of knowledge to enhance the technological capabilities of Brunei Darussalam’s oil and gas sector.

Indonesia

MEMR Regulation on Geothermal Data Protection Finally Issued Lexology 6th Sep 2018
Since geothermal survey and exploration activities were first mandated in 1974 by the then President of Indonesia, to subsequent changes to the geothermal legal framework up to late June this year, protection of data obtained from geothermal activities has only been regulated in general. Under the current Law No. 21 of 2014 on Geothermal ("Geothermal Law") and Government Regulation No. 7 of 2017 on Geothermal for Indirect Utilization ("GR 7/2017"), the Government of Indonesia ("GOI") controls and owns data obtained from geothermal activities. Consequently, any data relating to such activities cannot be transmitted, provided or transferred to any party by any means without prior consent of the GOI. Reg 33, which sets out detailed requirements on the data management and utilization, applies to all geothermal data obtained from geothermal activities performed before and after Reg 33 came into force, including those managed and maintained by existing joint operation contractors, holders of geothermal business authority (Kuasa Pengusahaan) and holders of geothermal business licenses.

PGN appoints Pertamina's Gigih Prakoso as new president director The Jakarta Post 10th Sep 2018
State-owned gas subholding company PT Perusahaan Gas Negara (PGN) replaced on Monday outgoing president director Jobi Triananda Hasjim with Gigih Prakoso, who was formerly the investment planning and risk management director at state-owned oil and gas holding company Pertamina.

New regulation requires all crude to be offered to Pertamina The Jakarta Post 10th Sep 2018
As part of its measures to reduce fuel imports, the government last Thursday issued a ministerial regulation that requires private oil companies to offer all crude oil to state energy holding company Pertamina.

Hyundai, LG to construct biodiesel factories in Indonesia The Jakarta Post 10th Sep 2018
West Kalimantan Governor Sutarmidji has said Korean companies  Hyundai and LG will construct biodiesel factories in the province amid the government’s effort to expand the domestic use of the fuel through its mandatory 20 percent blended biodiesel ( B20 ) policy.

No increase in subsidized fuel prices, government says The Jakarta Post 10th Sep 2018
The government has assured there will be no increase in subsidized fuel prices amid calls from economists who say a fuel-price hike would help ease the current account deficit (CAD).

Indonesian Minister of Finance highlights great role of geothermal for Indonesia Think GeoEnergy - Geothermal Energy News 10th Sep 2018
In her keynote speech at the 6th Indonesia International Geothermal Convention & Exhibition (IIGCE), Minister of Finance Sri Mulyani Indrawati, highlighted the important role geothermal energy can play for Indonesia supporting its economic growth by e.g. cutting back on fossil fuel imports for energy generation.

Electricity producers upset over postponement of power projects The Jakarta Post 7th Sep 2018
The Indonesian Private Electricity Producers Association (APLSI) has expressed concern over the government's plan to postpone the construction of power plants worth US$23.9 billion.

Pertamina profit plummets as govt insists on cheap fuel The Jakarta Post 6th Sep 2018
The profit of state-owned oil and gas holding company Pertamina has reportedly dropped to less than Rp 5 trillion (US$335 million) in the first half of 2018 from Rp 18.73 trillion in the same period last year.

Pertamina officially takes over SES Block from CNOOC The Jakarta Post 6th Sep 2018
Through its subsidiary, PT Pertamina Hulu Energi (PHE), state-owned oil and gas holding company Pertamina has officially taken over the operatorship of the Southeast Sumatra (SES) Oil and Gas Block from CNOOC SES Ltd.

Govt postpones 15,200 MW power projects The Jakarta Post 5th Sep 2018
The government has decided to postpone its plan to construct 15,200 megawatt (MW) electricity projects due to the rupiah weakening against the US dollar and the government’s policy to reduce imports.

