Energy Update: October 4, 2018

Energy Update | October 4, 2018
Authors: Riley Smith, Ella Duangkaew, Monica Chritton, Bryan Yeoh
 
LOOKING AHEAD
 
 

October 9: First Planning Call for the 2018 Business Mission to the ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM)

October 16-18: 2018 Malaysia Business Mission

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

October 30-31: 2018 Mission to the ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM) (Singapore)

December 5: The 1st Asia Pacific LNG Investment Summit Philippines

 
THE COUNCIL'S TAKE
 
 

Updates on the Development of the Renewable Energy Industries in Vietnam and Myanmar

Both Vietnam and Myanmar are undertaking efforts to spur further development in their respective renewable energy industries. Hydropower currently dominates Vietnam’s electricity generating capacity, at 38% in 2015. However, the Government of Vietnam aims to reduce this percentage while increasing that of solar and wind in the coming decade; overall, Vietnam has committed to generating 18GW of power from wind and solar by 2030. While Vietnam is at the stage of attempting to find a Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) rate for these renewable sources that is sustainable and attractive to foreign investors, Myanmar is in the early stages and has recently committed to drafting a renewable energy law.

On September 10, in a bid to increase the competitiveness of Vietnam’s wind power industry, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc approved the amendment and revision of the wind Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) in Decision No. 37/2011/QD-TTg, which will increase the tariff rates to 8.5 US cents/ kWh for onshore and 9.8 US cents/kWh for offshore. Previously, the FiT for wind was 7.8 US cent/KWh. The increased rates are still lower than those of other Southeast Asian countries. However, they nonetheless indicate that the Government is aware of and attempting to address the commercial risks that have caused foreign companies to hesitate in financing wind power projects in the country. The rate increase is an attractive signal for foreign investment in the country’s wind market. According to the ASEAN Centre for Energy’s June 2018 “ASEAN Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) Mechanism Report,” Vietnam is one of five ASEAN member states that has enabled FiT implementation. Vietnam has enabled FiT implementation for hydro, solar, wind and biomass renewable energy technologies and is studying and exploring FiT in biogas and geothermal energy technologies. Vietnam is the only member state to have local government policies for implementation of renewable energy projects, according to the report.

Myanmar’s Ministry of Electricity and Energy (MOEE) is also aiming to develop its renewable energy industry and is currently drafting a renewable energy law to spur this development. Aiming to generate 8% of the country’s electricity from renewable sources by 2021, MOEE will prioritize developing solar energy assets first, then wind energy. MOEE hopes to increase this percentage to 12% by 2025. The MOEE’s Chief Engineer, U Maung Maung Kyaw, said that the country has plenty of natural resources, especially in solar and wind power, but lacks policy structure to drive growth in renewable energy, according to The Myanmar Times. One solar power plant, which will have a generating capacity of 170MW, is already under construction in Minbu, Magway Region. The construction of two other solar power plants, one in Myingyan and another in Wundwin, each with a generating capacity of 150MW, is expected to start soon. Following his appointment last year, Minister for Electricity and Energy U Win Khaing has prioritized meeting electricity demand over the short-to-medium term, as it is projected that Myanmar will need to double its current electricity supply by 2020 to meet rising demand from businesses and households. Though the role of non-hydro renewables in the country’s energy mix over this period of time will be smaller than that of hydropower, natural gas, and coal, a formalized strategy for how to develop the sector and better integrate it into the power generation mix will help grow renewables’ role over the coming decades.

Singapore Parliament Expands Powers of Energy Market Authority

The Energy Market Authority (EMA) now has more authority to act in the event of an imminent shortage under changes to the Gas Act and the Electricity Act. EMA can now direct companies to take measures in the event of an emergency with approval from the Trade and Industry Minister. These measures include reallocating gas from users with alternative fuels and entering into, modifying, or terminating contractual agreements. Other additions to EMA’s functions and power include dealing with health dangers from importing gas, imposing fines for meter tempering and dishonest consumption of gas and electricity.

These additional powers come after Singapore experienced one of its worst blackouts in September when power-generating units tripped one after another. During debate of the amendments, lawmakers referenced the blackout last month as a reminder of the need to ensure energy security and highlighted vulnerabilities of a centralized system.

Thailand’s Energy Reform Plan Set for First Steps of Implementation by End of 2018

The first stages of Thailand’s latest Energy Reform Plan (ERP) are expected to be rolled out before the end of the year, according to the National Energy Reform Committee. Originally issued in January 2018, the latest ERP aims to increase private sector participation in the energy sector, especially in renewable energy, and achieve full deregulation of the sector over the next two decades. The National Reform Steering Assembly issued the ERP just at the end of last year, after spending over two years drafting it.

The main focus of the latest ERP is increasing energy production and security. One way that the plan aims to support electricity generation and the increased utilization of renewable energy sources is by deregulating peer-to-peer power trading. By relaxing the commitments of private power purchase agreements, the ERP enables small power producers such as residential and commercial buildings to sell power back to the grid. One way in which residences, communities, and commercial buildings can sell electricity back to the grid is through the use of rooftop solar installations, meaning the ERP ends up making an economic case for the increased use of renewable energy. Other additions in the latest ERP include the establishment of a one-stop-shop for granting licenses to gas operators and power plants, a new building code that requires higher energy efficiency and saving standards, and a shift towards the widespread use of compressed natural gas in the transport sector. In the longer run, the new ERP includes a fourth phase of large-scale petrochemical investment in the Eastern Economic Corridor, a push for the utilization of electric vehicles, and encouraging the use of energy storage systems. Eventually, the Government also aims to consolidate the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat), the Metropolitan Electricity Authority, and the Provincial Electricity Authority into a single entity.

