Energy Update: May 13, 2019

Energy Update | May 13, 2019
Authors: Riley Smith
 
LOOKING AHEAD
 
 

May 15: US-ABC Jakarta Office Warming Reception and Indonesia Committee Members Meeting

May 16: Infrastructure Committee Call with Mr. Geoffrey Tan, Managing Director, Asia Pacific, for the United States Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC)

May 22: Philippines Committee Call

 
THE COUNCIL'S TAKE
 
 

Thailand’s Cabinet Approves New Power Development Plan 2018-2037, Emphasizing More Renewable Energy and LNG over Coal

On April 30, Thailand’s cabinet approved the country’s updated Power Development Plan for 2018-2037 (PDP 2018-2037) after three years of revision. Originally approved by the National Energy Policy Council (NEPC) in January, the new PDP (available here in Thai) is expected to be enacted within the second quarter of this year. Though it spans almost two decades, the plan can be reviewed every five years to account for changes in technology and trends in the power sector.

The plan calls for Thailand to increase its power production capacity by 67 percent from its 2017 level of 46,090 MW. This would bring the country’s power production capacity to over 77,000 MW by 2037, as 56,431 MW of new power capacity are added and power plants with a total capacity of 25,310 MW are retired. Notable in the new PDP is a greater focus on renewable energy at the expense of coal. Under the plan, about 37 percent of power production is to come from renewable sources, while natural gas, non-fossil fuels, and coal are to account for 53 percent, 35 percent, and 12 percent, respectively. This contrasts with the previous PDP's – PDP 2015-2036 – relative emphasis on coal, which was to make up to 25 percent of power production capacity. The new PDP also forecasts a larger role for natural gas, up to 53 percent from 40 percent in the last PDP. 

The PDP also authorizes the NEPC and Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) to study grid development to maintain the power fee (which is projected to range between 3.50 and 3.68 baht per kilowatt-hour) and enable the purchase of more renewable energy in the coming years. The ultimate aim is to set Thailand up to be either a power purchasing hub or a regional grid connection for the neighboring countries of Laos, Myanmar, Malaysia, and Cambodia. PDP 2018-2037 also requires EGAT to partner with the Provincial Electricity Authority to develop a smart grid for the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), the economic development initiative centered on a portion of Thailand’s Eastern Seaboard that the Government aims to turn into a cutting-edge manufacturing and services hub. The Government expects that developing a smart grid for the EEC will help to lower power fees and, as a result, draw in investment.

The new PDP is just the first of four other energy-related plans that will eventually be combined as part of a broader energy reform blueprint. The other four plans will cover oil management, natural gas supply, alternative energy development, and energy savings and efficiency. Work on these other plans is expected to start not long after the new PDP comes into effect. 

Electricity Regulatory Authority of Vietnam Aims to Launch Competitive Retail Electricity Market in 2021

During an April 5 press conference Director of the Electricity Regulatory Authority of Vietnam (ERAV) announced that the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOIT) was considering allowing companies that use a lot of power to purchase electricity directly from power plants. ERAV is reportedly working with international consulting firms to determine the mechanism for a pilot program, with the aim of launching a competitive retail electricity market in 2021.

MOIT previously launched the competitive power generation market and the competitive wholesale power market in 2012 and at the start of 2019, respectively. Since the launch of the latter, five power corporations in addition to Vietnam Electricity (EVN) have purchased electricity from power plants. MOIT has said that it plans to increase the number of these power corporations in the competitive wholesale power market gradually. The sharp increase in the number of transactions in the wholesale power market since its launch has brought to the fore problems with taxes and infrastructure, though MoIT has said it would address these issues. Only power plants with a capacity of more than 30 MW have been allowed to join the wholesale competitive electricity market, meaning no renewable power plants are currently participating. However, MOIT is reportedly studying a mechanism to encourage their participation to increase the power supply across the country. 

OPIC Looking for Investment Opportunities in Myanmar's Energy and Infrastructure Sectors

During a trip to Myanmar in April to sign a commitment in support of microloans for rural borrowers, Eric Jones, Chief of Staff of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. government’s development finance institution, said that OPIC is looking for financing opportunities in the country’s energy and infrastructure sectors. Jones specified that OPIC – which is in the process of being reorganized into the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation following the passage of the Build Act last October – is interested in investment opportunities in private energy and infrastructure companies or private sector-led projects. Myanmar has been a focal market for OPIC in Southeast Asia over the last decade. Between 2007 and 2017, it received the largest amount of investment from OPIC in the region – over US$280 million – nearly all of which is tied to a US$250 million investment for more than 1,800 telecommunications towers across the country. 

 
ADVOCACY UPDATE
 
 

Energy Committee Holds Asia EDGE Briefing with Deputy Assistant Secretary Melissa Simpson of State Department's Bureau of Energy Resources
On May 9, the US-ASEAN Business Council's Energy Committee held its second roundtable in its new Energy Roundtable Series. The roundtable featured a briefing on Asia EDGE by Deputy Assistant Secretary Melissa Simpson of the Energy Transformation Office at the State Department's Bureau of Energy Resources. Asia EDGE (Enhancing Development and Growth through Energy) is the energy-focused pillar of the U.S. Government's Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP) strategy. Announced in July 2018 by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as one of three economic pillars of the U.S. administration's FOIP strategy, Asia EDGE is described as a whole-of-government effort to grow sustainable and secure energy markets throughout the Indo-Pacific by strengthening energy security, increasing energy diversification and trade, and expanding energy access across the region. One of the deliverables to come out of the roundtable is the proposal to do a roadmap on the obstacles that U.S. companies face when trying to do business in Southeast Asia's energy sector and how the U.S. Government can better assist these companies. More information on this project will be coming out shortly. The Energy Roundtable Series is an initiative by the Energy Committee at the US-ASEAN Business Council to keep member companies well-informed of prevailing and shifting trends in Southeast Asia's vital energy sector.

Energy Committee Quarterly Call for Q2 2019

On April 16, the Energy Committee held its Quarterly Call for Q2 of 2019. During the call, the Energy Committee reviewed the 2019 Work Plan. The Committee also discussed how best to leverage new initiatives, such as the Energy Trends Roundtable Series, to deepen engagement with the U.S. Government (USG), especially on the implementation of the Asia EDGE initiative, the energy-focused pillar of the USG's Indo-Pacific Strategy. If you have any questions about the call or the activities that were discussed, please contact Riley Smith at rsmith@usasean.org.

 
IN THIS UPDATE
 
 
Regional Affairs
The Case for U.S. Clean Energy Cooperation in Asia

ASEAN
Singapore banks move to end Southeast Asia's coal addiction
ASEAN wants to go electric

Brunei
Giant China-Brunei joint venture enters trial operation phase
Shell has cover to take the high ground in Brunei
Localising energy sector: Brunei looks to learn from Oman’s experience
Brunei, Bangladesh strengthen cooperation in agriculture, LNG supply

Cambodia
Petroleum product imports up 10 pct in 2018
Cambodia dreams of an oil gushing bonanza
Why Hun Sen can’t keep the lights on
What Will It Take for Cambodia to Actually Strike Oil and Gas?
Cambodia asks Vietnam to supply more electricity
Cambodia announces hydropower, solar projects amid widespread electricity shortages

Indonesia
Indonesia chases manufacturing hub dream as commodities wither
Shell pursuing $1 billion exit from Indonesia LNG project - sources
Indonesia 2019 biodiesel exports to rise in best-case scenario -association
Pulling Indonesian oil refining out of decline
GeoDipa commences construction of Dieng 2 and Patuha 2 geothermal plants, Indonesia
B30 biofuel trial to be completed in October: APROBI
Indonesia delays auction of geothermal areas due to ongoing tariff negotiations
Indonesia, Malaysia send letter of objection to EU over palm curbs
Coal price set at $88.85 per ton in April, down 0.84 percent