Indonesia Implements Expanded B20 Program on 1 September 2018 | Indonesia Investments Indonesia Investments 31st Aug 2018
Starting from Saturday (01/09), non-subsidized diesel fuels will contain FAME, hence becoming biodiesel. All Indonesian fuel stations will not be allowed to sell unblended diesel fuel from this day.

Pertamina finds new oil and gas reserve The Jakarta Post 23rd Aug 2018
PT Pertamina EP, a subsidiary of state-owned oil and gas holding company Pertamina, has discovered a new oil and gas reserve, said Pertamina EP exploration and new discovery project director Achmad Alfian Husein on Thursday.

Govt temporarily revokes export permit for 4 miners The Jakarta Post 20th Aug 2018
The government has temporarily revoked four concentrate export permits because the mining companies had failed to fulfill their commitment to develop smelters as part of the permit's requirements.

Laos

Laos’ PM Thongloun Confirms Hydropower Policy at WEF on ASEAN Laotian Times 13th Sep 2018
International experts continue investigative efforts alongside Lao regulators looking into the causes of the fatal Xe Pian Xe Nam Noy dam collapse in Attapeu province on July 23, Laos’ PM Thongloun on Wednesday confirmed to an audience of delegates from the ASEAN region and beyond in Vietnam’s capital Hanoi. PM Thongloun’s response came in following the session moderator’s question on the topic at the World Economic Forum on ASEAN being held from September 11-13.

Vientiane Times Vientiane Times 13th Sep 2018
Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith told the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Hanoi, Vietnam, on Wednesday that the development of hydroelectricity dams in Laos must be safe and environmentally friendly. The prime minister was responding to a question raised by the 27th WEF’s discussion panel about whether the fracture of a dam in Laos’ Attapeu province, resulting in a deadly flood, would affect Laos’ approach to hydropower development. “Of course it will impact the development of hydropower dams in Laos,” he told the panel, in which government leaders from the Mekong Subregion took part.

Laos to press on with dam-building after deadly collapse: PM Channel NewsAsia 12th Sep 2018
Laos' premier on Wednesday (Sep 12) said the Communist country will press on with its ambitious hydropower strategy after a dam collapse killed dozens, but vowed to intensify scrutiny on the lucrative mega projects. The rare public comments from prime minister Thongloun Sisoulith came during a World Economic Forum panel in Hanoi, weeks after July's dam disaster in Attapeu province. An official tally given by Laos' secretive government said 35 people died in the collapse of the Xe Pian Xe Namnoy saddle dam, a Korean-built structure which had not yet been completed.

How better hydropower planning can avert future disasters on the Mekong Thomson Reuters Foundation News 12th Sep 2018
The collapse of the Xepian-Xe Nam hydropower dam in Sanamxay district of Attapeu Province, Lao PDR on July 23 is a major tragedy that took the lives of at least 34 Laotians, with at least 100 more still missing and thousands displaced. Some 50 days on, this disaster has come under intense scrutiny in part because the link between the causes of the disaster, human actions and development decisions are so clearly visible. Although the area experienced heavy monsoon rains in the weeks leading up to the flood, an inundation of this speed and scale was clearly driven by the dam failure. Yet a key unanswered question remains: was this a failure to plan and account for ‘extreme’ monsoon rain events, or a failure of dam-building implementation?

Lao’s Sekong River under siege The ASEAN Post 7th Sep 2018
In serving as the "Battery of Asia" to its power-hungry neighbours, Lao PDR is cramming dozens of dams onto its network of rivers. With 46 currently operating hydropower plants with a capacity of 6,400 megawatt (MW), and another 54 under construction and set to start operating by 2020, Lao PDR targets the generation of a whopping 28,000 MW of power in just two years.