The most recent ERP is actually the third such initiative since the 1990s, when Thailand sought to deregulate the oil and electricity industries and privatize the state’s energy enterprises. The second ERP was implemented in the 2010s and aimed to increase the utilization of renewable energy sources. According to Pornchai Rujiprapa, Chairman of the National Energy Reform Committee, the energy sector represents 20% of the country’s economic value, necessitating the periodic review of the Government’s energy sector policies to ensure that economic activity and momentum can be sustained. Referring to the importance of the latest ERP, Nantika Thangsuphanich, Deputy Permanent Secretary of Energy, said it is especially needed at this time due to delays in petroleum exploration and production activities and the development of new power plants.

Laos PM Announces Resumption of Hydropower Dam Projects

On September 12, Laos Prime Minister Thongloun Sisolith announced at a World Economic Forum on ASEAN (WEF-ASEAN) panel that Laos will continue moving forward with its hydropower dam building, but with intensified scrutiny and greater study of wind and solar power. The Prime Minister also said he did not agree with the “battery” of Southeast Asia label that has been widely used to describe the country’s ambitions to supply its neighbors’ growing energy needs and double its energy production by 2020. The decision to resume hydropower dam building indicates that Laos continues to prioritize economic growth over environmental precaution. The World Bank estimates that Laos’ GDP will grow 6.7%, which is above average for the ASEAN region. The energy sector, especially now that hydropower dam building will start again, is likely to be an important contributor to this growth.

The Prime Minister’s remarks at the WEF-ASEAN follow the catastrophic dam collapse in the Attapeu province on July 24 that released 5 billion cubic meters of water and caused widespread damage to 13 villages, leaving 35 dead, according to official government numbers (see our previous Update on the dam collapse here for more detail). The Laos government took several strong measures in response, including announcing that it would suspend all new hydropower dam projects, renew the inspection of existing ones with a special task force and establish an additional special task force designated with managing national crises (see the previous Update on the government response here for more detail).

Despite research demonstrating that continued hydropower dam development may be costly and pose continued environmental risks for the country, the Prime Minister’s decision to continue such development is unsurprising given the importance of the energy sector as a growth market for Laos. The sector became particularly important following the historic signing of the tripartite electricity sharing agreement with Malaysia and Thailand (see the Council’s previous Update here for more detail). Energy will continue to be a complicated issue for the Laos and its neighbors given the tension that exists between Laos’ energy needs and policies and environmental concerns.

 
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.

Call for Sponsorship for Report on the Effects of Digitalization on ASEAN’s Energy Sector

The US-ASEAN Business Council, in conjunction with the ASEAN Centre for Energy, is soliciting sponsorship for a publication that will examine the trend of digitalization in ASEAN's energy sector. The main goal is for the report to highlight the best practices and recommendations of our members companies that have had to adapt to digitalization in the energy sector. We also want the report to serve as a stepping stone to deeper engagement with the ASEAN Energy Ministers during the annual ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM). Specifically, with the support of ACE, we aim to present the report at the 37th AMEM in September 2019. The report is also meant to feed into future projects examining how the digitalization trend can help ASEAN achieve the key goals of the ASEAN Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation (APAEC) 2016-2025.

The report will include:

  • An overview of the trend of digitalization in ASEAN’s energy sector;
  • Case-studies on how U.S. companies operating in ASEAN’s energy sector have successfully adapted to the digitalization trend;
  • Recommendations for ASEAN Governments on what policies to implement to best position their energy markets for the digitalization trend.

For more information on the report and sponsorship opportunities, please contact Riley Smith at rsmith@usasean.org.

 
IN THIS UPDATE
 
 
ASEAN
The cost of cooling down
Energy, marine facilities in Asia brace for Super Typhoon Mangkhut

Cambodia
Energy-hungry Cambodia shows no sign of backing down on coal
Phnom Penh looks to go green in its war on waste
USAID Awards Tetra Tech $21 Million Contract for Sustainable Landscape Management and Biodiversity Conservation in Cambodia

Indonesia
Pertamina operates avtur depot in West Kalimantan's airport
Pertamina EP Finds New Oil Gas Reserves
Indonesia imports more fuel in 2018
UPDATE 1-Indonesia 2018 coal output target now around 507 mln T-Energy Ministry
Indonesia eyes higher power consumption rate
Indonesian coal exports hobbled amid local constraints
Indonesia's 'Paris of Java' on high-tech mission to cut emissions
#Bersihkanindonesia movement fights against fossil energy dependence
The 100 percent renewables energy is reachable, says Wartsila
 PLN told to convert fossil diesel power plants to CPO-diesel fuel
Higher oil price to boost state revenue, increase subsidies
Drilling to start of 2nd well for Baturraden/ Gunung Slamet geothermal project

Laos
Stakeholder Forum Debates Proposed Pak Lay Project, Recommends Steps To Strengthen Basin Planning In The Mekong
Chinese company completes transmission lines project in Laos