Laos
South Korean power company eyes opportunities in Laos PDR
Lao Cabinet agrees to lower electricity price, orders action to strengthen economy
CKP's Laos hydroelectric plant begins distribution
New China-Laos joint project to power up electricity distribution in Laos' capital
Energy sector powering growth in Laos

Malaysia
'Ocean waves an alternative source of power'
Malaysia's Oil Giant Looks to Americas to Increase Oil Reserves
TNB drums up energy efficiency efforts
Petronas well positioned to provide LNG to new markets
Electricity tariff unlikely to change, says TNB chairman

Myanmar
Power production declines by over 250 MW in four months
French to help finance Myanmar’s hydropower upgrades
Jetion Solar supplies 50MW of solar modules to Myanmar project
Sustainable Development and Welfare of Myanmar
China’s pipeline project brings 24-hour electricity supply to Myanmar
US eyes financing opportunities in energy, infrastructure
Total power consumption hits over 3,600 MW in April

Philippines
ERC meeting energy players on PSA ruling
Group yet to formalize gas proposal
ERC green lights NGCP transmission project
Antique solar project now operational
Gatchalian reveals possible gas find adjacent to Malampaya
ERC, DOE commit to act on PSAs for power projects
E-vehicles’ roadmap proposed
Mitsubishi sets sights on e-vehicle market
$500-M waste-to-energy plant proposed in Bataan
Senate wants Philippine National Oil Co. to focus on oil, gas
Duterte vows better energy supply in Palawan before yearend
Energy department maintains power outlook but Meralco flags ‘upward’ rate pressure

Singapore
Sun seeker at sea: One of the world's largest offshore floating solar systems will soon be soaking up the rays along the Strait of Johor
Singapore Ready to Supply Clean Ship Fuel
Support for industries investing in tech for low-carbon future
Energy industry faces climate and job hurdles: Chan Chun Sing

Thailand
Thailand’s Renewable Energy Transitions: A Pathway to Realize Thailand 4.0
Solar cell recycling beckons
Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) to renovate power plants
Thailand approves power plan, expects capacity to reach 77 GW by 2037
12 firms bid for Egat LNG
NGV for public transport to be raised in May
Peak power demand forecast to increase
IEAT eyes single bidder for Map Ta Phut port megaproject
B10 roll-out planned for May
Most trucks tipped to be B20-compliant
100 plants mulled for solar waste
Household LPG subsidies to continue to July

Vietnam
BIM and Ayala complete Southeast Asia’s largest solar project
Vietnam's New Draft Development Guidelines on Rooftop Solar Power Systems from 1 July 2019
Petrolimex focus on divestments and restructuring in 2019
Work begins on wind power plant in Bac Lieu province
PM questions ministry on admin procedures spiking renewable energy prices
Vietnam eyes 1,000 MW wind power capacity by 2020
Việt Nam embraces opportunities to be renewable viable
GAS to increase stake in PV Gas South to 51%
Ministry mulls direct power sale
IAEA’s role in promoting atomic energy application praised
 
ARTICLE CLIPS
 
 
Regional Affairs

The Case for U.S. Clean Energy Cooperation in Asia Center for American Progress 6th May 2019
Energy demand in Asia will continue to climb in the coming decades, which will have critical economic, climate, and geostrategic implications for the United States. Over the next 20 years, India and Southeast Asia are expected to record the world’s highest carbon dioxide growth rates. For this reason, tackling energy-related emissions in this region must be a part of any meaningful global strategy to curb climate change. Accelerating a clean energy transition in Asia is a critical imperative to both help meet booming energy demand and mitigate against climate change. Unfortunately, the Trump administration’s response to these important developments has been shortsighted and mercantile. But a new U.S. Indo-Pacific energy initiative offers a chance for the United States to course correct. This column outlines the Trump administration’s fossil fuel-focused approach to energy in Asia, points to the clean energy transformation underway in the region, and offers recommendations on how the United States can reposition Asia Enhancing Development and Growth through Energy (Asia EDGE)—the administration’s energy initiative for Asia—in a way that would enable the United States and its companies to drive the clean energy transition in the region, help curb climate change, and sell U.S. energy goods and services.

ASEAN

Singapore banks move to end Southeast Asia's coal addiction Nikkei Asian Review 8th May 2019
A push to end Southeast Asia's addiction to fossil fuels is gathering pace after the region's two biggest banks said they would stop funding coal-fired power plants. Singapore's DBS Group Holdings said last month that it would cease financing new coal power projects from 2021 following the completion of existing projects in Indonesia and Vietnam, and will instead tilt toward renewable energy projects such as solar power. Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. announced that it would also quit coal. The move is "a major game-changer for energy finance in the ASEAN region," said Julien Vincent, executive director at Australia-based environment advocacy group Market Forces. The commitments by DBS and OCBC are "not only in line with what the science says is needed to avoid catastrophic climate change," said Vincent, "but also send a massive signal to the financial markets that coal is officially out of fashion." Over the past year several Japanese trading houses have stated they will no longer invest in new coal capacity, as has China's State Development and Investment Corporation of China. Australia's largest insurance company QBE will also stop offering insurance for thermal coal facilities, according to Keisuke Sadamori, director of energy markets and security at the International Energy. Yet despite increasing global concerns over rapidly rising carbon emissions, coal is still considered the cheapest and most efficient power source for most Southeast Asian nations, accounting for 58% of power generation in Indonesia, 50% in the Philippines and 34% in Vietnam in 2017, according to the UK-based Carbon Tracker, with power generation by coal still expected to double by 2030. According to Carbon Tracker, the cost of building a new solar power plant instead of running an existing coal plant won't become cheaper until 2027 for Vietnam, 2028 for Indonesia, and 2029 for the Philippines.

ASEAN wants to go electric The ASEAN Post 7th May 2019
The first image that usually springs to mind when someone mentions any Southeast Asian capital is 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. Last year, aggregate new car sales in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines rose five percent to nearly 3.4 million units. Aside from that, it is estimated that vehicle ownership across the region is expected to grow more than 40 percent by 2040. Aside from problems arising due to traffic congestion, another thing to worry about is the air pollution these vehicles cause. Since most vehicles in the region run on gasoline or diesel, they contribute significantly to the worsening air pollution in Southeast Asia’s cities. For example, increasing car ownership in Jakarta has worsened air quality there. Despite phasing out leaded gasoline 10 years ago, Jakarta’s air quality hasn’t improved by much. A study by the Faculty of Public Health University of Indonesia found that 58 percent of all illnesses among people living in the city were related to air pollution. With demand for automobiles increasing, this will only get worse. 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 atmosphere, battery-electric cars effectively produce zero-emissions from their tailpipes. In a study commissioned by Nissan and carried out by research firm Frost & Sullivan, it was revealed that a third of Southeast Asian consumers are open to buying an electric car. Titled “Future of Electric Vehicles in Southeast Asia”, the study found that consumers in the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia as the most enthusiastic about the future of EVs.

Brunei

Giant China-Brunei joint venture enters trial operation phase Xinhua 4th May 2019
After the successful unloading of the first crude oil shipment on Thursday night, the oil refinery and petrochemical plant at Pulau Muara Besar (PMB), the biggest joint venture between China and Brunei, officially enters the stage of trial operation and production, a senior Hengyi official said on Friday. Chen Liancai, CEO of Hengyi Industries that built the plant told Xinhua that with a total investment of some 3.45 billion U.S. dollars and a crude oil refining capacity of eight million tonnes per year, Hengyi's PMB project is expected to run into full operation in the third quarter of this year. "Part of the crude oil needed for PMB project comes from Brunei's own oil production, while the rest will be imported from neighbouring oil producing countries," Chen said. Haji Mat Suny, the country's minister of Energy, Manpower and Industry said in February that after full operation, the PMB project is expected to increase Brunei's GDP by 1.33 billion dollars in the first year and create more than 1,600 jobs. Hengyi Industries is a joint venture between China's Zhejiang Hengyi Group and Damai Holdings -- a wholly owned subsidiary under Brunei government's Strategic Development Capital Fund -- owning 70 percent and 30 percent respectively. Hengyi's investment into PMB is the largest foreign direct investment into Brunei from China so far, which is due to help the southeast Asian country to upgrade its industries, alleviate its dependency on oil export and also to boost economic and trade cooperation between Brunei and China.

