Energy Update: March 7, 2019

Energy Update | March 7, 2019
Authors: Riley Smith
 
LOOKING AHEAD
 
 

March 12-14: 2019 Vietnam Business Mission

March 20: Luncheon in Honor of Singapore Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing

March 26: Thailand Committee Call with Mr. Peter Haymond, Chargé d’affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok

 
THE COUNCIL'S TAKE
 
 

Indonesian Government Plans to Revise Oil and Gas Law in Attempt to Increase Output and Energy Security 

At the end of January, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo indicated that the Indonesian Government was planning to revise the country's oil and gas law (Law No. 22 of 2001) in an attempt to revive the ailing sector and increase Indonesia's energy independence. According to a statement issued by Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung on January 23, Jokowi said that the regulatory revisions should create reforms aimed at improving the efficiency, transparency, and sustainability of the oil and gas sector, while also ensuring that it provides added value to the national economy by strengthening domestic industries and investment in human capital. The statement was issued after Jokowi met with senior Cabinet officials to draft a response to a Parliament-initiated proposal for a new oil and gas law in December 2018. Efforts to revise the 2001 oil and gas law date back eight years, including during the administration of former President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

Proposed changes to the 2001 oil and gas law include the creation of a new oil and gas business entity called BUKMigas. The new agency will play a regulatory role in both the upstream and downstream industries, taking over for upstream regulatory SKKMigas and downstream regulator BPHMigas. BUKMigas would also play a role in oil and gas exploration and production, though BPHMigas would retain regulatory oversight for pipeline fuel and gas transportation. Another proposed change is the creation of a state petroleum fund. Revenue that the government derives from oil and gas production, along with levies and bonuses, would be directed to the new fund.

The Indonesian Government hopes that a new oil and gas law will reverse years of regulatory uncertainty which have contributed to a significant slump in the country's oil and gas output, leaving the former oil exporter and member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) reliant on gasoline and diesel imports. Moreover, foreign energy investors' concerns over the security of their projects have risen recently in light of government pressure on state-owned producer PT Pertamina to take over oil majors' assets.

Thailand Aims to Curb Vehicle CO2 Emissions by Implementing Euro 5 Diesel Standards by 2023

Aiming to curb CO2 emissions from vehicles, Thailand's Ministry of Energy plans to implement by 2023 a nationwide upgrade to the Euro 5 environmental standards for diesel. The Ministry of Energy originally intended to implement Euro 5 in 2025, but recently moved up the deadline to 2023 following discussions with six oil refiners, which found the date to be the most practical deadline in terms of ensuring local diesel distribution, and because it aligns with the National Environmental Board's schedule. The new 2023 deadline also aligns with those of Japan and Hong Kong, according to Minister for Energy Siri Jirapongphan. The new deadline decision does not apply to benzene.

Currently, both diesel and benzene have to meet the Euro 4 standard, which allows the sulfur level in each type of fuel to be as high as 50 parts per million (PPM). The Euro 5 standard requires that fuels have a sulfur content of 10 PPM. The Euro 4 standard has been applied to cars and oil in Thailand since 2012. At the time of its implementation, Euro 4 resulted in a 26 satang (US$0.82) increase per liter. The cost of upgrading facilities to meet Euro 5 standards could reach 14 billion Thai baht (US$440 million) per refinery and increase the retail price of diesel by 40 satang (US$1.25) per liter. The average volume of diesel and benzene consumed per day is 63-65 million liters and 22 million liters, respectively. Two oil refiners have already upgraded to meet Euro 5 standards; however, collectively, they can refine only 500 million liters of Euro 5 diesel a month, which is significantly less than the 2 billion liters a month in total demand. To encourage other oil refiners to upgrade to meet Euro 5 standards, the Government is considering cutting reserve volumes of crude oil from 6% of total sales to 1-2%, a move that would reduce the inventory costs for oil refiners.

The Ministry of Energy's decision to move up the Euro 5 implementation deadline comes after the government announced that all parties would promote the use of biodiesel B20 in large diesel-powered trucks and buses. The Government is also considering extending the five-baht difference between B20 and B7, the latter of which currently costs 5 baht (US$0.16) less than the former. However, at the end of March the subsidy for B20 will lapse, decreasing the price difference to 3 baht (US$0.09). The primary aim of adopting the Euro 5 diesel standards is to decrease the toxic PM2.5 dust that is especially an issue in the central provinces. One of the major causes of this type of pollution is CO2 emissions from vehicles, which the implementation of Euro 5 standards will curb.

 
ADVOCACY UPDATE
 
 

Call for Interest: Companies Interested in Meeting with PTT Delegation Visiting Texas in Third Week of March

A delegation from the Thai state-owned oil and gas company PTT Public Company Limited (PTT) plans to visit Texas during the third week of March. The delegation members along with the locations and exact dates of the visit have not been released yet, but the Royal Thai Embassy has requested that the Council socialize the visit with our member companies to see which are interested in potentially arranging a meeting with the visiting delegation. If your company is interested in potentially meeting with the PTT delegation during its visit to Texas, please email Riley Smith at rsmith@usasean.org by COB Monday, March 11.

Call for Input: Case Studies on the Effects of Industry 4.0, Digitalization, Big Data, and Analytics on the Energy Sector

The US-ASEAN Business Council is partnering with the ASEAN Centre for Energy (ACE) and the ASEAN-USAID Inclusive Growth in ASEAN through Innovation, Trade and E-Commerce (IGNITE) on a high-level report on how Industry 4.0 and innovative technologies such as bid data, analytics, and digitalization are transforming ASEAN's energy sector. Collectively, these technologies have great potential for improving energy efficiency, the operations of energy assets, and regional electricity trading. The Council's contribution to the report will be to highlight the best practices and recommendations of our members companies that develop, utilize, or have had to adapt to these innovative technologies and their use in the energy sector. While we would prefer that the case studies be ASEAN-specific, companies can submit case studies for other similar developing countries. If your company is interested in contributing a case study to the report, please email Riley Smith at rsmith@usasean.org by COB Thursday, March 14. If possible, please include a very brief summary (2-3 sentences) of what the case study will cover. The full case study does not need to be submitted at this time. 

 
IN THIS UPDATE
 
 
ASEAN
The future of Southeast Asian cars is electric

Brunei
Slew of cooperation on the cards between Malaysia and Brunei
Workshop focusses on UK oil and gas assets decommissioning

Cambodia
Biggest solar project yet gets half billion in funding
Russia’s Novatek may invest in Kingdom’s LNG
Floating Solar Farm Completed in Cambodia - Solar Novus Today

Indonesia
Miners call for more government support amid rising problems
Indonesia explores cooperation with US,Japan in LNG business
Repatriation of natural resource export earnings: new regulation signals stricter approach
Companies await electric vehicle regulation
Preview: What to expect from upcoming presidential debate on energy
Indonesian and Dutch governments plan geothermal study & training program
Indonesian institutions struggle to get funding for green energy projects
Indonesia’s coal price reference set at $91.8 per ton in February
Indonesia expects up to 180 MW of geothermal capacity to be added in 2019
RPT-Indonesia embarks on overhaul of oil, gas law to halt output slide
Repsol announces big gas discovery in Indonesia
Gaining cleaner Indonesia with Euro 4

Laos
Laos commits to green growth path
Good weather expected to bolster Indonesia, Malaysia palm output

Myanmar
Myingyan natural gas power station start generates electricity
Ministry implements first phase of NEP
7 regions, states to get electricity access in Myanmar
Govt. to implement Nantpanga hydropower project in Homalin
Three regions petition against Myintsone project
Chairman of Myanmar’s investment commission suggests alternatives for Myitsone Dam
Myitsone dam concerns Myanmar’s credibility
Myanmar puts Beijing-backed hydropower dam into limbo
MOEE to drill for natural gas in Magwe

Philippines
DOE reaches out to university students on EPIRA law implementation
Gov't urged to speed up electrification efforts in rural areas
Indonesia oil giant mulls $1-billion LNG project in Philippines
Energy efficiency law seen dampening power plant demand
Honda to test electric scooters in Philippines
DoE reaffirms 100% electrification goal
Rising Energy Demand Could Be A Boon For The Philippines
Court challenge looms for Solar Para Sa Bayan franchise
BOC launches fuel marking to check vs oil smuggling
Meralco sees higher generation charge for February billing period
Phoenix investing P250M in LNG project

Singapore
Alliances to drive Singapore bunker market efficiency as IMO 2020 looms
Power grab in Singapore's electricity market could spur consolidation
Parliament: Open Electricity Market retailers are vetted beforehand
Singapore's electric vehicle ambitions receive boost as Dyson enters fray
Open Electricity Market roll-out: 18 per cent of Zone 2 consumers switch energy retailers
PUB, NEA find a way to convert sludge and food waste into energy
Singapore's energy players to feel heat of carbon tax only marginally

Thailand
Renewables to eat up 21% of Thailand's energy mix by 2028
Gas Production In Thailand Drops As Country Experiments With Alternative Sources
Thailand to build world's biggest floating solar farms
Bid to make Thailand region’s LNG/LPG trading hub
Energy minister pledges Round 21 licences by mid-year
New recycling plan taps energy fund
PTT puts off buying more LNG as demand wanes
Ministry's B20 plan to end surplus issue
Euro 5 diesel upgrade set for 2023
Solar hybrid scheme aimed for cabinet