Malaysia
Malaysia's Tenaga Nasional in talks to increase stake in green energy firms
Yeo: Cheaper loans for renewable energy initiatives
Sapura Energy bags contracts worth RM815mil
Sarawak Energy eyes other RE sources
Dr M: 'We won't use nuclear power'
Malaysia sets new goal of 20% clean energy generation by 2030
Govt to reactivate MyPower as part of industry reform
20% royalty won’t hurt investment
Malaysia against nuclear power due to radioactive waste disposal issues, says Dr M

Myanmar
Local fuel prices increase by over 17% in four months following dollar appreciation
Govt. spends K600 B from its budget annually to supply electricity
Bangladesh wants Chinese hydro power thru Myanmar
Fifth gas discovery in Myanmar offshore Block A-6
Ministry to distribute LPG to one million households in 2020
Coal plan sparks ire as Myanmar struggles to keep lights on
Renewable energy law in the works to speed up development
Parliament Approves $300M ADB Loan to Upgrade Power Grid
Qinzhou transmission station starts supplying China-Myanmar pipeline
PPA for hydropower signed
Tigyit coal-fired power plant not harmful to public: Energy Ministry

Philippines
PCCI pushes grant of power subsidies
Senate OKs creation of world-class PH energy think tank
DOF: Mining royalty remains on gov’t agenda
Philippines' Aboitiz to buy stake in Ayala's thermal unit for $579 mln
Gov’t sets road show in London
H1 oil import bill up 32.8% on high prices, weak peso
DOE pushes oil, gas exploration with new contracting round
Matchmaking to produce tie ups between microgrid developers, co-ops
ABB in multi-million Philippines geothermal deal
After disaster, Philippines to review all small-scale mining proposals

Singapore
Parliament: Greater power for energy regulator to tackle disruption of gas supply
Parliament: Two power-generating units that tripped, causing September blackout, had been properly maintained
Singapore consumers can choose electricity provider from November
Ensuring energy security also vital: Tan Wu Meng
Despite Tuesday’s blackout, Singapore’s power backup procedures are in place: Chan Chun Sing
Singapore bunker fuel premiums surge on sharp recovery in crude
Sembcorp inks 20-year deal to supply solar power to Facebook's Singapore operations

Thailand
Call for further power plants
Energy reform plan ready for action
Analysis: Thailand excels as most flexible sweet crude buyer in Southeast Asia
Electric vehicles on the fast track in Thailand
BOI approves 160 billion baht in investment

Vietnam
Solar and wind power get a boost in Vietnam
Construction launched on 39-MW solar project in Vietnam
Vietnam to increase environment tax on fuel
Work starts on US$49.75 million solar power plant in Long An
Việt Nam’s clean energy in need of a just transition
Vietnam Electricity revises up 2017 pre-tax profit to US$350 million
National consultation talks Pak Lay hydropower project of Laos
Laos’ hydropower policy puts Vietnam in a dilemma
 
ARTICLE CLIPS
 
 
ASEAN

The cost of cooling down The ASEAN Post 24th Sep 2018
Southeast Asia’s electricity consumption has been rising at an annual rate of 7.5 percent from 155.3 terawatt hours (TWh) in 1990 to 821.1 TWh in 2013, according to a white paper by the ASEAN Centre for Energy in the Spring 2016 issue of Cornerstone Journal.

Energy, marine facilities in Asia brace for Super Typhoon Mangkhut S&P Global 14th Sep 2018
Oil refineries, power plants and port facilities in Southeast Asia and East Asia are battening down the hatches as Super Typhoon Mangkhut is expected to barrel through the region over the weekend leaving a trail of destruction. The tropical cyclone, comparable in severity to Hurricane Florence in the US, is expected to impact infrastructure and civilian populations in the Philippines, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Taiwan and parts of southern China.

Cambodia

Energy-hungry Cambodia shows no sign of backing down on coal Eco-Business 27th Sep 2018
As Cambodia’s economy goes through a rapid expansion with foreign investments pouring in, the country is turning to polluting coal power to meet growing energy demands, risking the health of the people and the welfare of the environment.

Phnom Penh looks to go green in its war on waste Phnom Penh Post 21st Sep 2018
Phnom Penh is looking to go green in its efforts to tackle the mountain of waste – nearly 3,000 tonnes – that the capital now produces each day, Keo Channarith, the director of the Dangkor Dumpsite Management Committee, said on Thursday. “If we look at the figures over the past three years, the capital’s waste has increased by 60,000 tonnes per year, dramatically increasing to an average of 2,700 tonnes a day in 2018,” Channarith said.

USAID Awards Tetra Tech $21 Million Contract for Sustainable Landscape Management and Biodiversity Conservation in Cambodia Financial Post 18th Sep 2018
Tetra Tech, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTEK) announced today that the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) awarded the Company a $21 million single-award, five-year contract to improve biodiversity conservation and strengthen sustainable and resilient development in the Prey Lang region of Cambodia.

Indonesia

Pertamina operates avtur depot in West Kalimantan's airport The Jakarta Post 2nd Oct 2018
State-owned oil and gas company Pertamina opened a new aviation fuel (avtur) depot at Supadio International Airport in Pontianak, West Kalimantan on Monday.

Pertamina EP Finds New Oil Gas Reserves Tempo 27th Sep 2018
State-owned oil firm PT Pertamina`s subsidiary, PT Pertmina EP, and its oil contractor have found oil and gas deposits in West Java.