Shell has cover to take the high ground in Brunei Reuters 26th Apr 2019
Royal Dutch Shell has cover to take the moral high ground in Brunei. A corporate governance group, which counts big-name investors like Standard Life Aberdeen as members, wants the $260 billion energy giant to use its clout in the tiny Southeast Asian state to press for gay rights. Shell will be cautious of fallout elsewhere, but it has the leverage to start a meaningful dialogue. The decision by Brunei to implement laws this month that could result in people being whipped or stoned to death for same-sex relations has been widely criticised outside its borders. Brunei already had Islamic criminal law, but the even harsher rules have prompted celebrities and even Deutsche Bank to boycott hotels like London’s The Dorchester, owned by the country’s state-owned investment agency. The sultanate is unlikely to listen to George Clooney, Elton John or even the German bank. Those bans probably affect hotel employees more. But it will be hard to ignore Shell, a 50-50 partner in the joint venture that makes up 90 percent of Brunei’s oil and gas revenue, which in turn accounts for over half the GDP. Shell boss Ben van Beurden, meanwhile, has grounds to use the request from Eumedion, however vague, as an overture. He can argue harsh laws make it tough to do business, restricting staff movements, for example, and clashing with United Nations-endorsed principles on human rights that the group signed up to.

Localising energy sector: Brunei looks to learn from Oman’s experience Borneo Bulletin 24th Apr 2019
BRUNEI Darussalam is looking to learn from Oman on how it implements its localisation strategies for the oil and gas industry, to help achieve the goals of the Bruneianisation Directive, Brunei’s very own localisation drive for the sector. Speaking at the opening ceremony of the two-day 3rd Brunei-Oman Joint Seminar at the Banquet Hall of the Prime Minister’s Office, Minister of Energy, Manpower and Industry Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mat Suny bin Haji Mohd Hussein added that Brunei Darussalam through his ministry has placed extra attention to ensuring that more Bruneians are filling up job opportunities in the energy sector and other industries. He said of the initiative, “The Bruneianisation Directive was issued in June 2018 for the oil and gas industry to ensure that Bruneians take a leading role in the field.

Brunei, Bangladesh strengthen cooperation in agriculture, LNG supply Borneo Bulletin Online 23rd Apr 2019
HIS Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam received in audience Prime Minister of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina at Cheradi Laila Kenchana of Istana Nurul Iman yesterday. Upon arrival at the Istana Nurul Iman, His Majesty welcomed Sheikh Hasina and introduced her to members of the royal family. His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office; His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Malik; His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Mateen; His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah; His Royal Highness Prince Haji Jefri Bolkiah; and Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Masna, Ambassador-at-Large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and other members of the royal family were present at the audience ceremony.

Cambodia

Petroleum product imports up 10 pct in 2018 Khmer Times 8th May 2019
Cambodia imported 2.5 million tonnes of petroleum products in 2018, a 10 percent year-on-year increase, according to the Ministry of Mines and Energy. Diesel and gasoline are the most imported petroleum products, according to Sok Khavan, the ministry’s secretary of state, who spoke during a conference on the oil and gas sectors held at Phnom Penh’s Sokha Hotel yesterday. Imports came from Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, Mr Khavan said, adding that currently 15 local and international oil companies import petroleum products from abroad. These companies distribute the products to consumers through 3,778 petrol stations and 29 petroleum terminals nationwide. 103 of these are liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) stations, according to Mr Khavan. “The government has opened the market, allowing the private sector and development partners to participate in the investment, exploration, production, refining, import-export, storage, transportation and distribution of petroleum and petroleum products,” pointed out Mr Khavan.

Cambodia dreams of an oil gushing bonanza Asia Times 30th Apr 2019
Amid electricity cuts, parched hydropower dams and millions of dollars of blackout-related economic losses, a bright spot could be emerging on Cambodia’s energy front. After nearly two decades of false starts, Cambodia has announced it will begin to extract oil for the first time later this year, representing a potential rich new source of energy and revenue. Extraction is expected to begin by the end of this year from the so-called “Apsara” oil field, situated in a 5,000 square kilometer area of the Gulf of Thailand known as Block A. Cambodia’s extraction plans have been hobbled for years due to a maritime territorial dispute with neighboring Thailand but Block A is safely within Cambodia’s solely claimed area. The area contains an estimated 30 million barrels of oil, according to the Ministry of Economy and Finance. Currently, Cambodia is a net fuel-importing nation. If the government’s estimate of roughly 30 million barrels of oil holds, and if the fuel is also sold at today’s prices of around $65 per barrel, then the extraction could be worth as much as $1.9 billion. Ancillary benefits could be derived from foreign investment in the fledgling sector. The Ministry of Mines and Energy stated last year that foreign direct investment (FDI) in extractive industries, including oil exploration as well as mining, was worth $1.3 billion last year.

Why Hun Sen can’t keep the lights on Asia Times 5th Apr 2019
Cambodia has been gripped by daily blackouts in recent weeks, leaving many parts of the capital Phnom Penh without power for most of the day. As temperatures spike during the region’s hot season, heated questions are rising about why the government can’t seem to keep the lights on. Prime Minister Hun Sen has blamed the blackouts on a severe drought that has stifled the operations of hydropower dams, which supply about half of the country’s electricity needs. Last month the Ministry of Environment advised farmers not to plant their next rice crop because of the drought, causing some to resort to eating lotus roots to survive, according to local reports. But the economic impact of the blackouts will be most acutely felt in the national capital, home to the country’s most profitable industries. There is not yet any concrete official estimate on the rising costs of the daily power cuts on the economy. In mid-March, the government estimated that 400 megawatts of energy were needed to make up for the shortfall caused by depleted hydropower dams, or roughly one-sixth of all the electricity Cambodia consumed last year. So far only a quarter of this power gap has been purchased from neighboring Laos and Thailand. Vietnam, meanwhile, has declined to sell Cambodia any more power because it, too, is facing energy reductions in its southern provinces. The hardship, depending on how long it lasts, could have implications for stability. Electricity generator vendors have dramatically raised prices in recent weeks, sparking a heated response on social media. Such a dire situation was somewhat foreseeable. In 2015, Cambodia experienced its worst drought in 50 years, while one in 2012 affected half of the country’s provinces. A report by the United Nations in 2015 predicted Cambodia would be the world’s ninth-most vulnerable country for natural disasters, including droughts and floods, as well as other effects of climate change. That means the current electricity shortage might become a regular occurrence without more forward-thinking investment and planning.

What Will It Take for Cambodia to Actually Strike Oil and Gas? The Diplomat 16th Apr 2019
The government is once again heralding oil and gas prospects offshore and on, but it’s done so twice before. A new set of international companies are optimistic about Cambodia’s nascent oil and gas industry, but they are investing in an extractive business that has proven costly and yielded only delays, not yet profit. The Canadian-listed gold mining company Angkor Gold announced this year that it would start exploring oil and gas blocks onshore in Cambodia, expanding out from its gold and copper endeavors which have yet to deliver any profit for the company. Angkor Gold would not disclose any details on which location they may choose to explore, but their website explains the company is negotiating with the government for 7,000 square kilometers, with particular interest in the Kampong Som basin, an area southwest of Phnom Penh where thermal conditions indicate a possibility for oil or dry gas.