Malaysia

Petronas to explore for new O&G reserves — ministry The Edge Markets 14th Aug 2018
National oil company Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) will continue its efforts and cooperation in exploring for new oil and gas (O&G) reserves locally and internationally, especially deepwater reserves, said the economic affairs ministry. “However, this (the exploration) will involve high costs due to the complexity and risks that Petronas has to face. “The discovery of new reserves will hopefully extend the duration of the country’s O&G reserves and ensure the supply of resources is guaranteed,” the ministry said in a written parliamentary reply dated Aug 8 to member of parliament for Kuala Terengganu Ahmad Amzad Mohamed @ Hashim.

Natural gas and renewable energy to fuel a sustainable future BorneoPost Online 12th Aug 2018
Natural gas and renewable energy could potentially fuel a sustainable future in the power and energy industry, the Malaysian Gas Association (MGA) and Shell Malaysia said. Exploring potential strategies to help the nation achieve its COP21 commitments, the MGA and Shell Malaysia recently co-hosted an industry talk on Shell’s ‘Sky Scenario: Meeting the Goals of the Paris Agreement’, in the presence of Minister of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Yeo Bee Yin, with close to 100 industry leaders.

Malaysia finally scraps US$3bil China-backed pipeline plans The Star Online 10th Sep 2018
Malaysia has finally scrapped three China-backed pipeline projects after halting work on them following the shock elections in May that saw an opposition alliance assuming power for the first time in the country.

Sabah seeks to strengthen regulatory control over oil and gas resources The Star Online 10th Sep 2018
The Sabah government is studying ways of emulating Sarawak in strengthening the state's regulatory control over its oil and gas resources.

Venezuela seeks opportunities with new Malaysian government — Foreign vice-minister BorneoPost Online 7th Sep 2018
Venezuela seeks opportunities to expand ties with the new Malaysian government and hopes to see cooperation in energy and the oil and gas (O&G) sectors in the near future. Its vice-minister of Foreign Affairs for Asia, The Middle East and Oceania, Ruben Dario Molina said the new political landscape after Pakatan Harapan won the 14th General Election in May, would enable the possibilities of exportation from Venezuela, especially in the O&G segment.

Petronas, Shell, Petron - all supply petrol, diesel for government official vehicles The New Straits Times 30th Aug 2018
Petron Fuel International Sdn Bhd is not the sole supplier of petrol and diesel for government transportation, said Finance Ministry in a statement issued today. It emphasised that Petronas and Shell have been the suppliers of petrol and diesel for the government since 1997 to cater to the needs of the official vehicles.

Myanmar

130 MW solar project announced in Myanmar pv magazine Australia 30th Aug 2018
Thailand-based Modern Energy Management (MEM) says it has teamed up with an undisclosed investor to develop a 130 MWp solar PV project in Myanmar. It is expected to come online in Q4 2019. Overall, the country is said to have a large-scale solar pipeline totaling 1.5 GW. The renewable energy advisory firm will reportedly help develop one of Myanmar’s first large-scale solar PV projects, after partnering with an unnamed investor. According to a statement released, MEM will share development risk with the client, and has already aided in location scouting for the project, which it says will be online by Q4 2019.

Govt urged to tap clean energy | Eleven Myanmar Eleven Myanmar 15th Aug 2018
Given that only 30 per cent of the population in Myanmar has access to electricity, the government must optimise its abundant natural resources to implement green energy projects in order to solve its power crisis, says Shoon So Oo, energy programme manager at World Wildlife Fund Myanmar. “For Myanmar’s economy to go further, we must encourage industrialisation, which means we are in urgent need of more electricity. Clean energy is the cheapest option, and this trend will continue in the future thanks to technology advancements,” he said.

Philippines

China Poised to Win Major Victory in Sea Dispute With Help of Philippine Resources Deal The Wall Street Journal 10th Sep 2018
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is negotiating an agreement with China to share oil and natural-gas resources in the disputed waters of the South China Sea, a deal that would be a major policy victory for Beijing. It would open the door for China to push for similar arrangements with other Southeast Asian nations that have challenged its expansive claims and potentially lock Western oil companies out of the resource-rich region. Mr. Duterte’s opponents and legal experts say joint development—which Beijing has long advocated—legitimizes China’s assertion that it has historic rights over almost the entire South China Sea, undermining a 2016 international tribunal ruling that invalidated those claims. It would also fortify Beijing’s control over the strategic waters, where tensions between the U.S. and China have surged.