Indonesia imports more fuel in 2018 The Jakarta Post 27th Sep 2018
State-owned energy holding company Pertamina’s oil imports stood at an average of 393,000 barrel per day (bpd) up to August, 6 percent higher than in the entire year of 2017, when it imported 370,000 bpd on average.

UPDATE 1-Indonesia 2018 coal output target now around 507 mln T - Energy Ministry Reuters 27th Sep 2018
Indonesia has increased its 2018 coal production target to around 507 million tonnes from a previous target of 485 million tonnes, the Energy Ministry said on Wednesday, a move that may add to downward pressure on prices for the fuel.

Indonesia eyes higher power consumption rate Asian Power 26th Sep 2018
It aims to boost the electricity per capita consumption rate to 1,200 kWh in 2019.

Indonesian coal exports hobbled amid local constraints The Business Times 20th Sep 2018
Coal exports from Indonesia will be restrained this year, which could frustrate a plan by the government to ease a burgeoning trade deficit while keeping prices elevated, according to an industry group.

Indonesia's 'Paris of Java' on high-tech mission to cut emissions The Straits Times 20th Sep 2018
At the entrance to the spaceship-like command centre for the Indonesian city of Bandung, all workers remove their shoes before starting their shift, the better to keep the carpets clean. Inside, operators ensure the city's more than 300 mobile apps run smoothly and check what words are trending on social media in the city so that any problems are dealt with quickly and efficiently.

#Bersihkanindonesia movement fights against fossil energy dependence Antara News 19th Sep 2018
The #BersihkanIndonesia (Clean Indonesia) movement has invited all elements of Indonesian society to fight against the dependence on fossil energy, which has a negative impact on the environment and humans. "The Indonesian government should be able to let go its dependence on fossil energy, which is the main problem of energy sovereignty," , stated at the launch of the #BersihkanIndonesia movement, Central Jakarta, on Wednesday.

The 100 percent renewables energy is reachable, says Wartsila Electric Light & Power 18th Sep 2018
“Smart technology is unlocking the 100 per cent renewables future,” said the boss of Wartsila Energy Solutions today. Delivering the keynote speech at POWER-GEN Asia in Jakarta, Indonesia, Dr Javier Cavada said: “We are moving to a 100 per cent renewable world. We are looking at the biggest-ever revolution in energy.”

 PLN told to convert fossil diesel power plants to CPO-diesel fuel The Jakarta Post 18th Sep 2018
Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Ignasius Jonan called on state-owned electricity firm PLN on Monday to covert energy plants powered by fossil diesel fuel to plants powered by crude palm oil-based biodiesel.

Higher oil price to boost state revenue, increase subsidies The Jakarta Post 18th Sep 2018
The increase of the global crude oil price has changed Indonesia’s outlook for revenue and subsidies, estimated to grow 50 percent to Rp 240 trillion (US$16 billion) and Rp 148 trillion, respectively by the end of this year.

Drilling to start of 2nd well for Baturraden/ Gunung Slamet geothermal project Think GeoEnergy - Geothermal Energy News 14th Sep 2018
Reported yesterday from Indonesia, geothermal developer PT Sejahtera Alam Energy (SAE) is about to start drilling the second well for the Baturraden / Gunung Slamet geothermal power project in Indonesia, according to PT SAE Director Bregas H. Rochadi. “The preparation of the area will be completed in the coming days. Before the start of drilling an inspection by the government is required and that is planned to take place on September 17,” he said on the project site of PLTPB Gunung Slamet Project, Paguyangan, Regency Brebes, Central Java.

Laos

Stakeholder Forum Debates Proposed Pak Lay Project, Recommends Steps To Strengthen Basin Planning In The Mekong Lao News Agency 24th Sep 2018
A two-day regional stakeholder forum on the proposed Pak Lay hydropower project and other ongoing initiatives came to a close on Sep 21. The forum, convened by the Mekong River Commission (MRC), gathered about 160 participants from various stakeholder groups, including civil society, governmental and non-governmental organisations, academia, the private sector, and development partners.

Chinese company completes transmission lines project in Laos Global Times 15th Sep 2018
The completion ceremony of the 230 KV Thavieng S/S-Laksao S/S and 115 KV Nam Phay HPP-Thongkoun2 S/S Transmission Lines Project undertaken by a Chinese company was held on Friday in Lao capital Vientiane. Over 200 Lao and Chinese participants, including Lao Deputy Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone and Chinese Ambassador to Laos Wang Wentian, attended the completion ceremony.

Malaysia

Malaysia's Tenaga Nasional in talks to increase stake in green energy firms DealStreetAsia 27th Sep 2018
Tenaga Nasional Bhd, the most valuable listed utility company in emerging Asia, is looking to sell its gas-fired power plant in Pakistan as it pushes forward with a plan to rely more on renewable sources of energy. Malaysia’s state-owned electricity producer wants to reduce reliance on fossil fuel, which accounts for about 70 percent of its power generation, Chief Executive Officer Azman Mohd said in an interview in Kuala Lumpur. The company is also considering increasing its stake in Turkey’s Gama Enerji AS that produces electricity using water, wind and natural gas, he said.