Vietnam
Vietnam’s solar policy risks becoming victim of its own success
Vietnam Revises Model Power Purchase Agreement for Wind Power Projects
Vietnam mulls multi-layered FIT scheme as it kicks energy transition into gear
Coal and transmissions set to drive power infrastructure sector
Hold-ups in green energy investment
Petrovietnam reports 26 percent hike in revenues last year
Vietnam’s Ca Tam Oil Field Starts Production
Completion of institutions needed to develop oil and gas sector
PVN’s business results exceed plan
Petrol prices up nearly VNĐ1,000 per litre
Power generation prices set to be higher
Vietnam inaugurates $1.27 billion thermal power plant
Việt Nam takes action to reduce plastic waste
EVNNPT to launch 33 power transmission projects
 
ARTICLE CLIPS
 
 
ASEAN

The future of Southeast Asian cars is electric The ASEAN Post 2nd Feb 2019
The first image that usually springs to mind when someone mentions any Southeast Asian capital is that of congested roads filled with honking cars and motorcycles. Congested roads have become synonymous with Southeast Asia, and that is not going to change anytime soon. According to the latest data, vehicle sales in Southeast Asia is set to outpace all other regions in the world. As vehicle sales are expected to rise across the region, concerns over the environment have been raised. Since most vehicles in the region run on gasoline or diesel, they contribute significantly to the worsening air pollution in Southeast Asian cities. Electric vehicles (EVs) could however change all that. EVs, including hybrid electric cars can drastically reduce carbon emissions released into the environment. Compared to conventional cars that release unhealthy amounts of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxides and nitrogen oxides into the environment, battery-electric cars effectively produce zero-emissions from their tailpipes.

Brunei

Slew of cooperation on the cards between Malaysia and Brunei New Straits Times 5th Mar 2019
Malaysia and Brunei have agreed not to undertake any activities in areas where joint demarcation and survey involving their mutual border have yet to be completed. Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamd and Sultan of Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah in conveying this today, said they welcomed the positive progress made by the joint technical committee on the demarcation and survey of the land boundary between Malaysia and Brunei. "The leaders congratulated both technical teams from Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam for finding new ways to expedite the survey and demarcation activities, especially in the priority areas. "They also encouraged their officials to explore innovative ways to develop maritime cooperation between the two countries. In this regard, the two leaders welcomed the ongoing discussions between their officials in this field with a view to having a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Maritime Cooperation," the statement read. It said both leaders were satisfied by the continued progress made by Petronas and PetroleumBRUNEI through the collaboration in the Commercial Arrangement Areas (CAA) and Production Sharing Agreements (PSA), calling both parties to continue working together to commercialise CAA discoveries at the earliest possible opportunity. Both leaders were pleased with the continued efforts made since their last meeting during Dr Mahathir's official visit to Brunei from Sept 2 to 3 last year. Both of them were satisfied by the continued progress in trade and investment cooperation, particularly with the states of Sabah and Sarawak.They urged for more synergy in economic cooperation and promotion in the areas of transport and infocommunications, energy, tourism, agriculture, livestock and fisheries.

Workshop focusses on UK oil and gas assets decommissioning Borneo Bulletin Online 26th Jan 2019
A FOUR-DAY Decommissioning and Restoration Workshop, hosted by the Ministry of Energy, Manpower and Industry (MEMI) in collaboration with the British High Commission in Brunei Darussalam for oil and gas industry assets, held at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) building, concluded yesterday. Permanent Secretary (Energy) at the MEMI Haji Azhar bin Haji Yahya was the guest of honour. The four-day workshop gave an overview of the regulatory framework in the decommissioning, restoration and waste management of oil and gas facilities implemented in the United Kingdom (UK). Topics discussed included decommis-sioning and restoration activities relating to wells, pipelines, environment and waste management.

Cambodia

Biggest solar project yet gets half billion in funding Khmer Times 30th Jan 2019
The project is being developed by Inner Renewable Energy (Cambodia) to aid the Kingdom’s energy independence. The project is being developed by Inner Renewable Energy (Cambodia) to aid the Kingdom’s energy independence. The Gideon Group, a US-based global finance firm, yesterday announced its intention to invest $488 million in a 135-megawatt solar plant in Kandal province. Other key partners in the project include First Solar, a US-based photovoltaic panel manufacturer, Arthit E&C, a design consulting firm, and China National Technical Import and Export Corporation, one of the world’s largest engineering companies. The government recently said that it plans to have all 24 provinces in the country connected to the national grid by 2020. Five provinces still lack access to it – Tboung Khmum, Kampong Thom, Oddar Meanchey, Ratanakkiri and Mondulkiri. Cambodia now has 2,141 kilometres of transmission lines and 33 substations. The government has previously stated that its goal is to electrify all villages in the country by 2020. Currently, 87 percent of the country’s 14,168 villages have access to power. Last year, Cambodia consumed 2,650 MW, a 15 percent increase compared to a year earlier. 442 MW were imported from Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos in 2018.

Russia’s Novatek may invest in Kingdom’s LNG Phnom Penh Post 28th Jan 2019
Russia’s largest natural gas producer, Pao Novatek Co, has expressed interest in investing in Cambodia’s Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), especially in the areas of supply, storage station construction and conversion. Ministry of Mines and Energy secretary of state Dith Tina welcomed the news and advised the company to research social, economic and technical possibilities, as well as the nature of the Cambodian market, so that the project can be shaped. General Department of Petroleum director-general Cheap Sour on Sunday said Novatek aims to study the Kingdom’s LNG market, adding that if the market is deemed adequate, the company will invest directly. “This is only the first meeting between the ministries and the company’s leaders,” he said.

Floating Solar Farm Completed in Cambodia - Solar Novus Today Inter Solar 4th Mar 2019
The floating solar farm installed in Cambodia (2.8 MWp) is a world-premiere for several reasons. It is the first to be built out of a new type of float, the Hydrelio Equato, and the first with a 4-in-a-row setup. Further, this installation is also the first of its kind worldwide to have the Hydrelio solution implemented at a cement plant. As an investor, Cleantech Solar pays rigorous attention to optimizing the long-term performance of the systems to maximise the bankability of the project and offtaker’s energy cost savings. Hydrelio by Ciel & Terre was the choice for their needs.

Indonesia

Miners call for more government support amid rising problems The Jakarta Post 5th Mar 2019
A group of top executives of foreign and local mining firms gathered at a forum held in a five-star hotel at the heart of Jakarta recently, expressing their wishes that the government should do more to help their industry as several problems were left unsolved. Deputy Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Arcandra Tahar gave an opening speech at the forum, saying that he was open for comments about any problems. However, the CEOs only conveyed their comments after Arcandra left the building. They mentioned three main hurdles in the mining industry right now: a lack of government attention to mining exploration, regulatory uncertainty and unfair fiscal treatment in terms of royalties for their commodities.

Indonesia explores cooperation with US,Japan in LNG business Antara News 5th Mar 2019
The Indonesian government is looking into the possibility of cooperation with the United States and Japan in developing liquefied natural gas (LNG) business to support their respective energy security, an official said. "There are many possible kinds of cooperation discussed at the forum of three countries this time, including the development of technology and the export and import of LNG," Chief of the Upstream Oil and Gas Regulatory Special Task Force (SKK Migas) Dwi Soetjipto stated during the opening of trilateral meeting between Indonesia, the United States, and Japan on Tuesday. Soetjipto further noted that the market for Indonesia`s LNG is still widely open and that investors will have a lot of business opportunities if they invest in Indonesia. Director General of Oil and Gas of the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry Djoko Siswanto stated at the Indonesia-US-Japan LNG workshop that Indonesia has natural gas reserves of 135.55 trillion standard cubic feet (TSCF). "Indonesia still has the potential, and so we need to cooperate with other parties to manage the potential and invite investors," Siswanto remarked.

Repatriation of natural resource export earnings: new regulation signals stricter approach Lexology 11th Feb 2019
Government Regulation (GR) 1/2019, which took effect on 10 January 2019, requires exporters in the natural resources sector to repatriate their forex-denominated export earnings to Indonesia.(1) While this requirement is not new, firmer action to enforce it has been on the cards since it was announced as a key part of the government's 16th economic reform package in November 2018. Overall, GR 1/2019 is clearly intended to bolster Indonesia's balance of payments situation, which has worsened considerably over the past year. The government appears to be serious about enforcing GR 1/2019, which permits: the levying of fines; the imposition of export bans; and the revocation of business licences in cases of non-compliance. On 23 January 2019 Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati stated: "This is mandatory, meaning it must be complied with. There will be consequences for those who fail to comply." In reality, all exporters were required to repatriate forex-denominated export earnings prior to GR 1/2019 under Bank Indonesia Regulation 16/10/PBI/2014 (PBI 16), which was issued on 14 May 2014.(2) This regulation, which remains in effect, is discussed in greater detail below.