Cambodia asks Vietnam to supply more electricity Khmer Times 9th Apr 2019
Mine and Energy Minister Suy Sem today requested the Vietnamese government supply more electricity to help address a current shortage in the Kingdom. A ministry press release said that Mr Sem today discussed the matter at the ministry with Le Bien Cuong, commercial counsellor at the Vietnamese embassy. “His Excellency Suy Sem asked the Vietnamese to support Cambodia’s request for an additional 50 megawatts of electricity,” read the statement. Vietnam is currently supplying 170 megawatts to help the Kingdom tide over an acute shortage because of low water levels at hydropower dams due to a dry spell. The ministry said that Mr Sem also urged Vietnam to release water from 14 upstream hydropower dams in the country to the Cambodian Lower Sesan II hydropower dam for it to have sufficient water to produce more electricity. In response, Mr Le said he will forward Cambodia’s request to the Vietnamese government. Last month, Prime Minister Hun Sen called for the public and government institutions to reduce usage, noting that the Kingdom is currently facing a shortage of electricity due to a lack of water to power electric turbines at dams.

Cambodia announces hydropower, solar projects amid widespread electricity shortages Eco-Business 8th Apr 2019
Cambodia’s government on Friday approved a hydropower dam and solar energy plant projects in a bid to ease the strain on the country’s electricity grid, which has been unable to meet supply demand, leading to nationwide outages over the past several weeks. In a statement, the Council of Ministers said SPHP (Cambodia) Co. Ltd. had been approved to invest in an 80-megawatt hydropower dam in Pursat province, while Cambodian firm SchneiTec Co. Ltd. was given permission to build three 60-megawatt solar energy plans in Pursat, Kampong Chhnang and Kampong Speu provinces. The US$231 million hydropower dam will be built as part of a 39-year concession, while the solar energy plants will each cost US $58 million and be built as part of 20-year concessions, the statement said. Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan told a press briefing that the power projects would benefit Cambodia “technically, economically and socially.” “Cambodia will have local sources of energy and reusable fuel consumption—clean and at affordable prices,” he said. “The projects will also employ thousands of people during the construction phase and as a result of ecotourism,” he added, without elaborating.

Indonesia

Indonesia chases manufacturing hub dream as commodities wither The Jakarta Post 7th May 2019
Indonesia plans to open up more sectors to foreign investors and reboot its stringent labor laws to become a regional manufacturing powerhouse rivaling Germany and South Korea, according to Industry Minister Airlangga Hartarto. President Joko Widodo’s government will rely on automotive, chemicals and electronics industries to push the contribution of manufacturing sector to 25 percent of the nation’s economy by 2025 from 20 percent now, Hartarto said. The move may help boost exports from Southeast Asia’s largest economy and tackle its current account deficit, he added. With the world moving toward electric vehicles, Indonesia wants battery-powered automobiles to make up 20 percent of the nation’s total output by 2025, Hartarto said. A road map being prepared by the government would involve existing manufacturers such as Toyota Motor Corp. and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. as well as Chinese electric vehicles makers such as BYD Co. and Wuling Motors Holdings, he said. Jokowi has promised tax incentives to companies willing to invest in electric vehicles while also making it expensive to own fossil fuel-powered automobiles to save the country about Rp798 trillion ($56 billion) from reducing dependence and imports of crude oil. The country is counting on its abundant reserves of nickel ore, a key raw material in electric batteries, as a big draw for foreign companies seeking to expand production.

Shell pursuing $1 billion exit from Indonesia LNG project - sources euronews 3rd May 2019
Royal Dutch Shell is moving to sell its stake in Indonesia's $15 billion (£11.5 billion) Abadi liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, industry and banking sources said, following on from an asset disposal programme that has raised more than $30 billion. Shell, the world's largest buyer and seller of LNG, is raising cash to help pay for its $54 billion purchase of BG Group in 2015 and hopes to raise around $1 billion from the sale of its 35 percent stake in the project, the sources said. Shell's decision to sell out of the Abadi project in the Masela block, operated by Japanese oil and gas firm Inpex Corp which holds the remaining stake, highlights the difficulty Southeast Asia's largest economy has in attracting energy investment. Shell, Inpex and an official with Indonesia's Energy and Mineral Resources all declined to comment. Construction was due to start in 2018, but in 2016 was delayed until at least 2020 after Indonesian authorities instructed a switch from an offshore to an onshore facility. Inpex and Shell are now preparing a new Plan of Development for submission this year, Shell's annual report revealed. Shell sees LNG as a central pillar of the world's transition to lower carbon energy in the coming decades. The super-chilled fuel allows easier transportation of natural gas, the least polluting fossil fuel, but is relatively expensive to develop.

Indonesia 2019 biodiesel exports to rise in best-case scenario -association ETEnergyworld.com 2nd May 2019
The Indonesia Biodiesel Producers Association (APROBI) estimates the country may export up to 2 million kilolitres (kl) of unblended biodiesel in 2019 in an "optimistic scenario", Vice Chairman Paulus Tjakrawan told reporters on Thursday. In a "pessimistic scenario", he said biodiesel exports this year would be around 1 million to 1.2 million kl. This compares with exports of 1.78 million kl of biodiesel last year. The "pessimistic scenario" takes into consideration the European Union (EU) setting countervailing duties on Indonesian biodiesel this year, Tjakrawan said, after it launched an anti-subsidy investigation on the Indonesian biofuel in late 2018. Indonesia resumed exports of biodiesel to Europe early last year, after the World Trade Organization (WTO) had ruled in its favour on several challenges Jakarta made on previous anti-dumping duties imposed by the EU on its biodiesel shipments. In the first quarter this year, Indonesia's overall biodiesel exports were 173,542 kl, association data showed, up 78 percent from the same period last year. The shipments were mostly headed to the EU and China. In Indonesia's domestic market, first-quarter consumption of biodiesel more than doubled to 1.5 million kl from 659,813.51 kl a year earlier, APROBI data showed on Thursday. Consumption of the palm oil-based fuel jumped after Indonesian government made the use of B20 fuel mandatory. That's diesel with a 20 percent biodiesel component. Indonesia estimates 6.2 million kl of domestic biodiesel consumption in 2019. APROBI Chairman M.P. Tumanggor said the government aims to soon conduct a road test for B30 biodiesel, containing a 30 percent bio component.

Pulling Indonesian oil refining out of decline Nikkei Asian Review 1st May 2019
While Indonesia's once-vibrant oil and gas production business is mostly a victim of geology and the natural decline of aging fields, the decrepitude of its oil refining industry is the result of bad decision-making -- poor policies, red tape, and lack of strategic planning. Even though President Joko Widodo's last government contributed to these failures, his re-election last month creates an opportunity to revive much-needed reforms, especially in phasing out fuel subsidies. Smaller economies in Southeast Asia, such as Malaysia and Vietnam, have stolen a march in recent years by modernizing and expanding their refining sectors, while Indonesia struggles to attract foreign investment, with projects prone to cancellation and delay, even though the country has a much bigger and faster-growing retail fuel market. With a refining capacity of just over 1 million barrels per day against domestic products demand of 1.5-1.6 million barrels per day, state-owned Pertamina ends up importing a third of its fuel requirements, instead of bringing in crude for processing.

GeoDipa commences construction of Dieng 2 and Patuha 2 geothermal plants, Indonesia Think GeoEnergy - Geothermal Energy News 26th Apr 2019
The groundbreaking event for the Dieng 2 and Patuha 2 geothermal plants was held in Dhanapala Building, Jakarta, Indonesia. The $300 million project will extend the capacity of the two GeoDipa geothermal power plants by 60 MW each. The event was attended by Minister of Finance Sri Mulyani Indrawati. The expansion of the Dieng and Patuha geothermal projects will bring Indonesia closer to the government’s target of a 23% energy mix from renewable sources. “We hope that these two projects will be completed and ready to be operated in 2023. Geothermal power is far cheaper and environmentally friendly than coal-market-priced coal,” Riki told reporters during the ceremony. Riki said that the construction of the Dieng and Patuha Unit 2 PLTPs is a concrete step for Geo Dipa as a BUMN and a special mission vehicle under the Indonesian Ministry of Finance to increase the target of the new renewable energy (EBT) mix by 2025.