Electricity rates drop this month BusinessWorld 7th Sep 2018
MANILA ELECTRIC Co. (Meralco) announced on Thursday a decrease in electricity rates for September by P0.1458 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) in what the distribution utility described as a relief amid rising fuel and food prices. The drop to P10.0732 per kWh from P10.2190 per kWh translates in a P29.16 reduction in the monthly bill of a typical household consuming 200 kWh. The listed company attributed the decline to the lower charges at the electricity spot market, which brought down the power generation charge.

DOE says no takers for 995 areas under QTP electrification program BusinessMirror 6th Sep 2018
A top official of the National Electrification Administration (NEA) on Thursday said there are 995 areas managed by various electric cooperatives (ECs) that qualify under the Department of Energy’s (DOE) qualified third party (QTP) program. “There are 995 areas waived by ECs, but no takers as far as QTP is concerned. There are 11 areas with takers for QTP, but only six are operational,” NEA Administrator Edgardo Masongsong said.

PH, Israel firm to ink oil exploration deal The Manila Times Online 5th Sep 2018
The Philippine government will sign an agreement with an Israeli oil company before President Rodrigo Duterte ends his four-visit day to the Jewish nation, Malacañang said on Tuesday.The agreement with Ratio Petroleum Limited, which will cover energy exploration in Palawan, will help ensure energy security in the Philippines.

Energy circulars on uniform electricity bill, RE use inked The Manila Times Online 5th Sep 2018
The Department of Energy (DoE) has signed two circulars on setting a uniform monthly electricity bill format and on the use of renewable energy (RE) in areas not connected to the Philippines’ main power grid. Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi signed the circulars on August 24 and they are scheduled for publication.

Energy regulator to clarify rules on microgrids in cooperative franchise areas BusinessWorld 5th Sep 2018
THE Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) said it will amend its draft rules on microgrids to include provisions that will clarify whether the private sector can enter areas within the franchises held by electric cooperatives. The revised draft will also put in place a transition period for those that have already built microgrids, ERC Spokesperson Floresinda B. Digal told reporters on Wednesday during Powertrends 2018, an annual conference on the energy and power industry.

Petrol prices up: P0.95 a liter for gas, P1.20 for kerosene BusinessMirror 3rd Sep 2018
FOR the fourth consecutive week, prices of petroleum products will increase starting Tuesday, September 4. Oil firms announced on Monday that gasoline prices will go up by P0.95 per liter, diesel by P1.20 per liter and kerosene by P0.95 per liter.

Malampaya template pitched for joint exploration in West Philippine Sea BusinessMirror 19th Aug 2018
A COMMERCIAL transaction on a joint exploration with China in the West Philippine Sea should adopt the Malampaya model and must be done according to the Constitution, former Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said. The Philippine government and the Malampaya consortium have a 60-40 sharing of revenues for the gas deposits off the shore of Palawan. Current Foreign Secretary Alan Peter S. Cayetano had earlier said that the Philippine government would not agree on a deal with China on possible joint exploration unless it is as good as or greater the Malampaya model. Cayetano announced this month that the President has approved “in principle” the establishment of a technical working group on the joint exploration. He said China was also ready with its own technical working group and is hoping that the framework agreement between Philippines and China could be signed in September.

Singapore

In climate-stressed Singapore, the future is super low energy buildings Eco-Business 7th Sep 2018
As part of a national plan to lower carbon emissions and fight climate change, Singapore has introduced a new standard to produce “super low energy” buildings. The tropical city-state wants office buildings to lower their energy use to 60 per cent of 2005 levels, with smart airconditioning, cool paint and natural ventilation some of the ways the construction industry has been tasked to meet the new standard, known as the Green Mark for Super Low Energy (SLE).