Companies await electric vehicle regulation The Jakarta Post 11th Feb 2019
Several companies have expressed their readiness to develop and operate electric vehicles although the government has not yet completed a regulation that would provide incentives for their development and adoption. PT Bakrie & Brothers has announced that it would soon launch an electric bus, produced in cooperation with Chinese automaker Build Your Dreams Auto (BYD). Bakrie and Brothers spokesman Bayu Nimpuno said in Jakarta on Sunday the company would import completely built up (CBU) vehicles from China, while “the company is preparing its own electric vehicles produced domestically”. Meanwhile, BMW Group Indonesia vice president of corporate communication Jodie O'tania said BMW Indonesia had also expressed its readiness to develop a range of low-emission vehicles. He added that since 2014, BMW had introduced the i8 Coupe and i8 Roadster electric cars in Indonesia. “We want to see the details of the regulations [on electric cars],” Jodie said, adding that learning from BMW’s experience in other countries, it was difficult to begin introducing fully electric vehicles and that many countries started with plug-in hybrid vehicles.

Preview: What to expect from upcoming presidential debate on energy The Jakarta Post 11th Feb 2019
In less than a week, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and Prabowo Subianto will once again face each other in the second-round presidential debate. Organized by the General Election Commission (KPU) on Feb. 17, the event will see both candidates explain to the public their views and plans on energy, food, natural resources, the environment and infrastructure. What is the candidates’ vision and plans on the energy sector? The following are some of the issues The Jakarta Post has observed since last year during their limited encounters. From two events that were held in November 2018 at the Indonesia Energy Economic Forum (IEEF) and more recently this month at a discussion held by global environmental watchdog Greenpeace, the push for renewable energy was the highlight of both candidates, who believe it can be a solution to the country’s declining dependence on oil production and other fossil-based resources.

Indonesian and Dutch governments plan geothermal study & training program Think GeoEnergy - Geothermal Energy News 10th Feb 2019
To work on its ambitious geothermal development targets, Indonesia needs more than 10,000 skilled workers, which a new cooperation of the Indonesian and Dutch government want to target, planning a geothermal study and training program. The Ministry of National Development Planning / National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) is working with the Dutch government to strengthen Human Resources (HR) in the geothermal energy sector. The form of cooperation is the establishment of a geothermal energy study and training program for the people of Indonesia. Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro said that Indonesia needed 10,000 skilled workers to utilize the country’s geothermal energy potential. With the National Medium Term Development Plan (RPJMN), the target for the utilization of Geothermal Power Plant (PLTP) is 7,500 MW, with a current installed power generation capacity of 1,949 MW. “We still lack expertise. Talking about universities that have geothermal related fields is not much,” Bambang said, in Jakarta this week.

Indonesian institutions struggle to get funding for green energy projects The Jakarta Post 7th Feb 2019
Securing funding for environmentally friendly projects has not been a straightforward process for Indonesian companies and organizations, many of which are unaware that certain standards need to be fulfilled before applying for funding for green energy projects at international and multilateral organizations. The standards are considered basic: Write a clear proposal and comply with the principles of equal opportunity for all genders and minority groups. The United Nations through its Green Climate Fund (GCF), for example, requires proposals to be aligned with national development priorities and gender equality standards and accommodate the needs of vulnerable groups.

Indonesia’s coal price reference set at $91.8 per ton in February The Jakarta Post 7th Feb 2019
The government has set Indonesia’s coal price reference (HBA) for February at US$91.8 per ton, 0.6 percent lower than the reference in January of $92.41 per ton, in response to China and India’s ongoing protection policies. “Both countries will intensify the use of domestic coal,” Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry's spokesperson Agung Pribadi said in a press statement on Wednesday. Other factors include the price movement of the Indonesia Coal Index (ICI), the Newcastle Export Index (NEX), the Globalcoal Newcastle Index (GCNC) and January’s Platss 5900. February’s HBA is stipulated under Energy and Mineral Resources Ministerial Decree No.18 K/30/MEM/2019 and will be used as the calculation basis for February’s direct sales of coal. The government has projected that this year’s production target will not be much different from 2018’s total coal production of 485 million tons — 25 percent of which is allocated for domestic market obligation (DMO). The government has also continued its policy to cap the coal price for electricity purposes at $70 dollar per ton, with the aim of maintaining the electricity price at the current level.

Indonesia expects up to 180 MW of geothermal capacity to be added in 2019 Think GeoEnergy - Geothermal Energy News 27th Jan 2019
Indonesia expects to bring the delayed plants of Lumut Balai (55 MW), Sorik Marapi (40 MW) online in March 2019, and an additional 5 MW from the Sokoria plant in the second half of 2019. Together with the 80 MW Muara Laboh that will add 180 MW in 2019. Already scheduled to start operating before the year end 2018, then Director of Geothermal, Directorate General of New and Renewable Energy of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, Ida Nuryatin Finahari now expects the two geothermal power plants of Lumut Balai (55 MW) and Sorik Marapi (40 MW) to start feeding electricity to the grid in March 2019. The 5 MW Sokoria geothermal plant, also scheduled to start operating in 2018, is now expected to come online in the second half of 2019. The delay of bringing the plants online has been the construction of the transmission network by PLN. The Lumut Balai PLTP and Sorik Marapi PLTP are targeted to operate in March 2019, while the Sokoria PLTP in the second semester / 2019. In addition to the three projects, Muara Laboh PLTP in South Solok Regency, West Sumatra is also scheduled to operate in 2019 and can produce 80 MW of power.

RPT-Indonesia embarks on overhaul of oil, gas law to halt output slide Reuters 26th Jan 2019
Indonesia’s government is planning revisions of its oil and gas law with President Joko Widodo this week responding to a proposal initiated by parliament, calling for a plan to revive the ailing sector and boost the country’s energy independence. Widodo this week met with his senior cabinet members to craft a response to parliamentary proposals for a new law submitted in December. The revisions should provide momentum for regulatory reforms to make the oil and gas sector more efficient, transparent, straightforward, sustainable and provide added value to the national economy, Widodo said according to a statement from the cabinet secretary issued late on Wednesday. Formerly an oil exporter and member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Indonesia’s crude output has plunged while its fuel demand has surged, making the country reliant on imports of gasoline and diesel. Indonesia has struggled to revamp its last set of oil and gas laws passed in 2001 and a parliamentary committee finally proposed a new law to the full body in December. Issues surrounding the oil and gas sector have long been a source of tension with foreign investors, and resolving these matters has proven challenging for Widodo, who is running for re-election in April.

Repsol announces big gas discovery in Indonesia ABS-CBN News 19th Feb 2019
Spanish energy giant Repsol announced Tuesday it had made a substantial natural gas discovery in Indonesia along with its partners, Malaysia's Petronas and Japan's Mitsui Oil Exploration (Moeco). The company described the discovery in South Sumatra as "the largest gas find in Indonesia in 18 years" and one of the 10 largest in the world over the past 12 months. "The discovery was made in the Sakakemang block in South Sumatra, where Repsol, as operator, holds a 45 percent working interest," it said. Petronas owns another 45 percent and Moeco the remaining 10 percent. Repsol estimates that the well may hold at least two trillion cubic feet (57 billion cubic metres) of recoverable resources. Repsol holds several licences in Indonesia, which is the focus of its exploration investment in southeast Asia.

Gaining cleaner Indonesia with Euro 4 The Jakarta Post 12th Feb 2019
Following the international climate conference in Poland last December, we are urgently required to re-evaluate Indonesia’s climate pledges. One of our commitments was to adopt the Euro 4, a cleaner type of fuel essential to our efforts to enable every Indonesian to enjoy clean and healthy air. We have many reasons to accelerate the adoption of Euro 4, based on a 2017 regulation of the Forestry and Environment Ministry, which stipulates cleaner standards on exhaust gas emissions for new vehicles.

Laos

Laos commits to green growth path Vientiane Times 6th Mar 2019
The government has made a firm commitment to roll out its green growth strategy. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Mr Somdy Duangdy, yesterday chaired a national level meeting to discuss ways to put the strategy, which Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith endorsed on January 31, into practice. Minister of Planning and Investment, Dr Souphanh Keomixay, President of the National Economic Research Institute, Mr Bouasone Bouphavanh, ministers and senior government officials also attended the meeting, which took place at the Lao Plaza Hotel in Vientiane. Speaking at the opening ceremony, Mr Somdy said the government viewed the implementation of the national green growth strategy as one of its priority tasks.

ERC speeds operation of Laos hydropower project Bangkok Post 20th Feb 2019
The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) is planning to accelerate power distribution from the Xayaburi hydroelectric power project in Laos ahead of schedule as the regulator wants to curb the overall power tariff. The project is Southeast Asia's largest hydropower plant, with a development cost of 150 billion baht, previously scheduled to open on Oct 1. Xayaburi has installed power-generating capacity of 1,285 megawatts (MW) for 7,370 gigawatt-hours per year. The project comprises seven turbine generator units of 175MW each that will generate and transmit power through the 500-kilovolt (kV) transmission system to the state-run Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat). The plant has one 60MW turbine generator unit that will distribute power through the 115kV transmission system for domestic use in Laos.

Malaysia

Govt’s renewable energy plan seen negative for IPPs Daily Express Newspaper Online 4th Mar 2019
The government’s aspiration of more renewable energy (RE) is negative to the independent power producer (IPP) players given the potentially lower capacity replacement for their expiring power purchase agreements (PPAs), Hong Leong Investment Bank Research said. “Given the limited potential of new large scale hydropower plants in Peninsular, we expect the Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change to push for more solar power projects in coming years, to partially replace the outgoing power plants and to fulfil the growing power demand,” its analyst Daniel Wong said. “Large IPP players would be negatively affected by the government’s aspiration towards RE, as they face the risk of lower capacity replacement (each LSS capacity is only up to 30MW) for their expiring PPAs,” he added. Wong said the government’s plan of more RE is neutral to Transmission and Distribution under IBR/ICPT (Imbalance Cost Pass Through) mechanisms. The IBR/ICPT mechanisms remain intact, protecting the sector from the fluctuation of fuel prices over the longer term, he added.