B30 biofuel trial to be completed in October: APROBI The Jakarta Post 17th Apr 2019
The Indonesian Biodiesel Producers Association (APROBI) expects the trial of 30 percent biofuel ( B30 ) on vehicles will be completed by October. APROBI chairman Paulus Tjakrawan said in Jakarta that the association had begun the trial of B30 biofuel with the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry, state energy holding company Pertamina, the Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology, the Association of Indonesian Automotive Manufacturers and the Bandung Institute of Technology. So far, 40,000 kilometers test drives have been carried out to ensure biofuel does not affect the engines of vehicles. The trial also tested biofuel's emissions and efficiency as compared to fossil fuels. Paulus expressed hope that after the trial was completed, the widespread use of B30 could be implemented in 2020. B30 has been used to fuel power plants since January 2016. "Sixty percent of the biodiesel would be used for transportation, while the remainder is for heavy equipment, plants and other industrial uses," he said. In September 2018, the government issued a policy to begin the widespread use of 20 percent biodiesel ( B20 ) and soon after campaigned for the use of B30 to boost domestic consumption of crude palm oil (CPO), given the campaign against the commodity from the European Union.

Indonesia delays auction of geothermal areas due to ongoing tariff negotiations Think GeoEnergy - Geothermal Energy News 14th Apr 2019
The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources delayed the auction of five Geothermal Working Areas (WKP). The Directorate General of New and Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation (EBTKE) of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) postponed the auction of five Geothermal Working Areas (WKP). The auction, scheduled for this month will now be pushed to May. Director of Geothermal Directorate General of EBTKE, Ida Nuryatin Finahari, explained that the auction schedule was delayed because it was still awaiting the pre-transaction agreement (PTA) document from PLN. “They are preparing it,” he said to local news outlet KataData, last week. “They want the price to be higher than what PLN offers. If the tariff is expensive, it does not need to be auctioned, “said PLN Business Director Djoko Rahardjo. PTA is a WKP auction requirement. PTA is needed because PLN will buy electricity produced by private electricity producers (IPP) who win the WKP auction. In the PTA an electricity tariff scheme will be established. Ida stated that she could not confirm the tariff scheme. However, before, he said the scheme was a sliding scale. With this scheme, electricity tariffs are dynamic following the amount of production. The tariff rate is determined by PLN.

Indonesia, Malaysia send letter of objection to EU over palm curbs Bangkok Post 8th Apr 2019
Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Malaysian Prime Minister Mahatir Mohamad have signed a joint letter of objection to the European Union over its plan to phase out the use of palm oil in renewable fuel, an Indonesian official said on Monday. The letter was sent to the EU over the weekend, said Luhut Pandjaitan, the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs, who also oversees natural resources issues. He declined to disclose the content of the letter. Indonesia and Malaysia, the world's top producers of the vegetable oil, have both threatened a World Trade Organization challenge against the EU over its plan to stop the use of palm oil by 2030 in renewable transport fuel. An Indonesian delegation arrived in Brussels for an official visit this week "as a response to the EU's discriminatory policy", the country's Coordinating Economic Ministry said in a separate statement on Monday. The Indonesian delegates were part of a joint mission of the Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries, which consists of Indonesia, Malaysia and Colombia.

Coal price set at $88.85 per ton in April, down 0.84 percent The Jakarta Post 5th Apr 2019
The government set on Thursday the coal reference price at US$88.85 per ton in April, a 0.84 percent decrease from the $90.57 per ton set in the previous month. The change marks a further decrease of the coal price, which stood at $107.83 per ton in August last year. Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry spokesperson Agung Pribadi said a number of factors could be attributed to the decrease of the coal reference price, including the limitations on coal imports in India, China's lower demand for Australian coal, a hike in coal production in China for domestic purposes and Russia's low sales in coal across Europe. The government set a target to produce 485 million tons in 2019, a similar target to that of 2018, when 25 percent of the coal produced was allocated for the domestic market through the domestic market obligation (DMO) scheme, mostly to supply electricity plants. Under the DMO scheme, the coal domestic price was set at $70 per ton. The change to the coal reference price also took into account decreases in the Indonesia Coal Index (2.09 percent), Newcastle Export Index (3.41 percent) and Globalcoal Newcastle Index (2.42 percent) and an increase in the Platss 5900 by 0.84 percent. (bbn)

Laos

South Korean power company eyes opportunities in Laos PDR The Phnom Penh Post 8th May 2019
The Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco) hopes to expand its power equipment business as well as explore other avenues of cooperation with Laos’ energy sector. A business meeting between representatives of Laos’ Ministry of Energy and Mines, Electricite du Laos (EDL), and Kepco as well as related sectors from Lao and the Republic of Korea was held in Vientiane last week. “The Ministry of Energy and Mines is aware of the importance of modern technology which will increase our energy generation as well as distribution capacity. We are pleased about the cooperation between EDL and Kepco in the energy sector,” a ministry representative said. “For this project, Kepco has installed a simulated GIS substation at EDL and organised a training course for EDL staff. We look forward to benefiting from cooperation between the two companies and from Kepco’s international experience in the use of advanced technology, especially the technology used in the energy sector,” he added. The event was organised by the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (Kotra) to introduce new technologies from Kepco such as energy storage systems, smart city, digital transformation and others to Lao power companies. It also aimed to promote export products to partner companies. About 10 Lao power companies attended the meeting and discussed products and the latest technology from Kepco as well as the most efficient ways to order and use them.

Lao Cabinet agrees to lower electricity price, orders action to strengthen economy | #AsiaNewsNetwork Eleven Media Group Co., Ltd 26th Apr 2019
The government cabinet has agreed to revise the electricity unit price structure to lower the cost of electricity, as an incentive to boost investment and productivity. Cabinet members agreed on the move at their ordinary monthly meeting for April, which took place on Tuesday and Wednesday. The revised structure, which will be effective until 2025, will introduce lower power prices, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a press release. “The improvement in the electricity price [structure] will mean the cost of energy is cheaper and more reasonable than before,” it said. The revision will also ensure that investors in electricity generation are profitable so that investment in the sector is sustainable. Chaired by Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, the two-day sitting also ordered thorough action to review progress made in realising the eight measures adopted by the government to boost growth amid economic hardship. The measures include improving the currency policy and preventing inflation, improving the business environment, promoting small and medium enterprises, and efficient revenue collection.

CKP's Laos hydroelectric plant begins distribution Bangkok Post 23rd Apr 2019
The 1,285-megawatt (MW) Xayaburi hydroelectric power plant in Laos has begun distributing power from the first generator unit to the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat), says SET-listed CK Power Plc (CKP). Yesterday, the power business arm of SET-listed construction firm Ch. Karnchang announced the Xayaburi power plant has started commissioning distribution of electricity during this operating period for Egat. Egat approved the unit being ready for operation, said Thanawat Trivisvavet, managing director of CKP.

New China-Laos joint project to power up electricity distribution in Laos' capital Xinhua 22nd Apr 2019
The new 500 kV and 230 kV transmission lines to be installed in Laos' capital Vientiane, a joint project between Lao and Chinese companies, will ensure more Lao people to have sufficient power, officials here have said. The new power lines will transmit electricity from hydropower dams for use in Vientiane as well as for sale to other countries, local daily Vientiane Times reported on Monday, quoting managing director of the Lao state-run Electricite du Laos (EDL) Bounoum Syvanpheng as saying. The project is a collaborative project between EDL and the China Electric Power Equipment and Technology Co., Ltd., a company affiliated to the State Grid Corporation of China. "This project will be a basic and important part of economic development in the south of Laos' capital Vientiane, and is essential for agriculture, industry, services and other areas," Minister of Energy and Mines Khammany Inthirath said at a groundbreaking ceremony held in Vientiane last Friday. There have so far been 61 hydropower plants in operation across the county and another 39 dams are under construction and set for completion in 2020-2021. When all planned dams are put into operation, about 85 percent will be sold to other countries. Transmission lines and substations have been built to accommodate the additional power supplies.