Yeo: Cheaper loans for renewable energy initiatives New Straits Times 25th Sep 2018
The government will help green technology and renewable energy (RE) players to access better funding as financing cost is not cheap for such initiatives and it tend to have long gestation period. Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin said at present the industry is not seeing much enthusiasm from the banking institutions as it is still a nascent market.

Sapura Energy bags contracts worth RM815mil The Star Online 24th Sep 2018
Sapura Energy Bhd has secured three new contracts and a contract extension valued at approximately RM815mil in Australia, Brunei, Malaysia and Nigeria, bringing the group's total value in contract wins in the current financial year to-date to RM5.3bil.

Sarawak Energy eyes other RE sources The Edge Markets 20th Sep 2018
State-owned power company Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB), the country’s largest producer of electricity from hydropower, plans to incorporate other renewable energy (RE) sources such as solar and biomass into its energy mix by 2025, said its chief executive officer Sharbini Suhaili. Currently, hydropower makes up more than 60% of its generation mix. Sharbini noted that the high percentage of hydropower in the company’s mix has allowed it to offer the lowest electricity tariff in Asean for residential and commercial consumers, and small and medium enterprises.

Dr M: 'We won't use nuclear power' New Straits Times 19th Sep 2018
Malaysia will not use nuclear power plants to generate energy, as science has yet to find ways to manage nuclear waste and the effects of radiation, says Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. Dr Mahathir said there had been numerous incidents related to nuclear use worldwide, such as in Chernobyl, Ukraine, and the latest in Fukushima, Japan, which led to people suffering from radiation.

Malaysia sets new goal of 20% clean energy generation by 2030 The Edge Markets 18th Sep 2018
The Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Ministry has set a target of 20% of the country's electricity to be generated from renewable sources by 2030, an increase from 2% currently. Minister Yeo Bee Yin said her ministry is having a series of meeting to ensure the national grid is prepared to cater for this renewable energy generation mix, as well as to study the policies to meet its target.

Govt to reactivate MyPower as part of industry reform New Straits Times 18th Sep 2018
The government will reactivate special purpose agency MyPower for three years as part of the Malaysia Energy Supply Industry (MESI) 2.0. MyPower Corp stands for Malaysia Programme Office for Power Electricity Reform, an independent company limited by guarantee to be set up under the ministry to design and drive implementation of this reform programme.

20% royalty won’t hurt investment BorneoPost Online 18th Sep 2018
Increasing the oil royalty given to Sabah and Sarawak to 20 per cent will not jeopardise the country’s oil and gas investment climate. Shell Malaysia chairman Datuk Iain Lo said as far as Shell was concerned, they were positive that two State Governments and Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) would not resort to a decision that would undermine the oil and gas sector.

Malaysia against nuclear power due to radioactive waste disposal issues, says Dr M The Star Online 18th Sep 2018
Malaysia is against the use of nuclear power to generate electricity as science has not been able to provide a safe way to dispose of the radioactive waste generated.

Myanmar

Local fuel prices increase by over 17% in four months following dollar appreciation Eleven Myanmar 27th Sep 2018
Local fuel prices have increased by over 17 percent over the past four months due to dollar appreciation, according to filling stations. On Wednesday in local market, maximum prices fixed by Myanmar Oil Importers and Distributers Association were K1,065 for one liter of diesel (K4,835 per gallon), K1,075 for one liter of premium diesel (K4,880 per gallon), K1.035 for one liter of 92 Ron octane (K4,698 per gallon) and K1,085 for one liter of 95 Ron octane (K4,925 per gallon).

Govt. spends K600 B from its budget annually to supply electricity Eleven Myanmar 26th Sep 2018
The government is spending about K600 billion from its budget annually to supply electricity as there is a gap between electricity bill given to independence power producers (IPP) and unit charges for the public, said Union Minister Win Khaing during a press conference about exploring of natural gas from Shwe Yee Tun offshore natural gas block held at Ministry of Electricity and Energy on September 25.

Bangladesh wants Chinese hydro power thru Myanmar Bangladesh wants Chinese hydro power thru Myanmar 25th Sep 2018
Government officials at a workshop in the capital urged the Chinese investors to invest in the country’s power sector, reports UNB. "The country needs on an average $9 billion in power sector each year up to 2041" said Rahmat Ullah Mohd Dastagir, additional secretary of the Power Division, while making his presentation at the workshop on Bangladesh -China power cooperation in the capital.

Fifth gas discovery in Myanmar offshore Block A-6 The Myanmar Times 24th Sep 2018
The domestic oil and gas firm said this equates to a track record amounting to 100-percent success with five gas discoveries achieved in five wells drilled in Myanmar offshore Block A-6. The Shwe Yee Htun-2, an appraisal well in offshore block A-6, was tested to be able to produce natural gas, according to an official announcement from the Ministry of Electricity and Energy on September 22.

Ministry to distribute LPG to one million households in 2020 Eleven Myanmar 23rd Sep 2018
In a bid to reduce the use of firewood and charcoal through the extensive use of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and promote health and social standards of the rural people, Ministry of Electricity and Energy will distribute LPG to one million households in 2020, said Win Khaing, Union Minister for Electricity and Energy.

Coal plan sparks ire as Myanmar struggles to keep lights on LAKELAND OBSERVER 23rd Sep 2018
Opposition to a planned $3 billion coal-fired power plant in eastern Myanmar is highlighting the challenges facing ’s government in crafting a coherent energy policy in one of Asia’s poorest and most electricity-starved countries. With only a third of the country’s 60 million people connected to the grid and major cities experiencing blackouts, finding investors is tough for Myanmar and it is now looking at options, from coal to deep-sea gas, to boost its power supply.