Putrajaya still trying to make Sarawak drop petroleum tax, says rep The Malaysian Insight 13th Feb 2019
PUTRAJAYA continues to try and persuade Sarawak to give up the 5% sales tax on the state’s petroleum products, said Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How. He said after the last federal-level special cabinet committee meeting to review the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and federal constitution last year, Sarawak agreed to listen to Petronas’ opposition to the tax.

Malaysia to double palm oil used in transport biodiesel to 20%: Minister www.thesundaily.my 12th Feb 2019
Malaysia aims to double the palm oil content in biodiesel used for the transport sector to 20% next year, as Southeast Asia’s third-largest economy looks to cut record stockpiles and boost prices, a government minister said today. The government will also raise the palm oil content in biofuel for the industrial sector to 10% next year from a 7% quota being rolled out this July, Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok said, speaking at a conference. Malaysia’s palm oil inventories fell to 3.001 million tonnes in January on increasing demand and falling production, but that was still near the two-decade high of 3.22 million tonnes recorded a month earlier. The increases in the amount of palm oil mandated for biodiesel – known as B20 for transport and B10 for industrial use – should lift use of the vegetable oil in biofuels to 1.3 million tonnes annually, the minister said.

Good weather expected to bolster Indonesia, Malaysia palm output The Business Times 5th Mar 2019
Crop-friendly weather over the last few months in top palm oil producers Indonesia and Malaysia will help drive up output of the edible oil, traders and industry players said, underscoring forecasts of record production for 2019. But reduced usage of fertiliser, labour shortages and older trees in Malaysia could limit growth in output of the commodity, used in products ranging from soap to biofuels. Record production from the two Southeast Asian countries, which account for over 80 per cent of global output, would pressure benchmark prices that recently came off seven-month highs.

Myanmar

Myingyan natural gas power station start generates electricity Eleven Media Group Co., Ltd 6th Mar 2019
Myingyan natural gas power station, which can generate 90 megawatts, is opened on March 2, according to Ministry of Electricity and Energy. The power station is located in Myingyan Township, Mandalay Region and the ministry is planning to provide more electricity to meet the demand of electricity in the summer. The ministry invited international competitive tender in January 2018 for the power station, said Win Khaing, Minister for Electricity and Energy. The power station will use 20 million cubic feet of natural gas from Shwe offshore natural gas block daily. The power station start run for business purpose in February 2019 and at the present, it can generate 90 megawatts. The station is supplying electricity to industrial zones and residential areas in Myingyan, Taungthar, Natogyi and Bagan-NyaungU from Myingyan 132 KV sub-power station and river water supply projects in Myingyan and Myothar industrial zone. VPower Holdings Limited and its local partner Zeya & Associates Co. Ltd. and the ministry signed a five-year purchase agreement on November 7 2018 to buy electricity generated from the power station. At the present, over 40 per cent of family households in Myanmar are gained access to national grid and the ministry is planning to supply the electricity to 55 per cent of family households in 2021.

Ministry implements first phase of NEP Eleven Media Group Co., Ltd 10th Feb 2019
According to the National Electrification Project (NEP), the ministry has started implementing the first phase of power supply project to electrify 5,080 villages with a two-mile radius of the national power grid, in January, 2019, said Union Minister for Electricity and Energy Win Khaing. Upon completion of the first phase project, about 626,757 households in 5,080 villages will have electricity access. The ministry is implementing the first phase project with a loan of 310 million USD from the World Bank. The second phase is to electrify villages within a five-mile radius of national power grid. The second phase project is projected to complete in September, 2021. Upon completion of the first and second phases, about 1,032,411 households in 8,537 villages will have access to electricity. Thanks to it, the total electrification rate will increase by around 9.5 per cent and the nationwide electrification rate by 55 per cent. The Union Minister urged officials and companies to make efforts for the completion of projects within the designated period and worksite safety. The ministry has set a goal of achieving the universal access to electricity by 2030. The ministry plans to increase the power generation to 55 per cent in 2020 and 75 per cent in 2025.

7 regions, states to get electricity access in Myanmar - Xinhua Xinhua 2nd Feb 2019
A total of seven regions and states will soon get electricity access under the National Electrification Plan (NEP), the official Global New Light of Myanmar reported on Saturday. As part of the NEP, the Electricity Supply Enterprise (ESE) under the Ministry of Electricity and Energy and 12 tender-winning companies signed agreements for the electrification project implementation in those regions and states. The electrification project will cover the country's Rakhine, Chin and Shan states, Sagaing, Magway and Bago regions and Nay Pyi Taw Union Territory, providing electricity to a total of 193,013 households. Meanwhile, the grid extension projects are being implemented by the ministry, with the help of the World Bank. Construction work on the first phase of the NEP will start in March, aiming to provide electricity to 626,757 households in 5,080 villages located within 3.2 km of the national grid. The project will complete in 2021. The country expects to reach its target of 55 percent of electrification rate in 2021.

Govt. to implement Nantpanga hydropower project in Homalin Eleven Media 20th Feb 2019
Sagaing Region government is planning to implement Nantpanga hydropower project worth over Ks 20 billion in Homalin Township. The project is expected to generate four megawatts of electricity and six billion Kyats has been prepared for the project for this financial year. The ministry will call for tender soon, said Soe Oo, the regional minister for finance on February 11.

Three regions petition against Myintsone project Eleven Media Group Co., Ltd 8th Feb 2019
The signature campaign for the termination of the Myitsone dam project being conducted by May Myanmar Be Peaceful Network in Ayeyawady, Magway and Bago regions will last till the end of February and the signatures will be sent to State leaders. "Public signatures will be sent to the President, the State Counsellor and the Union Parliament," said Kyaw Hlaing Win, Yesagyo Township in-charge of the network in Magway Region. He said signatures would be collected in the townships of Seikphyu, Thayet, Aunglan, Kamma, Yesagyo, Salin and Taungdwingyi of Magway Region.

Chairman of Myanmar’s investment commission suggests alternatives for Myitsone Dam Mizzima Myanmar News and Insight 30th Jan 2019
The chairman of Myanmar’s investment commission on Tuesday suggested alternatives such as downsizing or relocating a stalled Chinese-backed dam project that has strained ties between the two countries, Reuters has reported. Myanmar angered China in 2011 when its government suspended the $3.6 billion Myitsone hydropower dam in the country’s north amid environmental concerns. Asked about the dam the chairman, Thaung Tun,  listed several problems, from an earthquake fault line running under the project site to a large catchment area affecting residents. According to the report, he suggested several alternatives, including scaling back the dam, moving it to a different location, or offering the operator an alternative project. 

Myitsone dam concerns Myanmar’s credibility - Global Times Global Times 30th Jan 2019
In response to a question asked by a student at a meeting with locals in Kalay Township in Sagaing Region on January 22, Myanmar State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi said an administration shouldn't terminate foreign-invested projects approved by its predecessor. If the government breaks a promise made by its predecessor, the country will lose its credibility and "no businessperson would want to invest in this country,"she said.   Suu Kyi's remarks coincided with a new round of attacks launched by some Myanmar people on the China-invested Myitsone Dam. Her remarks at this time are meant to send a political message. China signed agreements with the then Myanmar government on a slew of projects when Myanmar was under Western sanctions, including the Myitsone Dam, which was suspended in 2011.

Myanmar puts Beijing-backed hydropower dam into limbo Financial Times 29th Jan 2019
Myanmar’s government said on Tuesday it had no plans to resume work on a Chinese-backed hydropower dam, currently halted, despite intensifying pressure to do so from Beijing. U Thaung Tun, minister of investment and foreign relations, said that while Myanmar considered relations with its powerful neighbour “important” and was working to devise an alternative power project, the Myitsone dam in the northern Kachin state would have “enormous impact on the environment and on the people and villages in the area”.  Myanmar’s former government of President Thein Sein suspended work on Myitsone in 2011 after state-owned China Power Investment Corporation (CPIC) had begun work, in response to intense local opposition from Kachin groups. 

MOEE to drill for natural gas in Magwe The Myanmar Times 28th Jan 2019
A test oil well will be drilled in Myaing township, Magwe Region to determine the presence of oil or gas, U Nyan Tun, deputy managing director from Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE) , said during the Ministry of Energy and Electricity’s (MOEE) month press conference yesterday.It will be the first time a test well is drilled in the area. “Drilling will start on January 26,” U Nyan Tun said. The Myaing deep oil test well No.1 is located at the south of the Myaing Anticline in the Chindwin sedimentary basin. Exploration will be conducted to determine the presence of oil or gas at the middle of the anticline. “According to expert analysis, there is a high possibility that either oil or gas can be found. If oil or gas is found, we will proceed to production,” MOEE deputy permanent secretary U Htay Aung told The Myanmar Times.