Energy sector powering growth in Laos Xinhua 8th Apr 2019
Laos' energy sector is set to boost its installed capacity to about 9,152.9 megawatts (MW) in 2019, once 12 more power plants kickstart commercial operations. According to the Ministry of Energy and Mines, the 12 projects, which are currently under construction, will have an additional installed capacity of 1,959.94 MW. Of this, 1,575 MW will be sold to Thailand and the rest 384.94 MW will be used for local consumption, local daily Vientiane Times reported on Monday. So far Laos has 57 power plants (1MW and larger) that are commercially operational with an installed capacity of about 7,193 MW, which generate about 36,935.23 GWh yearly. The 57 plants include 49 hydropower plants, a lignite plant, five solar plants and two plants that generate electricity from waste. The 57 plants include 10 that are the responsibility of state-owned Electricite du Laos (EDL), with an installed capacity of about 211.70 MW that can generate about 831,42 GWh annually. Another 10 projects are under EDL-Generation Public Company (EDL-GEN), with 699MW of installed capacity that can generate about 3,145.5GWh annually. The remaining 37 projects belong to independent power producers (IPP), and have an installed capacity of 6,282.40MW, and can generate about 32,958.31 GWh annually.

Malaysia

'Ocean waves an alternative source of power' NST Online 5th May 2019
Ocean waves can be one of the mechanisms to create renewable energy besides using the solar photovoltaic (PV) panel. Universiti Malaysia Terengganu school of ocean engineering Associate Professor Dr Mohd Zamri Ibrahim said the initiative by the government to use solar PV panels to create renewable energy and promote energy efficiency was a good move. However, he said other natural resources could be used to produce alternative energy. “Other alternatives that can be used to create renewable energy are wind turbines and ocean waves. “Our country has yet to use natural resources such as ocean waves. It can be one of the mechanisms to create new energy. “I hope the government will take up this idea so that they can reduce the cost of installing materials too,” he told the New Sunday Times. He was commenting on one of the initiatives highlighted by Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin, that renewable energy is expected to generate at least 20 per cent of the nation’s energy by 2025. She had said the programme was to increase renewable energy in electricity supply and would reduce the consumption of fossil fuels as well as reduce greenhouse gas effects.

Malaysia's Oil Giant Looks to Americas to Increase Oil Reserves Bloomberg 29th Apr 2019
Malaysia’s state-owned oil company is banking on the Americas to help raise reserves and maintain production rates as wells in its Southeast Asian home market continue their natural declines. Petroliam Nasional Bhd., known as Petronas, will allocate a larger share of its future capital expenditure toward projects stretching from Canada to Brazil as oil prices recover from the 2014 crash and as the company completes a $27 billion refinery and petrochemicals project at home, Chief Executive Officer Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin said. The producer last week agreed to buy stakes in two offshore fields in Brazil, further expanding its Americas portfolio. “There is a lot of new opportunity for us in that part of the world,” Wan Zulkiflee said in an interview Friday on the 83rd floor of the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, adding that the shifting focus doesn’t mean the company is leaving its home country. Petronas still has “many more projects lined up” in Malaysia, including plans to boost spending on renewable energy, he said. Petronas typically allocates 45 billion ringgit ($10.9 billion) to 55 billion ringgit on capital expenditure every year and upstream projects will have “a bigger chunk” of that going forward, Wan Zulkiflee said. One of those to get a slice of the spending boost will be a liquefied natural gas export venture in western Canada with Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

TNB drums up energy efficiency efforts The Malaysian Reserve 5th Apr 2019
Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) is launching a campaign aiming to promote energy efficiency with the intention to remind and educate Malaysians on the significance of environmental sustainability through power saving. The larger purpose of the campaign is to steer transformation towards a future energy ecosystem that delivers a balance between environmental sustainability, secure and reliable energy supply, and optimal economic development. This message is especially important as temperatures soar. Rising temperatures in the last month has led to increased energy usage as folks ramp up the use of air conditioners, fans or coolers. This will naturally result in higher consumption. “Given the increasing demand for energy at this time, and even globally, we believe more efficient energy usage is possible with a change in energy consumption behaviour — which possibly necessitates a mindset shift,” said TNB chief corporate officer Datuk Wira Roslan Ab Rahman. Disparity exists in the adoption of energy saving behavioural patterns among Malaysians and in other parts of the world. Findings indicate that Malaysians are more apathetic towards the conservation of power. Malaysian scores pale in comparison to certain Western countries like Norway, Switzerland and Sweden, according to the World Economic Forum report entitled “Fostering Effective Energy Transition 2018”.

Petronas well positioned to provide LNG to new markets The Star 5th Apr 2019
Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) is well positioned to provide its liquefied natural gas (LNG) to existing and new demand markets, as well as to emerging trading hubs, through its flexible and innovative LNG solutions. This is made possible due to the national oil company's growing portfolio of LNG supply sources in Malaysia, Australia, Egypt and soon in Canada, it said in a statement on Friday. Petronas president and group CEO Tan Sri Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin said: “Asia, backed by its growing middle class, needs clean energy to fuel its growth, and LNG is well positioned as the most significant source of clean energy as it is abundant, environmentally-friendly and economically competitive.” He was speaking at a his plenary session “The new LNG markets” at the recent 19th International Conference & Exhibition on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG 2019) in Shanghai. “Since the first LNG cargo in 1964, global demand for LNG has grown to exceed a record of 300 mtpa for the first time in 2018, and is now forecasted to increase by another 100 mtpa in just the next four years. “This growth trajectory reflects the global aspirations of countries in pursuing prosperity while ensuring sustainability, hence, driving demand for clean energy,” he added.

Electricity tariff unlikely to change, says TNB chairman The Star 5th Apr 2019
Electricity tariff in Malaysia is unlikely to see any changes, although there has been a dip in global coal and natural gas prices. This is because the current price of around US$90 per tonne for coal and RM28 per MMBtu for natural gas is still higher than the base rate of US$75 and RM27.20, respectively, from the previous review. Tenaga Nasional Bhd chairman Tan Sri Leo Moggie said the price is determined by the Energy Commission and there is a pricing structure every six months that relates to the cost of fuel. “If the overall cost of fuel in the previous six months is higher than the actual cost of production of electricity during the last six months, then a surcharge will be issued to the consumer. “This is reflective of what has happened in the fuel market, something beyond the control of the utilities,” he said on the sidelines of the Perdana Leadership Foundation CEO Forum. He said as long as the policy on the review of the fuel cost and imbalance cost pass-through is in place, the cost of electricity generation would be reviewed every six months.

Myanmar

Power production declines by over 250 MW in four months Eleven Media Group Co., Ltd 7th May 2019
Within four months, the country’s highest power production output has declined by over 250 MW, according to the figures from the Ministry of Electricity and Energy. The highest power production was 3,303.9 MW on January 7 this year. The ministry produced 3,078 MW on May 5, down 255.9 MW. Yangon Region consumes 1,282 MW or 41 per cent of the total power consumption, Mandalay Region, 516.2 MW or over 16 per cent, Nay Pyi Taw Council Area, 161 MW or five per cent and other regions and states, 1,214.7 MW or over 39 per cent. The current power production is about 3,800 MW. Plan is under way to produce an additional 3,000 MW in the next three years, said Union Minister for Electricity and Energy on March 16. Under the National Electricity Plan (NEP), Myanmar has set a goal of electrifying the whole country by 2030.