Thailand

Energy Ministry aims to boost alternative sources of power The Nation 12th Sep 2018
The Energy Ministry’s Department of Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency (DEDE) aims to use alternative sources to produce 30 per cent of total power consumed in the country by 2037 as part of its new alternative energy development plan (AEDP). Praphon Wongtharua, DEDE director-general, said the department has also been drafting a power development plan (PDP) for the same period. The new PDP will be categorised into North, Northeast, East, West, South and Bangkok. With these plans in place, by 2037, 30 per cent of the total energy used in the country will be produced using alternative means, Praphon said.

Thailand sets sights on bioenergy The ASEAN Post 11th Sep 2018
For a long time, Thailand has been dependent on imported energy to sustain its domestic demand. Between 2000 and 2011, imported energy accounted for more than 60 percent of the total commercial primary energy in the country. To break away from this reliance on foreign sources of energy, the government there has adopted a string of policies. One of which is the Alternative Energy Development Plan (AEDP) which aims to increase the share of locally produced energy while ensuring that it is derived from renewable sources. Under the AEDP, bioenergy plays a crucial role in terms of electricity generation and meeting the demand for energy in the transportation sector. Electricity in megawatts (MW) generated from biomass, biogas and municipal solid waste is expected to increase twofold (3,630 MW), fourfold (600 MW) and twelvefold (160 MW), respectively.

Thailand's Blockchain Solar Power Producers Face Extra Fees to Offset State Utility Losses CCN 7th Sep 2018
Blockchain-enabled independent power producers in Thailand pose such a threat to the state-run power generator and distributor that they will be required to pay extra in order to cushion the state utility from the disruption. According to Viraphol Jirapraditkul, a member of Thailand’s Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), new regulations are currently being drafted which will see the blockchain-enabled solar power producers charged extra. This is with a view of assisting the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand withstand the impact of competition that is set to come as the growth of independent power production in the country booms.

PDP with private trade planned Bangkok Post 7th Sep 2018
Power distribution among private and household producers is set to have a clear-cut plan by the end of this year, making Thailand the first country in Southeast Asia to implement this platform. Policymakers plan to implement peer-to-peer trading in the near future after Thailand's reliance on an enhanced single buyer (ESB) model for more than three decades.

State energy bodies to see key position changes Bangkok Post 6th Sep 2018
Over a dozen high-ranking positions at three energy state enterprises and energy policymakers are open to alternative resources, marking a sea change in the sector. PTT Plc, the national oil and gas conglomerate, expects to elect four high-ranking executives to replace retirees at the end of last month. Chansin Treenuchagron was appointed president and chief executive by PTT's board of directors in April to replace Tevin Vongvanich. Mr Chansin started his new position last Friday.

Egat eyes February LNG deadline Bangkok Post 1st Sep 2018
After several delays in importing 1.5 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas, the state-run Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) has announced an auction to seek an LNG supplier and expects to complete all processes by February. On Aug 20, Egat issued a request for expression of interest (REoI) to any interested foreign supplier to ship LNG in the amount of 800,000-1.5 million tonnes to be stored at the LNG receiving terminal in Map Ta Phut, Rayong.

Officials try to sort waste import ban Bangkok Post 21st Aug 2018
The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) aims to talk with two ministries about waste imports after a ban on waste imported for recycling was announced a few months ago. The FTI is seeking a resolution to manage waste from overseas in the long run and will propose a plan to the Industry and the Natural Resources and Environment ministries in the next few months.