Philippines

DOE reaches out to university students on EPIRA law implementation Philippines Information Agency 10th Feb 2019
The Department of Energy (DOE) held the first leg of Information, Education and Communication (IEC) campaigns for the year on the implementation of Republic Act No. 9136 or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) yesterday (7 February) at the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB). The DOE-Electric Power Industry Management Bureau (EPIMB) and the DOE-Consumer Welfare Promotion Office jointly led said IEC series in collaboration with the UPLB College of Engineering and Agro-Industrial Technology. Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi said, “The energy industry, particularly the power sector, is highly technical. Therefore, we need to equip our future energy professionals with the necessary knowledge and skills that would allow them to keep up with developments and innovate further.” 

Gov't urged to speed up electrification efforts in rural areas Philippine News Agency 3rd Feb 2019
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian is calling for more efforts to electrify rural areas, noting that many households in different provinces around the country are still without electric power. Administrator Edgardo Masongsong of the National Electrification Administration (NEA) must take a deep thought about his agency’s rural electrification efforts,  he said during a visit here Saturday. He lamented that their target has not been achieved and 2.7 million households are still without electricity in spite of the billions of funds already poured into NEA. NEA’s strategy towards total electrification include “grid extension” by the electric cooperatives, which is being carried out by NEA; second is by missionary electrification in off grid places, which is being implemented by the National Power Corporation. Third is through qualified third parties, like local government units. Meanwhile, Gatchalian assured Mindanaoans that the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines’ (NGCP) plan to link Mindanao grid to Visayas grid through submarine cable will not result in drastic increase in electricity rates in Mindanao, which has been enjoying lower electricity rates.

Indonesia oil giant mulls $1-billion LNG project in Philippines philstar.com 31st Jan 2019
Indonesia’s second biggest crude oil producer, PT Pertamina, is looking to invest $1 billion for the development of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the Philippines through a regasification hub project, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said yesterday. Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said PT Pertamina has expressed interest to do business in the Philippines by being involved in LNG development. Lopez met with PT Pertamina officials last Tuesday. “The Philippines is very much open for LNG investors. We will assist and work with them in looking for trusted partners until they begin their operations,” he said. PT Pertamina corporate marketing director Basuki Trikora Putra said the firm is ready to offer integrated LNG solutions by investing in FSRU (floating storage and regasification unit) or land-based LNG regasification and provide competitive LNG supply.

Energy efficiency law seen dampening power plant demand Business World 31st Jan 2019
THE ENERGY SECTOR will play a big role in implementing the proposed energy efficiency and conservation law as about half of the thousands of megawatts that can be displaced with the adoption of the legislation will come from power facilities, an official of an industry organization said. Alexander Ablaza, president of the Philippine Energy Efficiency Alliance, Inc. (PE2), said 45,900 megawatts (MW) are waiting to gathered through energy efficiency initiatives, of which about 23,000 MW are currently accounted for by power facilities. The figure is only the minimum capacity that can be gathered through the law that is awaiting the President’s signature, he added. Mr. Ablaza said that he hopes that when the Water Philippines conference takes place on March 20-22, the law will have passed. The business-to-business conference will present the best water technologies and solutions for water supply, sanitation, industrial wastewater and purification. It includes renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors to bring together more than 500 exhibiting companies.

Honda to test electric scooters in Philippines Bao Anh Vietnam 30th Jan 2019
Honda Motor Co. will soon start testing its new PCX Electric scooters on Romblon Island in the Philippines amid the shift in consumer preference for carbon-free products, Kyodo News reported. The Japanese car and motorcycle producer will lease some 100 PCX Electric scooters, powered by Honda Mobile Power Pack detachable mobile batteries, to Romblon Electric Cooperative Inc. Honda will test the functionality and durability of the environmentally friendly model. The batteries will be recharged using surplus electricity generated by three 300-kilowatt wind-power generators installed by Japanese Komaihaltec Inc., at a site owned by Romblon Electric. Honda's PCX Electric scooters are equipped with two detachable batteries and designed to run 41 kilometres per charge at speeds of up to 60 kilometres per hour. A Honda official said the Philippines has many remote islands. If motorbikes, an indispensable means of transport for the islanders, can be powered by renewable energy, it will contribute greatly to the nation.

DoE reaffirms 100% electrification goal Business World 28th Jan 2019
“ELECTRICITY FOR ALL,” was Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi’s brief response when asked about his main goal for the rest of his term. “Hundred per cent electrification,” he said in an interview a few days before the end of 2018. “The tasks have been given to the DUs (distribution utilities), the electric cooperatives, and all. I just have to make sure that [those] that were given the task, do their work,” he said. “An EO (executive order) will be a big support,” he said, adding that a directive from the president would compel those tasked to meet his full electrification target by 2022. Mr. Cusi said when he started out as secretary of the Department of Energy (DoE) around mid-2016 the country was facing problems, the biggest of which were frequent brownouts. “That we immediately addressed,” he said by directing distribution utilities, energy generation companies and the grid operator “to get their acts together” by generating reserve power. He did not discuss in detail his other initiatives but early in his term, he did away with the previous administration’s energy mix policy and adopted instead a technology-neutral stance that did not favor any energy resource. Mr. Cusi said the development of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry had always been among his objectives at the onset.

Rising Energy Demand Could Be A Boon For The Philippines OilPrice.com 20th Feb 2019
In January Energy World Corporation (EWC) announced it had been given final approval by the Department of Energy (DoE) under their new regulations to build the country’s first LNG import terminal and regasification facility, which is under construction on Pagbilao Grande island in Quezon. The Australia-headquartered company – which also operates in its home market and Indonesia – has stated that the terminal, which is expected to be operational by March 2020, will have an import capacity of 3m tonnes per annum (tpa), providing up to 3000 MW of generation capacity.

Court challenge looms for Solar Para Sa Bayan franchise | BusinessWorld Business World 8th Feb 2019
A GROUP of private entities involved in renewable energy projects has signalled plans to pursue legal action against the granting of a franchise to Solar Para Sa Bayan Corp., saying the move is anti-competitive and unconstitutional. The Coalition for Rural Electrification, or CoRE, said House Bill 8179 as it is currently worded my not hold up to a court challenge. Its members declined to be identified individually but said the coalition is composed of at least six entities, which include distribution utilities, renewable energy developers and industry associations.

BOC launches fuel marking to check vs oil smuggling BusinessMirror 7th Feb 2019
THE Bureau of Customs (BOC) has formally launched the fuel-marking system that will be used nationwide to check if fuel products being distributed in the country have gone through the correct process and have paid the right duties and taxes.

Meralco sees higher generation charge for February billing period BusinessMirror 5th Feb 2019
The Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) is expecting the generation charge component in consumer power bills to increase this month, mainly due to the normalization of capacity fees of power supply agreements (PSAs).

Phoenix investing P250M in LNG project Inquirer 2nd Feb 2019
Phoenix Petroleum Philippines Inc. has earmarked an initial P250 million for investment in a joint venture on liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities with China National Offshore Oil Corp., including the establishment of a subsidiary to manage such projects. Phoenix said in a regulatory filing its board had approved the plan to work with Chinese state-owned CNOOC to establish and operate various LNG-related trade and services.

Singapore

Alliances to drive Singapore bunker market efficiency as IMO 2020 looms Hellenic Shipping News 5th Mar 2019
The Singapore bunker market is likely to see a spurt in alliances between bunker traders, barge operators and physical suppliers, as the supply chain infrastructure gears up to deliver different marine fuels and blends with varying specifications to comply with the International Maritime Organization’s global sulfur limit rule for marine fuels. The IMO will cap global sulfur content in marine fuels at 0.5% starting January 1, 2020, compared with 3.5% currently. This applies outside the designated emission control areas where the limit is already 0.1%. More partnerships are expected to maximize efficiency of marine fuel delivery in the world’s largest bunkering port, providing a reprieve to bunker suppliers who are already grappling with tough global market conditions amid a plethora of upcoming rules in international shipping, industry sources told S&P Global Platts recently.

Power grab in Singapore's electricity market could spur consolidation The Business Times 4th Mar 2019
AS Singapore Power's monopoly in the electricity retail market for households winds down completely in May, consolidation among the 13 retailers may be inevitable as they jostle for the 1.4 million accounts up for grabs. Meanwhile, consumers spoilt for choice emerge - as intended - the biggest winner so far of the frenzied competition under Singapore's Open Electricity Market (OEM). They are being lured by options to cut power bills by up to 30 per cent and showered with freebies such as iPads, insurance policies and credit card rebates. Or, if it's their thing, they can opt for "green energy" and even free Sundays and sundaes, for the homebody and those with a sweet tooth. But for retail players in Singapore's freed up energy market, the cut-throat competition could bite even as the OEM cast its net wider last Friday over the third zone (mostly in the city state's east), with only one geographical pocket left to go since the soft launch in Jurong last April and actual rollout in November. Consolidation could beckon as hefty spend on marketing and advertising, coupled with the price war, hurts margins.

Parliament: Open Electricity Market retailers are vetted beforehand The Straits Times 4th Mar 2019
Retailers in the Open Electricity Market are "thoroughly vetted and have to satisfy a stringent set of requirements" before they can serve customers, said Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Trade and Industry Tan Wu Meng. He also noted on Monday (March 4) that when retailers exit the market for any reason, they must pass on their customers to other power sellers at the same terms and conditions. Dr Tan told the parliamentary debate on his ministry's budget: "Under the Open Electricity Market, households and small businesses now have more choices. At the same time, we will ensure that consumers' interests are protected." Dr Tan was responding to a question by Workers' Party chief Pritam Singh (Aljunied GRC), who asked what had gone wrong with electricity retailer Red Dot Power, which had gone through the regulatory process. Red Dot Power left the Open Electricity Market in January on the back of what it termed a "financially challenging period". It had signed up around 3,000 customers - including 120 households - and all accounts had to be transferred back to the government-owned SP Group.