French to help finance Myanmar’s hydropower upgrades The Myanmar Times 6th May 2019
Myanmar is set to receive a €35.7 million (K60.2 billion) loan from the French Development Agency (AFD) to upgrade to five hydropower plants, President U Win Myint said in a message to the Assembly of the Union (Pyidaungsu Hluttaw). The term of the loan is for 13 years, with a seven-year grace period, at an interest rate of 0.68 percent, said Deputy Minister of Planning and Finance U Maung Maung Win. The funds are expected to be used between this year and 2024 for heavy maintenance work and upgrades to the Ye Nwe, Mone Chaung, Zaung Tu, Kinda, and Thaphan Seik hydropower plants. After the upgrades, the plants are expected to be able to run at full capacity, raising power generation from 565 million kilowatt hours to 646 million kilowatt hours. Due to the lack of heavy maintenance in the past, the plants had experienced some breakdowns Deputy Minister of Electricity and Energy U Tun Naing told the hluttaw.

Jetion Solar supplies 50MW of solar modules to Myanmar project PV Tech 29th Apr 2019
Chinese company Jetion Solar has supplied PV modules to a 50MW project in Minbu, northern Myanmar, said to be the first such large-scale project in the country. The under-construction Minbu Solar Park will use Jetion Solar JT PAg polycrystalline solar modules, with China Triumph International Engineering (CTIEC) providing EPC services, and SMA supplying its inverters.  The project covers an area of 81 hectares and is expected to be connected to the grid in June 2019. The annual power generation is expected to be 87 million kWh, which can power the equivalent of 20,000 Myanmar families. “In the northern part of Myanmar where the PV project is located, the performance and stability of solar modules in extreme high-temperature conditions are very important,” said Zhao Honglei, senior vice president of Jetion Solar. “In the future, Jetion Solar will keep driving Myanmar energy structure reform with our expertise in photovoltaic R&D, production and EPC services, as well as our global service network and experience." Jetion Solar claims to have an annual production capacity of 2GW of cells and 2.5GW of modules.

Sustainable Development and Welfare of Myanmar Burma News International 23rd Apr 2019
In the history of human development, the relationship between social-economic development and environmental protection has always been a question of trial and error. The key to the continuous progress of human development lies in accurately understanding and weighing risks, seeking and perfecting remedial mechanisms as much as possible, and maximizing benefits, which is a recurring proposition in human history. One conclusion that does not seem to be a joke is that if people had been obsessed with the static protection of the natural environment from the very beginning, they might not even have the chance to walk out of the cave and make a piece of clothing out of animal skins or plants, let alone today's achievements. The natural environment itself has always been changing. Environmental protection is not to keep the environment unchanged, but only to change it in a way that will not destroy the existence of human beings while achieving sustainable development.

China’s pipeline project brings 24-hour electricity supply to Myanmar Global Times 16th Apr 2019
A wharf on Made Island, the starting point of the China-Myanmar crude oil and gas pipeline, awaits giant oil tankers. Courtesy: China-Myanmar crude oil and gas pipeline project It was completely dark outside at night when this Global Times reporter visited Kyaukpyu county, Myanmar eight years ago. Now, the city has witnessed tremendous changes thanks to the China-Myanmar crude oil and gas pipeline, a pioneer project of the China-proposed Belt and Road

US eyes financing opportunities in energy, infrastructure The Myanmar Times 9th Apr 2019
The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) is looking for financing opportunities in the energy and infrastructure sectors in Myanmar, Eric Jones, OPIC Chief of Staff, said last week. OPIC is the US government’s development finance institution, helping US businesses invest in emerging markets and providing financing to projects. OPIC support is available to new and expanding businesses planning to invest in more than 160 countries worldwide, including Myanmar. 

Total power consumption hits over 3,600 MW in April Eleven Media Group Co., Ltd 7th Apr 2019
The country’s total power consumption hit a record high of 3,609 megawatts (MW) in April, up over 250 MW compared with the same period last year, according to Deputy Minister for Electricity and Energy Dr. Tun Naing. The annual power production reached 2,097 MW in 2014, 2,362 MW in 2015, 2,743 MW in 2016, 2,790 MW in 2017 and 3,358 MW in 2018. In late March, the power production reached a record high of 3653.9 MW. Currently, Myanmar can produce about 3,800 MW. The country’s power demand is increasing at a rate of 19 per cent every year. The ministry plans to produce an additional 3,000 MW in next three years as the annual power consumption will reach between 300 and 500 MW. Last year, hydropower accounts for 57 per cent of the total power production and the power production through thermal energy, for 43 per cent. Yangon consumes nearly 1,500 MW, Mandalay, over 500 MW, Nay Pyi Taw, over 150 MW, other regions, nearly 1,500 MW. About 6.33 million out of 10.877 million households have no access to electricity. In December, 2018, 4.79 million households (44 per cent) have access to power while 6.087 million households (56 per cent) are in need of electricity.

Philippines

ERC meeting energy players on PSA ruling BusinessMirror 7th May 2019
The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) will convene industry stakeholders this week to discuss the implications of the Supreme Court ruling mandating a competitive selection process (CSP) for power-supply agreements (PSAs). Although the commission has not received a copy of the decision, the agency said it will “take the necessary plans and measures to preempt and mitigate possible implications of the Supreme Court decision.”

Group yet to formalize gas proposal Malaya 6th May 2019
The Malampaya consortium is yet to formalize its intention to extend its license to operate the gas field beyond 2024. Energy secretary Alfonso Cusi, told reporters during the sidelines of the Joint Congressional Power Commission hearing last week said the Malampaya consortium has to undergo the process for the extension. “They know the procedure, if they want an extension then write a letter and we will study that. It is not possible that I can just sign and approve it right away. There’s a process and they should know the process,” Cusi said. Malampaya consortium — composed of Shell Philippines Exploration B.V., Chevron Malampaya LLC and PNOC Exploration Corp. — said the oil and gas field can still provide natural gas fuel until year 2027 to 2029, longer than the earlier projected depletion date.

ERC green lights NGCP transmission project Philippines Star 11th Apr 2019
The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has given the  green light to the transmission project of the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) in Northern Luzon to improve the overall power grid system. NGCP can now proceed with the construction of its La Trinidad-Calot 69-kilovott (kV) line project, which has an estimated cost of P644 million. The transmission line project aims to provide a single outage contingency as required in the Philippine Grid Code (PGC) and improve the reliability and transfer capacity of the transmission line.     ERC chairperson and CEO Agnes Devanadera said the approved project involves the construction of a transmission line using new right-of-way and de-commissioning of some portions of the old circuit line.  “The NGCP’s new La Trinidad – Calot 69 kV transmission line will address the expected transmission overloading and will serve as a back-up in times of contingency or a failure in the transmission system,” she said. The regulatory approval of the La Trinidad-Calot 69-kV line project is subject to optimization based on its actual use and/or implementation during the reset process for the next regulatory period, as stated in the Rules for Setting the Transmission Wheeling Rates (RTWR) and other relevant issuances of the ERC.

Antique solar project now operational Philippines Star 10th Apr 2019
A solar power joint venture project supported by technical assistance from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) is now providing round-the-clock power supply to residents of Malalison island in Antique province. Malalison, a 55-hectare island in the municipality of Culasi, Antique, is one of many small islands in the Philippines where economic growth has been hampered by a lack of livelihood opportunities and limited electricity service, the ADB said. The island’s economy is powered by tourism and fishing, but has difficulty sustaining economic activity as its diesel-powered generators provide power for only four hours a day. Because of the cost and difficulty in transporting fuel, the 160 households on the island pay a much higher tariff for power than those on the mainland where electricity is available 24 hours a day. Under the Malalison Island solar photovoltaic (PV) hybrid pilot project, the existing diesel power plant is augmented by a solar PV system. The solar power generated by day is then stored in lithium-ion batteries.