Renewable energy law in the works to speed up development The Myanmar Times 19th Sep 2018
The ministry is aiming to generate 8 percent of the country’s electricity through renewable sources of energy by 2021. By 2025, the target is for 12pc of all electricity generated in Myanmar to be renewable. 

Parliament Approves $300M ADB Loan to Upgrade Power Grid The Irrawaddy 19th Sep 2018
Parliament today approved a nearly $300 million loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to upgrade the national power grid in seven states and regions. Of the 505 lawmakers in attendance, 501 voted in favor, two voted against and two abstained.

Qinzhou transmission station starts supplying China-Myanmar pipeline Interfax Global Energy 17th Sep 2018
The Qinzhou transmission station at Sinopec’s Guangxi LNG terminal started supplying regasified LNG to the China-Myanmar gas pipeline on Friday, Sinopec said on Monday.

PPA for hydropower signed The Myanmar Times 14th Sep 2018
The 10th Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) between the government and the Chinese company which will buy electricity from the Shweli 1 hydropower plant at Namhkam township in northern Shan State was signed in Nay Pyi Taw on September 12. Operated by Shweli(1) Hydropower Co. Ltd, the Shweli-1 dam generates 600MW of power from six 100MW generation units. The project has the capacity to generate up to 4022 million power units annually. Four generators from Shweli-1 project are connected to a 230 KV transmission line and electricity is supplied to Myanmar’s national grid via Mansi substation.

Tigyit coal-fired power plant not harmful to public: Energy Ministry Eleven Myanmar 14th Sep 2018
Tigyit coal-fired power plant is not harmful for local residents and is built in accordance with the UN’s standards, said Khin Maung Win, Managing Director of Electric Power Supply Enterprise under the Ministry of Electricity and Energy at the monthly press conference held in Nay Pyi Taw, yesterday.

Philippines

PCCI pushes grant of power subsidies philstar.com 29th Sep 2018
Apart from pushing for competitive bidding in the power industry, it may be high time for government to explore possible power subsidies to make the country competitive with neighboring countries and to bring in foreign investments, the country’s largest business group said. The country’s high power cost relative to peer countries remains a big challenge in attracting investments, said Jose Alejandro, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) chairman for energy and infrastructure committee. To lower power tariff, the government should strengthen rules in requiring power companies to undergo competitive bidding or competitive selection process (CSP), PCCI said. The country should also focus on smart grid programs, which will help power distributors improve their system reliability and resilience to natural disasters. The Department of Energy is currently working on a policy that will promote smart grid development even in rural areas, said Mario Marasigan, director of DOE-Electric Power Industry Management Bureau (EPIMB). Alejandro said power development should happen more in off-grid areas to spur micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in rural areas.

Senate OKs creation of world-class PH energy think tank Inquirer.net 24th Sep 2018
The Senate approved on third and final reading a bill aiming to foster greater energy security, sustainability, and affordability in the country. Under Senate Bill No. 1574, also known as the Philippine Energy Research and Policy Institute (PERPI) Act of 2018, a world-class think tank meant to bridge research and policy gaps in the Philippine energy sector will be established. “Finally, we are now one step closer to having our very own world-class think tank that will stand at the forefront of Philippine energy research and policy development,” Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, who authored and sponsored the bill, said in a statement on Monday. Gatchalian also chairs the Senate Committee on Energy. He explained that the PERPI will be tasked “to conduct multidisciplinary energy research, incubate and develop cutting edge technologies, and serve as the sparring partner for the government during the energy policy-making process.”

DOF: Mining royalty remains on gov’t agenda Inquirer.net 21st Sep 2018
The Department of Finance (DOF) on Thursday reiterated the passage of the comprehensive tax reform program remained a priority of the Duterte administration, including the proposal to slap a royalty on all mining operations. The DOF’s proposal, which formed part of tax reform package “2 Plus,” is included in House Bill No. 7951 filed by new ways and means committee chair and Nueva Ecija Rep. Estrellita B. Suansing. Under the DOF-backed bill, a rationalized and single fiscal regime will be applied to all existing and prospective large metallic, nonmetallic mines, as well as small-scale mines. The proposed mining fiscal regime will thus cover all mines, regardless of whether the mine is located inside or outside a mineral reservation.

Philippines' Aboitiz to buy stake in Ayala's thermal unit for $579 mln Reuters 27th Sep 2018
Aboitiz Power Corp, one of the Philippines’ biggest electricity producers, struck a deal to pay $579 million for a stake in Ayala Corp’s thermal energy platform, the two companies said on Thursday. The deal will provide Ayala’s power unit, AC Energy, fresh funds to expand its domestic and offshore renewable energy businesses.

Gov’t sets road show in London BusinessWorld 24th Sep 2018
THE PHILIPPINES will hold an investor road show this week in London to drum up interest in infrastructure, energy, and tourism opportunities in the country, the Department of Finance (DoF) said in a statement over the weekend. The Finance department said that Cabinet officials and some lawmakers will “update” British businessmen “on the progress of the Duterte administration’s economic reform agenda, particularly on its Comprehensive Tax Reform Program as well as the performance of the Philippine economy.”