Singapore's electric vehicle ambitions receive boost as Dyson enters fray Singapore Business Review 11th Feb 2019
The British manufacturer is aiming to roll out an EV model by 2021. The decision by British billionaire, James Dyson, to migrate his company’s automotive manufacturing headquarters from Wiltshire, England and into tiny Singapore deals more than a blow to the weakening West as it reiterates the inexorable shift in power towards Asia. A vocal backer of Brexit, Dyson’s move was met by dismay by Leave supporters but was largely hailed as strategic given the company’s ambitious £2b plan to expand beyond the manufacturing of hand dryers, air purifiers and vacuums and into the heated electric vehicle (EV) space. The Lion City also has existing 22 free trade agreements in 2017 including in China which is the largest EV market in the world. Beyond Singapore’s ambitions to be a leader in the EV space, the development of a wide-spanning EV complex is also tipped to enhance the capabilities of adjacent industries in Singapore including AI, energy storage, mechanical engineering and electronics, said Geng.

Open Electricity Market roll-out: 18 per cent of Zone 2 consumers switch energy retailers The Straits Times 8th Feb 2019
Nearly one in five consumers eligible to switch electricity retailer from Jan 1 has chosen to do so, said the Energy Market Authority (EMA). A total of 18 per cent of consumers in Zone 2 estates such as Bishan, Sengkang and Punggol, have chosen to buy electricity from a retailer instead of remaining with SP Group, as part of the zone-by-zone roll-out of the Open Electricity Market. Consumers from Zone 1, mainly in the north-west of Singapore, have been allowed to switch retailers since November last year, while those in Jurong had the option since April 2018. "Based on the switch rates in the first month of each zone, Zone 2 has seen higher early switch rates than for Zone 1 and the soft launch in Jurong," said EMA in a press statement on Friday (Feb 8). EMA said the nationwide launch of the open market is progressing well. More than 700,000 consumers in Zones 1 and 2 can now choose from more electricity retailers and enjoy competitive pricing and innovative offers, it added.

PUB, NEA find a way to convert sludge and food waste into energy The Straits Times 29th Jan 2019
What gets flushed down your toilet every day might just not be wasted. After a two-year trial, Singapore's national water agency PUB and the National Environment Agency (NEA) have found a way to make sure of this. Mix what is flushed down the loo (water sludge) with table scraps, and this stomach-churning mixture becomes a potent recipe for energy. If scaled up, the biogas produced in the process can actually power a large portion of Singapore's water treatment plants. This is a prime example of how Singapore is turning trash to treasure, particularly in view of 2019 being designated as Singapore's Year of Zero Waste. The trial, which started in December 2016, involved 40 tonnes of used water sludge (from toilets) and food waste. Two truckloads arrive every day at the PUB's treatment facility in Old Toh Tuck Road from 23 locations from around Singapore, including Maju Camp, the University Town at the National University of Singapore, and food distributor Tian Sheng Fresh Produce, among others. The sludge and food waste were then combined, and went through "anaerobic digestion" - a biological process that breaks down organic materials - to produce biogas, the natural fuel produced when organic matter reacts with bacteria. The sludge and food waste were previously "digested" separately to produce biogas. But when they were combined, the PUB and NEA found that the biogas yield tripled. The agencies are aiming for this co-digestion process to provide the large amounts of energy required to treat used water in Singapore in the future. This, they hope, will maximise the recovery of resources from food waste, while allowing the Republic to take a step towards energy self-sufficiency in the used water treatment process.

Singapore's energy players to feel heat of carbon tax only marginally singaporelawwatch 21st Feb 2019
Singapore's move to tax carbon-intensive industries could hurt energy players here, albeit marginally, and analysts expect the resultant burden of higher costs to be passed on to consumers. All the main producing plants in the power-generation sector are expected to be hit by the new carbon tax, which will be S$5 a tonne from this year till 2023, going up to S$10-S$15 a tonne by 2030. This is because their facilities produce 25,000 tonnes or more of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions a year, the level at which the tax kicks in.

Thailand

Renewables to eat up 21% of Thailand's energy mix by 2028 Singapore Business Review 11th Feb 2019
Strong government support is pushing reliance away from natural gas-fired power. The capacity of non-hydro renewables may expand to 21% of Thailand’s total power capacity mix at 14,858 MW by 2028, according to a report by Fitch Solutions. The report forecasted capacity growth in the renewables sector to be robust over the coming decade driven by the biomass and solar sectors as the Thai government ushers the country away from a heavy reliance on natural gas-fired power. “This view is also informed by our expectation that coal-fired power growth will stagnate amidst popular opposition, meaning that there are ample opportunities for renewables as the Thai government seeks to deliver increased power sector investment to meet rising electricity demand in the country,” Fitch Solutions explained.

Gas Production In Thailand Drops As Country Experiments With Alternative Sources Business Times 31st Jan 2019
In a bid to combat climate change, almost every nation in the world has been quite busy looking for alternative energy sources. One such country is Thailand which, for the past couple of years, have been pushing its effort to diversify its power sector. Despite the good intention behind this strategy, it has caused Thailand's domestic gas production to decline significantly over the past couple of quarters. Thailand has been heavily pushing for the adoption of alternative energy sources. This is part of the country's effort to cut its reliance on gas. Majority of the country's gas needs are being fulfilled by imports as domestic production have significantly slowed down due to government regulations. These figures have been acknowledged by the Thai government. As such, the state-owned PTT oil and gas company has placed a massive bid in order to gain rights to two of the country's biggest gas blocks. These are a location in the regions of Erawan and Bongkot. Aside from oil, PTT is also set to improve its liquefied natural gas production from these two new regions. Many analysts have noted that PTT's improved production should be enough to offset its imports of liquefied natural gas.

Thailand to build world's biggest floating solar farms Bangkok Post 5th Mar 2019
Thailand plans to build the world’s largest floating solar farms to power Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy and to boost the country’s share of clean energy. State-run Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) will float 16 solar farms with a combined capacity of more than 2.7 gigawatts in nine of its hydroelectric dam reservoirs by 2037, said Thepparat Theppitak, a deputy governor with the utility. Several of the proposed projects are more than double the size of the world’s largest floating system now and the venture dwarfs the 1.3 gigawatts of generation installed globally as of October. The plan represents an ambitious bet for Thailand on floating solar, which tends to be more expensive than the ground-mounted units that dominate the sector. If EGAT builds all its proposed projects, the company says floating solar will account for one tenth of the country’s clean energy sources, compared to just 1% of global solar capacity by 2050, according to BloombergNEF.

Bid to make Thailand region’s LNG/LPG trading hub The Nation 27th Feb 2019
Representatives of producers, traders and shippers from over 15 countries are gathering at the St Regis Hotel in Bangkok from February 27 to March 1 at Map Ta Phut LNG Terminal of PTT LNG Co Ltd for the conference that is endorsed and supported by the ministry. Amid increasing demand for energy and the slowing production of natural gas in the region, the ministry’s support for the event is seen as timely in order to supporting the Gas Plan 2015 and reduce LNG, LPG and operation costs in Thailand. LNG and LPG shipping is one of the most efficient means of transporting gas from producing regions to demand centres in Asia but require strategic planning of infrastructure and shipping years ahead of schedule. Asia is the largest consumer of energy in the world, accounting for 42.5 per cent of the world’s consumption of energy, and is the world’s second fastest-growing energy consumer. However, natural gas accounts for only 11.5 per cent of Asia’s energy consumption and given the global concerns on emissions and air pollution, is rapidly gaining popularity and has many opportunities for growth.  Thailand’s demand for natural gas and LPG has been growing at 3.6 per cent and 4.1 per cent respectively while simultaneously, production has been falling by 2.7 per cent. 

Energy minister pledges Round 21 licences by mid-year Bangkok Post 26th Feb 2019
Round 21 of new licence issuance for offshore exploration and production (E&P) of petroleum resources is expected to open in June. This new petroleum round will open for offshore resources only in the Gulf of Thailand, following the signing of contracts for the offshore Erawan and Bongkot gas fields yesterday, said Energy Minister Siri Jirapongphan. Onshore locations, mainly covering northern, northeastern and central provinces have yet to be concluded due to legal obstacles for many public lands that have petroleum underground. The Mineral Fuels Department was told to prepare a Round 21 plan to invite interested investors, said Mr Siri. Round 21 has been delayed since October 2014 due to political instability and an economic slowdown. Many advocates called for a delay and revision of the country's petroleum laws from an E&P concession to a production-sharing contract. In June 2017, two revised laws -- the Petroleum Act and Petroleum Income Tax Act -- were enacted. The government then opened bidding for the Erawan and Bongkot gas fields in 2018. He said tentative conditions for Round 21 will be similar to the latest Erawan and Bongkot bids. More importantly, the round will include production-sharing contracts and 25% ownership for Thai state enterprises. This move is also set to expand oil and gas reserves in the country as there have been no new E&P activities for over a decade.