Egat seeks to import LNG directly for first time Bangkok Post 21st Aug 2018
State-run Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) is seeking to directly import liquefied natural gas (LNG) for the first time, as part of a government plan to boost competition in the power sector. The kingdom joins other Asian countries such as China where LNG imports have risen exponentially over the past few years driven by strong economic growth and a push for cleaner air. "This seems to be a continuation of the current trend, where we see increasing amounts of end-user buyers coming to the market to procure LNG directly," said Edmund Siau, analyst with energy consultancy FGE.

Dams told to release water ahead of rain Bangkok Post 16th Aug 2018
Five major dams are being ordered to boost the discharge of excess water to prepare for Tropical Storm Bebinca, which is forecast to bring heavy rainfall to many parts of the country until Sunday. The dams being closely monitored due to high water levels are Kaeng Krachan in Phetchaburi, Nam Un in Sakon Nakhon, Vajiralongkorn in Kanchanaburi, Rajjaprabha in Surat Thani and Khun Dan Prakarn Chon in Nakhon Nayok, said Somkiat Prajamwong, secretary-general of the Office of National Water Resources yesterday.

Power plant licences up for consideration Bangkok Post 15th Aug 2018
Energy policymakers are considering what to do regarding three licences for new power plants in the central region that are set to expire in the next few years. The plants are located in Samut Prakan and Ratchaburi provinces, consisting of 350 megawatts from Eastern Power and Electric Co (EPEC); 700MW from Tri Energy Co (TECO), a subsidiary of Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding Plc (Ratch); and 1,400MW from Ratchaburi Power Co, which is wholly owned by Ratch.

Energy policymakers to step up renewable power ambition Bangkok Post 11th Aug 2018
Policymakers plan to set a new long-term goal for renewable energy to make up half of total power capacity in the next 40 years. The announcement was made by Energy Minister Siri Jirapongphan as part of Shell Thailand's Sky Scenario initiative, a pathway to achieve the environmental goals of the Paris Agreement (COP 21). In the future, renewable energy technology will experience high price competitiveness when compared with fossil-based energy, while policymakers will be no longer to offer a subsidy programme, Mr Siri said.

Epac sticking with LPG price limit until 2019 Bangkok Post 10th Aug 2018
Energy policymakers are maintaining the cap on cooking gas prices at 13.08 baht per kilogramme, equal to 363 baht per 15kg cylinder, until the end of the year. Thursday's meeting of the Energy Policy Administration Committee (Epac) approved the resolution despite Saudi Arabia's reference price rising by 4.5% to US$587 a tonne in August from $562.50 in July. Twarath Sutabutr, secretary-general of the Energy Policy and Planning Office (Eppo), said cooking gas prices are being subsidised by oil consumers because the state Oil Fund's cooking gas account has been depleted.

Waste-to-power plants eyed Bangkok Post 10th Aug 2018
The Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) committee will seek a solution to the local waste problem in the three strategic provinces of Chachoengsao, Chon Buri and Rayong, while local business operators have agreed on construction of waste-to-energy power plants to solve the problem. Today's committee meeting chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha will acknowledge and approve an EEC waste management plan to support the expansion of plants and population. The government's policy aims to solve the long-term waste problem because local people are concerned about the impact on the environment after implementation of the flagship EEC scheme.

Vietnam

New tariffs could recharge Vietnam’s wind power projects - VnExpress International VnExpress International 12th Sep 2018
Higher tariffs for Vietnam’s wind power projects will make investments more commercially viable, experts say. However, even with the latest feed-in-tariff (FIT) increase approved by the Prime Minister, the rates are lower than in other ASEAN countries, they add. The Prime Minister approved the amendment and revision of the wind tariffs as per Decision No. 37/2011/QD-TTg issued on September 10 on support mechanisms for the development of wind power projects in Vietnam.

USTDA to support energy storage system in Vietnam Vietnam Plus 5th Sep 2018
The US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) will provide technical assistance for Vietnam to carry out a research project on developing an energy storage system under an agreement signed with the Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) in Hanoi on September 5. The Ministry of Industry and Trade has allowed the EVN to receive a non-refundable aid package worth over 755,000 USD from the USTDA to implement the project, which is expected to give an overall assessment of current issues with Vietnam’s power system, including its stability and operational status.