H1 oil import bill up 32.8% on high prices, weak peso BusinessMirror 21st Sep 2018
THE country’s net oil import bill in the first half of the year amounted to $5.678 billion, up by 32.8 percent from $4.277 billion in the same period a year ago, mainly on account of higher oil prices in the world market. Bigger import volumes and a weak peso were also factors. Net oil import is the difference between the country’s net imports and exports. The oil import bill from January to June this year stood at  $6.31 billion, up by 34.4 percent from first half 2017’s $4.69 billion. “This was attributed to the combined effects of higher import cost and increased import volume of crude oil vis-à-vis last year,” the DOE explained.

DOE pushes oil, gas exploration with new contracting round BusinessMirror 20th Sep 2018
The Department of Energy is encouraging downstream oil-industry players to participate in the DOE’s Philippine Conventional Energy Contracting Program (PCECP).

Matchmaking to produce tie ups between microgrid developers, co-ops BusinessWorld 19th Sep 2018
Technology providers, project developers and investors from Asia, Europe and the US are looking to partner with electric cooperatives in bringing electricity to rural communities by building self-sustaining minigrids. The partnership matchmaking exercise will be conducted in a three-day business-to-business forum highlighting Philippines’ potential to implement minigrids through clean energy technology or a hybridization of the existing 374.5 megawatts (MW) of power plants that run on diesel fuel.

ABB in multi-million Philippines geothermal deal Power Engineering International 18th Sep 2018
ABB has won a multi-million-dollar retrofit deal to upgrade six geothermal units at two power plants in the Philippines. The contract with Energy Development Corporation (EDC), one of the world’s largest vertically-integrated geothermal firms – and the geothermal producer in the Philippines – was announced today at POWER-GEN Asia in Jakarta.

After disaster, Philippines to review all small-scale mining proposals The Star Online 18th Sep 2018
The Philippines has ordered a review of more than 100 proposals for small-scale mining sites across the country following a landslide that killed 62 people including illegal gold miners, its environment minister said on Tuesday.

Singapore

Parliament: Greater power for energy regulator to tackle disruption of gas supply The Straits Times 1st Oct 2018
The energy regulator now has more power to act in the event of a looming shortage or disruption to Singapore's gas supply, under changes to a law passed by Parliament on Monday (Oct 1). The Energy Market Authority (EMA) can also direct the power grid operator and an electricity licensee to connect their electrical equipment, if deemed necessary to expand the network or ensure the security and reliability of electricity supply to the public.

Parliament: Two power-generating units that tripped, causing September blackout, had been properly maintained The Straits Times 1st Oct 2018
Power-generating units at Sembcorp Cogen and Senoko Energy tripped one after the other on Sept 18 and caused the country's worst blackout in 14 years, yet both sets of equipment had been properly maintained. The incident has prompted the Energy Market Authority (EMA) to work closely with the two companies and their original equipment manufacturers to establish the root cause of the equipment failure. Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Koh Poh Koon told Parliament on Monday (Oct 1) that the breakdown occurred despite the units being maintained in accordance with the manufacturers' recommendations.

Singapore consumers can choose electricity provider from November Channel NewsAsia 21st Sep 2018
From November, all 1.4 million electricity consumers in Singapore will have the option of choosing their preferred electricity price plans from as many as 12 providers. With the nationwide roll-out of the Open Electricity Market, consumers will no longer have to buy electricity from SP Group at a regulated tariff that is reviewed quarterly. This option, however, remains available to consumers if they do not wish to switch, said the Energy Market Authority (EMA) on Friday (Sep 21) while announcing the roll-out. 

Ensuring energy security also vital: Tan Wu Meng The Straits Times 21st Sep 2018
Singaporeans may know how crucial water security is to the Republic's survival, but they also need to keep an eye on its energy security. After all, the country's water facilities such as Newater and desalination plants require large amounts of energy to operate, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Trade and Industry and Foreign Affairs Tan Wu Meng said yesterday.

Despite Tuesday’s blackout, Singapore’s power backup procedures are in place: Chan Chun Sing Channel NewsAsia 21st Sep 2018
Preliminary investigations following this week's power outages across multiple estates in Singapore suggest that the country's backup procedures are in place and working fine, said Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing on Friday (Sep 21). This is illustrated by how it took just 15 minutes for the system to be restarted when two power-generating units – one at Sembcorp Cogen and the other owned by Senoko Energy – tripped early on Tuesday, causing multiple parts of Singapore to be hit by blackouts.

Singapore bunker fuel premiums surge on sharp recovery in crude S&P Global 19th Sep 2018
Bunker fuel premiums in Singapore surged at the close of Asian trade Tuesday following a sharp uptick in ICE Brent crude oil futures during the Platts Market on Close assessment process, with prompt supply still seen as marginally tight.

Sembcorp inks 20-year deal to supply solar power to Facebook's Singapore operations The Straits Times 18th Sep 2018
Sembcorp Industries on Tuesday (Sept 18) announced a 20-year solar energy deal with Facebook to provide locally-sourced renewable power to support Facebook's recently announced 170,000 square metre Singapore data centre, as well as its other Singapore operations, for an undisclosed sum. With this deal, Sembcorp has become Facebook's first renewable energy partner in Asia. The contract involves the sale of 100 per cent renewable energy from the surplus power generated by offsite solar panels totalling 50 MWp in capacity. These panels will be installed on close to 900 rooftops in the land-scarce island state, between the end of this year and 2020.