New recycling plan taps energy fund Bangkok Post 25th Feb 2019
The government has agreed to use the remaining cash from the Energy Conservation Fund to support a new recycling plan for discarded solar panels and vehicle batteries, in line with the goal of creating a circular economy. The Industry, Energy and Transport ministries will host the project after officials met last Thursday. "Thailand is encouraging people and companies to use renewable power and drive electric vehicles, but it has yet to plan for a retreatment and management programme for this kind of industrial waste," said Pasu Loharjun, permanent secretary of the Industry Ministry. He said the three ministries agreed to cooperate to begin the plan soon. "We are collecting related data to draw up the retreatment and management plan, while the 2-billion-baht fund will finance the project," he said. Mr Pasu declined to go into detail about the budget for spending from the fund. "Currently, Thailand generates roughly 30 million tonnes of general and hazardous waste per year," he said. "Some 3 million tonnes of this volume is hazardous waste that could be managed by landfill facilities, so the government aims to turn these landfill locations into energy resources." Mr Pasu said senior officials from the three ministries also talked about the 20-year National Strategy and expressed interest in promoting electric vehicles, energy storage systems and a national power grid to rapidly mobilise the country's energy and industrial sectors. With the promotion of such schemes, they predict many tonnes of waste from solar panels and vehicle batteries in the near future.

PTT puts off buying more LNG as demand wanes Bangkok Post 23rd Feb 2019
SET-listed PTT Plc, the national oil and gas conglomerate, will delay purchasing additional liquefied natural gas (LNG) this year because of low growth in demand for gas in Thailand. PTT has witnessed an influx of independent power supply over the past five years as dozens of business communities turn to self-generating power. "They can produce electricity themselves, which is impacting future demand for natural gas," said president and chief executive Chansin Treenuchagron. Earlier, PTT planned to purchase a further 2.6 million tonnes of LNG from Mozambique's Rovuma Offshore Area 1, additional volume on top of a long-term purchase agreement of 5 million tonnes per year. Mr Chansin said it's too early to make a decision to put off the LNG purchase because the latest national power development plan (PDP) 2018-37 has just begun being implemented. The PDP envisions power generation from natural gas representing 53% of total generation. Demand for gas has stood in the range of 4,600-4,700 million standard cubic feet per day for many years. "If PTT purchases massive volumes of LNG without ascertaining demand, there is a risk of changes in purchasing conditions and losses, so PTT has to wait to see any possible new gas demand in coming years before making a final decision," Mr Chansin said. "Based on the PDP, there are some possibilities that gas demand can increase in the future, based on power generation from natural gas."

Ministry's B20 plan to end surplus issue Bangkok Post 15th Feb 2019
The Energy Ministry has set a new goal to make biodiesel B20 available nationwide to tackle the persistent surplus of crude palm oil. B20 is a blend of 80% diesel and 20% methyl ester content from crude palm oil. The current formulation is 7% crude palm oil for biodiesel B7. In 2019, crude palm oil output is expected to reach 2.5 million tonnes, but 2 million is the normal annual output. The 500,000-tonne surplus will need to be absorbed by other sectors. Energy Minister Siri Jirapongphan said policymakers will set long-term measures to mitigate the surplus output that takes place every year. "The widespread use of B20 should be started in the next couple of years and motorists can refill B20 at every petrol station," Mr Siri said. "Diesel-powered pickups should be B20-compatible in the coming years." Last year was the first time the ministry announced commercial sale of B20, but viability was limited to diesel-powered buses and trucks. B20 has been available for fleet operators of trucks and buses as well as boats.

Euro 5 diesel upgrade set for 2023 Bangkok Post 14th Feb 2019
The Energy Ministry has settled on implementing a nationwide plan to upgrade environmental standards for diesel to Euro 5 by 2023, in line with the National Environmental Board's schedule, to curb toxic dust levels. The decision followed discussions among six oil refiners in Thailand that found 2023 to be the most practical deadline to implement the new standard for local diesel distribution. Energy analysts say the Euro 5 upgrade will require 14 billion baht in expenditure per refinery and may increase retail prices by 40 satang per litre. The move follows a recent announcement to provide biodiesel B20 to large diesel-powered trucks and buses for transport operators nationwide. The latest decision does not cover benzene fuels.

Solar hybrid scheme aimed for cabinet Bangkok Post 6th Feb 2019
State-run Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) expects to request the cabinet acknowledge and approve its massive investment plan for floating solar hybrid power generation at nine dams nationwide. Egat says the project will be the world's largest hybrid power scheme from hydro and solar. The pilot location is Sirindhorn hydropower plant and dam in Ubon Ratchathani province, at which Egat will install floating solar panels with a capacity of 45 megawatts, with a development cost of 2 billion baht. Thepparat Theppitak, Egat's deputy governor for power plant development and renewable energy, said that once the cabinet approves the huge project, Egat will seek companies to sign engineering, procurement and construction contracts.

Vietnam

Vietnam’s solar policy risks becoming victim of its own success Financial Times 4th Mar 2019
Vietnam’s push to develop solar power has been too successful. Lured in by generous feed-in-tariffs, projects are lined up for approvals to generate gigawatts of power that the current network simply cannot handle.  Without a more aggressive plan to upgrade the country’s transmission and distribution network, the government risks investors drifting away, threatening its goal of bringing more power to feed Vietnam’s booming economy.  Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc effectively kick-started solar development in April 2017, offering an attractive 9.35 US cents per kWh feed-in-tariff, applicable for 20 years, for projects which begin operating before the end of this June.  In the ensuing investor stampede — they are racing against the clock — Vietnam’s solar power capacity went from nearly nothing to surpassing the government’s target for the next decade.  But the boom has resulted in more solar capacity than current transmission infrastructure can handle. That may dissuade new investors, who risk generating power without being paid by Electricity of Vietnam (EVN), the monopoly state electricity company. 

Vietnam Revises Model Power Purchase Agreement for Wind Power Projects Lexology 13th Feb 2019
Effective from 28 February 2019, Circular No. 02 revises certain provisions in the model power purchase agreement (PPA) as well as stipulating the procedure for negotiation and execution of PPAs for grid-connected wind power projects in Vietnam.1 The revised model PPA under the new Circular No. 02 replaces the previous model PPA of Circular No. 32 from 20122 as well as adding certain clarifications based on practical PPA negotiations with Vietnam Electricity (EVN) for wind and other renewable power projects in Vietnam. Notably, Circular No. 02's revised model PPA clarifies certain terms to improve the bankability of wind power projects in Vietnam, including: clarification on technical curtailment risks; removal of EVN's limitation of liability for compensation upon termination of the PPA; relaxation of the power seller's event of default due to failure to achieve its proposed commercial operation date (COD); and clarification of the consequences of force majeure events. Circular No. 02 appears to be a bona fide attempt to address some of the concerns of renewable energy developers in Vietnam regarding certain risk issues arising out of the previous model PPA.

Vietnam mulls multi-layered FIT scheme as it kicks energy transition into gear pv magazine International 13th Feb 2019
The shape of Vietnam’s solar policy after its FIT regime expires in June will be one of the most hotly anticipated PV developments in Southeast Asia. According to a draft decision released by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the 20-year FIT of $0.0935/kWh introduced in April 2017, and valid for projects that achieve commercial operation before June 30, could be replaced with a two-year solar tariff, which would take into consideration various irradiation levels. With the exception of the rooftop solar FIT in the cloudy north – which would be set at $0.0985/kWh in the first year and $0.0886/kWh thereafter – the proposed new tariffs are lower than the current ones. “Overall, from July 2019 to June 2020, the southern region will get 25% less FIT, the central region 15% less and the FIT for the northern region remains approximately the same,” said Rystad Energy analyst Minh Khoi Le. “The FIT will reduce by 5% across all regions for the same period in 2020-2021.”

Coal and transmissions set to drive power infrastructure sector VOV - VOV Online Newspaper 12th Feb 2019
Fitch Solutions Macro Research, a subsidiary specializing in market research services of Fitch Group, said in its newly-released outlook for Vietnam’s power sector that the country’s electricity generation is set to increase to 236 terawatt hours (TWh) by 2023 and to 318TWh by 2028. The research unit said that the Government, along with international observers, has been pushing for a decrease in reliance on coal and an increase in renewables usage to lower greenhouse gas emissions, reduce air pollution, and achieve sustainable growth in light of challenges posed by climate change. However, according to the Fitch Solutions Key Projects Database (KPD), coal projects current dominate the power infrastructure construction pipeline – out of 57 projects currently in the pre-construction phase, 17 are coal-fired plants, accounting for more than 85 per cent of the total project value. Together with facilities currently under construction, coal-fired plants are expected to provide an additional 66GW of capacity if all pipeline projects turn operational, a figure that is well ahead of other sources of energy. This indicates a short-term reliance on coal to meet the rapid increase in demand for electricity within the country, which will result in the construction of coal-fired plants as the primary driver of the local power sector.