Environment tax on fuels to remain unchanged until 2020 Saigon Times 30th Aug 2018
The environment tax on fuels will stay unchanged until 2020, as a proposal by the Ministry of Finance to raise the tax will not be included in the law and ordinance making program next year, according to the local media. Minister of Finance Dinh Tien Dung has asked the Legislation and Tax Policy Departments to report the withdrawal of the draft law on amendments and supplements to the Environmental Protection Tax Law, which includes the proposal to hike the environment tax on fuels, from the law and ordinance making program next year.

Thai investors jump into renewable energy sector in Vietnam VietNamNet 30th Aug 2018
In addition to the retail, beer manufacturing, and plastic sector, Thai investors have increased their investment in the renewable energy sector, with the aim to diversify their operations in Vietnam. Most recently, B. Grimm Power Plc., through its subsidiary B Grimm Renewable Power 2 Ltd., has completed the $35.2 million acquisition of its solar photovoltaic power project in Vietnam as part of the expansion of its portfolio of overseas renewable power projects.

Vietnam goes solar The ASEAN Post 29th Aug 2018
With electricity demand in Vietnam growing 12 percent annually, the Vietnamese government has set a goal to generate 265 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity by 2020 and 570 billion kWh of electricity by 2030. This is to meet the surging demand for power resulting from rapid urbanisation and industrialisation in the country. Currently, the country produces more than 170 billion kWh of electricity from fossil energy sources, such as coal and gas – which are speedily being exhausted. According to the Vietnam Energy Outlook Report of 2017, Vietnam is moving over to renewable energy sources in order to sustain high electricity generation without incurring higher energy production costs as its energy demands increase.

Rooftop solar panels can satisfy half of power demand: experts VietNamNet 22nd Aug 2018
A report from the Ministry of Industry and Trade said that after one year realising the Prime Minister’s Decision 11/2017/QD-TTg on encouraging the expansion of solar power projects in Vietnam and Circular 16/2017 TT-BCT issued by the Ministry of Industry and Trade on developing the projects and model power purchase contract, 100 projects have been added into provincial and national planning.

Renewable energy aids electrification target achievement Voice of Vietnam 22nd Aug 2018
A workshop on renewable energy development to meet rural electrification targets and energy access was held in Hanoi on August 21 as part of the Vietnam Renewable Energy Week 2018 underway in the country. The event was co-organised by the Vietnam Sustainable Energy Alliance (VSEA) and the Climate Change Working Group (CCWG). The rural electrification programme for the 2013-2020 period set a target of providing electricity for all households in the countryside, islands, and remote or mountainous areas by 2020, said Dinh Duy Phong from the Electricity and Renewable Energy Authority (EREA) at the workshop.

PetroVietnam subsidiaries raise $320.5m in IPOs Viet Nam News 21st Aug 2018
The initial public offerings of three subsidiaries of the Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) raised VNĐ7.45 trillion (US$320.5 million) in the first half of this year, a company official said. Đinh Văn Sơn, member of PetroVietnam’s Member Council, was giving details of the IPOs at a conference held to review the equitisation of PetroVietnam Oil Corporation (PVOil), PetroVietnam Power Corporation (PV Power) and the Bình Sơn Refining and Petrochemical One Member Co Ltd (BSR) last week.

Hà Tĩnh to build two solar power plants Viet Nam News 20th Aug 2018
Two new solar power plants are scheduled to be built in the central province of Hà Tĩnh, with total capacity of 58MWp. The Cẩm Hưng solar power plant will be built in Cẩm Xuyên District’s Cẩm Hưng and Cẩm Quan communes in 2018-20. It will cover an area of 29ha with capacity of 29MWp.