Thailand

Call for further power plants Bangkok Post 3rd Oct 2018
Business operators have high expectations that the country's energy policymakers will soon open licence granting for waste-to-energy power plants with a combined capacity of 300 megawatts.

Energy reform plan ready for action Bangkok Post 22nd Sep 2018
Thailand's energy reform plan is ready for implementation, with an emphasis on deregulating the electricity sector and enhancing competitiveness among private operators.

Analysis: Thailand excels as most flexible sweet crude buyer in Southeast Asia S&P Global Platts 21st Sep 2018
The strong uptrend in international outright crude prices has prompted Thailand to actively diversify its crude supply sources so far this year and the country may earn the title as the most flexible sweet crude importer in Southeast Asia, with state-run PTT picking up more than 10 different low sulfur grades from across the globe since the second quarter.

Electric vehicles on the fast track in Thailand Inquirer 19th Sep 2018
Experts see bright prospects for electric vehicles (EV) in Thailand with all concerned agencies pursuing the government’s goal of getting 1.2 million units on the road by 2036.

BOI approves 160 billion baht in investment Pattaya Mail 15th Sep 2018
The Thailand Board of Investment (BOI) has approved 160 billion baht’s worth of investment with 150 billion baht going to Thai Oil Plc in support of its aspirations to create a transport hub and aviation city. The latest meeting of the BOI board was chaired by Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-ocha and discussed four investment projects worth a combined 160 billion baht. The board approved investment in Thai Oil Plc, which plans to create a complete fuel production facility in Chonburi province and improve its raw fuel processing operation to produce the jet fuel and diesel it needs to establish a transport hub and aviation city in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC).

Vietnam

Solar and wind power get a boost in Vietnam Asian Power 26th Sep 2018
Investment in the country's utilities is rising, marked by B.Grimm Power's $34m investment in a 420MW project. When B.Grimm Power agreed to pay $34m to buy a stake in a 420MW solar photovoltaic (PV) project in southwest Vietnam in July 2018, it became one of the new solar power projects marking the surge of investment in the country.

Construction launched on 39-MW solar project in Vietnam Renewables Now 25th Sep 2018
The construction of a 39-MW solar park was initiated last week in the Vietnamese province of Binh Thuan, with commissioning scheduled for April next year.

Vietnam to increase environment tax on fuel VnExpress International 21st Sep 2018
Starting January 1 the tax on petrol will increase from VND3,000 (13 cents) per liter to VND4,000 (17 cents), and on diesel from VND1,500 to VND2,000. The tax on kerosene will go up from VND300 to VND1,000, and on fuel oil and lubricants from VND900 (3.9 cents) to VND2,000 (8.6 cents).

Work starts on US$49.75 million solar power plant in Long An Nhan Dan Online 21st Sep 2018
The European Plastic Joint Stock Company (Europlast) held a groundbreaking ceremony for the 50MWp Europlast Long An solar power plant in Duc Hue district’s My Thanh Bac commune in the Mekong Delta province of Long An on September 21. The project will be developed on an site covering nearly 60 hectares at a total cost of approximately VND1.157 trillion (US$49.75 million).

Việt Nam’s clean energy in need of a just transition Viet Nam News 19th Sep 2018
In two years time, Việt Nam could stop building new coal plants, while maintaining a safe, affordable and secure energy system. This is a result of a draft report themed “Ensuring justice in the energy transition in Việt Nam” composed by the Việt Nam Sustainable Energy Alliance (VSEA). The report was published on Tuesday in cooperation with Green Innovation and Development Centre (GreenID) under the framework of the International Conference: Fostering Cooperation to Ensure a Just Energy Transition hosted by GreenID and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Vietnam (FES Vietnam) and Union of Science and Technology Associations (VUSTA).

Vietnam Electricity revises up 2017 pre-tax profit to US$350 million Hanoi Times 19th Sep 2018
Electricity demand in Vietnam is forecast to continue increasing at an average rate of 9% per annum, driven by rising industrialization, urbanization and affluence, according to Fitch Ratings. Vietnam Electricity (EVN), the sole distributor of electricity in the country, posted a revised pre-tax profit of VND8.14 trillion (US$349.8 million) for 2017, VND1.5 trillion (US$64.48 million) higher than the previously announced figure and up 58% year-on-year, the power company said on its website. 

National consultation talks Pak Lay hydropower project of Laos Vietnam Plus 18th Sep 2018
The Vietnam National Mekong Committee (VNMC) held a national consultation in Ho Chi Minh City on September 18 to look into Laos’ Pak Lay hydropower project. The Pak Lay project is proposed to be located on the Mekong mainstream in Pak Lay district of Xayaburi province. It will be the fourth of the 11 hydropower projects to be built on the Mekong mainstream across Laos and Cambodia. Its construction is scheduled to start in 2022 and to be completed and put into use by 2029.

Laos’ hydropower policy puts Vietnam in a dilemma VietNamNet 18th Sep 2018
The proposal to buy electricity from Lao hydropower plants has been facing opposition from many researchers, who say that benefits are small compared with the costs. After the collapse of Xe Pian Xe Nam Noy dam collapse, PanNature posted a statement by Save the Mekong Alliance which said it was not a natural calamity, but caused by the mistakes of hydropower project contractors.