Hold-ups in green energy investment VietNamNet Bridge 9th Feb 2019
The US Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA) cited state-owned Electricity of Vietnam’s (EVN) estimates that around $123.8 billion will be channeled into the development of the national power system within the next 20 years. Spending was estimated through the revised Power Development Plan VII, which averages $6.8 billion per year. Of this, 66 per cent will be spent on power plants and the remaining 33.4 per cent on network development. EVN has received preferential loans which amount to $1 billion in 2016 from international financial organisations, such as the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the Japan International Co-operation Agency, and the German Bank for Reconstruction. Furthermore, EVN has been working with the French Development Agency to provide the former with two further loans for the Se San 4 solar power plant and the Ialy hydropower plant extension projects. According to the ITA, US investors also want to develop renewable energy projects in Vietnam. Currently, US companies are finding significant business opportunities in market segments such as equipment sales for ongoing and upcoming power generation projects, and gas-fired and renewable power projects, and investment in independent power projects (IPP) in the form of build-operate-transfer (BOT), build-transfer (BT), build-transfer-operate (BTO), and joint venture projects. While the Vietnamese government wants to lure in more renewable energy investors, a series of obstructions are discouraging investors from cultivating projects. One of the hurdles lies in the current dispute resolution mechanism.

Petrovietnam reports 26 percent hike in revenues last year VnExpress International 6th Feb 2019
The state-run giant (Petrovietnam or PVN) reported revenues of VND626.8 trillion ($26.92 billion), 18 percent higher than the target and a year-on-year rise of 26 percent. As of December 10 it had achieved its domestic crude oil production target of 11.31 million tons. Total oil and gas output reached 23.98 million tons (gas converted into oil equivalent). The group contributed VND121.3 trillion ($5.22 billion) to the state coffers, exceeding the target by 64.3 percent and 24.3 percent more than the previous year. Last year the group wrapped up equitization of three of its subsidiaries: PetroVietnam Power Corporation (PV Power), Vietnam Oil Corporation (PVOIL) and Binh Son Refinery and Petrochemical Joint Stock Company (BSR). The proceeds from their IPOs reached VND16.5 trillion ($710 million). Petrovietnam managed to raise VND18.6 trillion ($801 million) from the three firms' equitization and state divestments. In late last year, the $9 billion Nghi Son Refinery and Petrochemical Complex, one of the key national oil and gas projects, began commercial operation. With a capacity to process 200,000 barrels of crude a day, it, along with Dung Quat, can meet more than 80 percent of the country’s petroleum demand, reducing dependence on imports. Situated in the Nghi Son Economic Zone, 200 km south of Hanoi in the central province of Thanh Hoa, Nghi Son is invested by Idemitsu Kosan Co, Kuwait Petroleum, Petrovietnam and Mitsui Chemicals Inc.

Vietnam’s Ca Tam Oil Field Starts Production Exploration & Production 28th Jan 2019
Vietsovpetro, a Vietnam-Russia oil joint venture, has started crude oil production at the Ca Tam field offshore southern Vietnam, Vietnamese state oil firm PetroVietnam said on Jan. 28. Initial production from Ca Tam, jointly developed by Vietsovpetro, PetroVietnam Exploration Production Corp. (PVEP) and Bitexco Group, is 1,630 tonnes per day, PetroVietnam said in a statement. The field in Block 09-3/12, 160 km (100 miles) southeast of Vietnam, is hooked up to the facilities in the nearby Block 09-1, which houses the country’s largest oil field Bach Ho, PetroVietnam said. Ca Tam is the first new field to be brought into production in Vietnam in years after a 2014 plunge in oil prices slashed exploration. The start-up is significant as declining production from the country’s key fields has left it struggling to maintain oil and gas output. PetroVietnam, formally known as Vietnam Oil and Gas Group, said earlier this month that tension in the South China Sea will continue to weigh on its offshore operations this year, adding that Ca Tam is one of the two offshore fields it expected to start commercial production this year. PetroVietnam owns 51% in Vietsovpetro, while Russia’s Zarubezhneft owns the rest.

Completion of institutions needed to develop oil and gas sector vietnamplus.vn 26th Jan 2019
Politburo member and head of the Party Central Committee’s Economic Commission Nguyen Van Binh on January 25 stressed the need to complete institutions for the development of the oil and gas sector. During a working session with leading officials of the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam), Binh asked the group to review the implementation of the Politburo’s Resolution No.41 on orienting the Vietnam Oil and Gas Development Strategy by 2025 with a vision to 2035 to submit to the Politburo to issue a new resolution so as to cope with challenges and overcome difficulties facing the group, as well as the entire sector. For difficulties in dealing with projects and businesses with bad performances, the group should seek a correct approach and quickly make proposals towards the promulgation of specific policies, he suggested.

PVN’s business results exceed plan Vietnam News 4th Mar 2019
Việt Nam Oil and Gas Group (PVN) estimated to gain total revenue of VNĐ111.8 trillion (US$4.79 billion) in the first two months of this year, 8 per cent higher than its plan. PVN said in the first two months, total exploited oil and gas output was estimated at 3.85 million tonnes, an increase of 7 per cent against the plan. During the first two months, the group produced 3.27 billion kWh of electricity, exceeding the plan by 4.2 per cent, and 280,000 tonnes of nitrogen fertiliser, 6.7 per cent higher than the plan. Petroleum production was estimated at 2.17 million tonnes, exceeding the plan by 7.2 per cent, including 1.03 million tonnes from Dung Quất Oil Refinery, 1.06 million tonnes from Nghi Sơn Petrochemical Refinery and 73,600 tonnes from PVOIL. To complete the business plan for the first quarter and the next quarters, PVN continues to closely follow world oil prices to have the most effective production and business management solutions.

Petrol prices up nearly VNĐ1,000 per litre Vietnam News 4th Mar 2019
The prices of oil and petrol have climbed nearly VNĐ1,000 (US$0.043) per litre folowing the latest adjustment by Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Industry and Trade on Saturday. The ministries review fuel prices every 15 days to adjust prices in accordance with fluctuations on the world market. Accordingly, the price of bio-fuel E5 RON 92 has increased by VNĐ939 per litre from VNĐ16,272 per litre, while that of RON 95-III is up VNĐ946 per litre from VNĐ17,603 per litre. The prices of diesel oil and kerosene rose VNĐ959 and VNĐ700 per litre, respectively. The retail price of bio-fuel E5 RON 92 will not be higher than VNĐ17,211 per litre, and that of RON 95 no more than VNĐ18,549. The ceiling prices of diesel oil and kerosene are now VNĐ15,868 and VNĐ14,885 per litre, respectively. The price of mazut is capped at VNĐ14,083 per kilo.

Power generation prices set to be higher Vietnam News 22nd Feb 2019
The Ministry of Industry and Trade has issued Decision No 281 which increases the prices for power generation in 2019. These prices are used to negotiate power purchase agreements between the State-run Vietnam Electricity and power plants. Accordingly, the prices for power generation in coal-fired power plants are set to range between VNĐ1,677 and VNĐ1,896 (US$0.07-0.08) per kWh during 2019, excluding some taxes, sea port fees and infrastructure. The prices are VNDĐ359 and VNĐ76 per kWh higher than those of 2018. The ceiling prices for power generation in hydropower plants this year would be increased by VNĐ20 per kWh than last year to reach VNĐ1,100 per kWh excluding taxes. The ministry’s calculation showed that the price of imported coal this year is VNĐ1.74 million per tonne excluding taxes and transport costs, increasing VNĐ0.14 million from the previous year. The rise in the price scheme for power generation was partly due to the increase of imported coal prices.

Vietnam inaugurates $1.27 billion thermal power plant VN Express 16th Feb 2019
It is expected to generate 3.6-3.9 billion kWh of electricity a year, said Duong Quang Thanh, chairman of Vietnam Electricity (EVN), the country’s sole electricity distributor. Construction of the plant commenced in 2014, with a total investment VND26.5 trillion ($1.27 billion). Of this, EVN, the project investor, contributed 15 percent, and the remaining 85 percent came from an ODA loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The plant is one of two thermal power projects in Thai Binh Province. Construction of the second, which has a capacity of 1,200 MW, is expected to be completed in 2020. Vietnam relies largely on hydropower and thermal power plants for its electricity needs. However, its hydropower potential is almost fully exploited and its oil and gas reserves are running low. Thermal energy is expected to account for over 48 percent of the country’s power production in 2019.

Việt Nam takes action to reduce plastic waste Vietnam News 12th Feb 2019
Việt Nam is one of Asia’s five worst polluters of ocean plastic waste, according to international organisations. With 13 million tonnes of waste released to the ocean every year, the country ranks 17th in the world for ocean plastic waste pollution. Although there are no official statistics on the amount and varieties of plastic in the Vietnamese sea and islands, plastic waste is easy to see in Vietnamese waters, with the country’s 112 estuaries the main gateways of plastic to the ocean. Numbers from Việt Nam’s Association of Plastic illustrate the scale of the problem. In 1990, each Vietnamese consumed 3.8kg of plastic per year, but 25 years later, the figure hit 41kg. As many as 1,000 plastic bags are used each minute but only 27 per cent of them are treated and recycled.

EVNNPT to launch 33 power transmission projects Voice of Vietnam 5th Feb 2019
The National Power Transmission Corporation (EVNNPT) said it plans to launch 33 power transmission projects and put into operation 47 projects, with a total capital of 19.5 trillion VND in 2019. The 33 projects to be launched include three 500-kV power transmission project and 30 220-kV power transmission projects, while the 47 projects to be completed comprise 14 500-kV power projects, 30 220-kV power projects and three 110-kV power projects. EVNNPT, a subsidiary of the state-owned Vietnam Electricity (EVN) group, transmitted 184.5 billion kWh of electricity in 2018, up 11.03 percent from the previous year. It has set the target of 203.2 billion kWh of electricity transmitted in 2019, up 10.15 percent from 2018.