Gatchalian reveals possible gas find adjacent to Malampaya Manila Bulletin 10th Apr 2019
The projected 2024 end of gas reserves at the Malampaya fields flowing to Luzon through Batangas province may still be extended for another six years. This was revealed Wednesday by Senator Sherwin T. Gatchalian, chairman of the Senate energy committee, who told Senate reporters during an interview in his office that Shell Philippines had briefed him on a possible gas find adjacent to the Malampaya gas fields located 65 kilometers northwest of Palawan. Shell officials had estimated that the life span of Malampaya could still be extended from 2024 to 2030, he added. Gatchalian said the possibility of another gas find near the present Malampaya gas field site was great. Asked on who should spearhead the gas exploration, Gatchalian said it should be the Department of Energy (DOE) and ‘’channel it to the current proponents- Shell and Chevron.’’ Malampaya is Philippine territory, but is near to but not included in the contested West Philippine Sea (WPS) where the United Nations Arbitral Court ruled in favor of the Philippines and rejected the ancestral territorial claim of China over most parts of the South China Sea (SCS).

ERC, DOE commit to act on PSAs for power projects Manila Bulletin 10th Apr 2019
With decrepit infrastructure and lack of firm investment commitments, the Department of Energy (DOE) and Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) have finally been prompted to act on pending power supply agreements (PSAs) for energy projects. In particular, the DOE indicated that it asked the ERC “to expediently work towards the realization of the PSAs of all committed power projects to ensure the security of our power supply reserves.” Notably, the ERC is not strong and determined enough to decide on PSAs that are pending at the regulatory body – primarily the legally-impeded supply deals for power projects that are in contract with Manila Electric Company. It can be culled that two of these power projects – the 1,200MW Atimonan and 600MW Subic are in the “committed power projects” list of the energy department. The ERC is targeting to address such PSA applications after the issuance of verdicts by the Supreme Court on pending cases – and it is looking at mid-2020 as a possible decision timeframe.

E-vehicles’ roadmap proposed Manila Standard 9th Apr 2019
Although the Department of Energy has been promoting the use of electric vehicles,  Senator Win Gatchalian says it has produced only a few policy instruments to support the growth of EVs in the country. Gatchalian,   chairman of the Senate committee on energy, urged the DOE to craft a roadmap for e-vehicle adoption in the country, in coordination with the Department of Transportation, Land Transportation Office, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, Metro Manila Development Authority, and other relevant agencies. “Moving forward, we want to see research. Of course, this will not be without opposition,” said Gatchalian. There will be opposition, let’s expect that. But we have to clearly explain the advantages of promoting e-vehicles. I expect the DOE—which is a much larger organization—should have that data,” the lawmaker pointed out.

Mitsubishi sets sights on e-vehicle market Rappler 9th Apr 2019
Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation (MMPC) announced plans to further tap into the electric vehicle (e-vehicle) market, as demand grows for more environmentally-friendly cars. MMPC president and chief executive officer Mutsuhiro Oshikiri told reporters on Monday, April 8, that they would have to check the feasibility of introducing these new models in the Philippines before they make any commitments. "We need a lot of preparation for infrastructure, taxation, government rules. We have to prepare, then we can do a better job," he added. MMPC vice president for corporate public relations Renato Lampano added that they are working with members of the academe and the Department of Trade and Industry to look into producing e-vehicles for the Philippine market. (READ: 'One million electric vehicles in PH by 2020')

$500-M waste-to-energy plant proposed in Bataan Philippine News Agency 6th Apr 2019
The provincial government announced Friday that a British banker has presented a proposal to build a 100-megawatt (MGW) power plant using solid wastes with funding of USD500 million. Vice Governor Crisanta Garcia said documentation was already ongoing for the proponent’s desire to set up the plant at the Freeport Area of Bataan in Mariveles town. “It will be the first such technology converting solid wastes to energy in Bataan,” she said. Banker David Wood, also the chief executive officer (CEO) of cocopower and who will fund the project, said it will be under the public-private partnership (PPP) but with almost no cost for the provincial government. Mar Supnad, a journalist who introduced the investors to provincial officials, said the provincial government will only provide 15 hectares of land as counterpart. He said that funding is ready and once documentation is finished, the proponents wanted the construction to start this May. Wood said the project, under the state of the art Australian technology, will be the first in Bataan and in the Philippines, which will process wastes to energy.

Senate wants Philippine National Oil Co. to focus on oil, gas Philippines Star 5th Apr 2019
The Senate Committee on Energy wants to streamline the operations of Philippine National Oil Co. (PNOC) and its subsidiaries to allow the state-run firm to solely focus on oil and gas exploration. With the streamlining of operations, Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian said PNOC could focus on securing the growing energy needs of the country. “For instance, PNOC-Alternative Fuels Corp. (AFC) looked into the development of jatropha as an alternative source of fuel after the passage of the Biofuels Law in 2006. About P1 billion had been allotted for the company to develop the feedstock in 2009. However, the development of jatropha was abandoned in 2011 to look for other alternative sources of fuel. The committee, which Gatchalian chairs, is currently working on a bill that will be filed once Congress resumes. “This is something that we learned when we visited Japan. We’ll file it as a law,” Gatchalian said.

Duterte vows better energy supply in Palawan before yearend Inquirer 5th Apr 2019
Palawan will have better energy supply before the year ends, President Rodrigo Duterte gave this assurance on Thursday night during his visit to the island-province. “I assure you that before the end of the year there’s a reduced rotation in the number of hours and maybe lessening of the inconvenience,” Duterte said during the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) campaign rally. The President noted that Shanghai Electric is currently conducting a study about the power situation in the province. “Shanghai Electric will be completing its studies and hopefully by the end of the year,” he added. Duterte also lamented the slow the government action, saying that red tape hinders the approval of important state projects. “I must admit that one of the reasons why I am pissed off to no end is really the way government moves. Napakatagal ho talaga (It takes a long time). At minsan napakatagal (Sometimes it takes a long time) because they purposely do it to commit graft and sometimes it is really circuitous thing, a very tedious process of getting the papers to the grid. There is always a monkey wrench,” he said.

Energy department maintains power outlook but Meralco flags ‘upward’ rate pressure Business World 5th Apr 2019
THE DEPARTMENT of Energy (DoE) has kept its power demand forecast for the dry season despite four straight days of “yellow” alert notices this week, saying the thinning power reserves did not change its expectations in the coming months. However, distribution utility Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) expects an “upward pressure” in the price of electricity per kilowatt-hour in the monthly bill of consumers for March and April. “Sapat ang supply ng kuryente for our summer outlook (Electricity supply is sufficient for our summer outlook),” said Energy Undersecretary William Felix B. Fuentebella in a press conference at the department’s head office in Taguig City on Thursday. “I don’t think it will change a lot [from our] present outlook. What we are proposing is a weekly update on how we can adjust our actions to address the situation,” he added, describing the yellow alert notices as “isolated” cases. A month ago, the DoE said it expected Luzon to reach a peak demand of 11,403 megawatts (MW) in May. The March-June period, when the country will experience a “weak” El Niño, is expected to see a 30% reduction in hydropower capacity to 983-1,776 MW.

Singapore

Sun seeker at sea: One of the world's largest offshore floating solar systems will soon be soaking up the rays along the Strait of Johor The Straits Times 4th May 2019
One of the world's largest offshore floating solar systems will soon be soaking up the rays along the Strait of Johor, north of Woodlands Waterfront Park. Developed by sustainable energy provider Sunseap Group, the 5MW-peak system will generate about 6,388MW-hours of renewable energy annually, equivalent to powering about 1,250 four-room flats, with a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of about 2,600 tonnes every year. The 5ha system will soon be installed, and is set to be completed later this year. In land-scarce Singapore, the success of a sea-based floating photovoltaic system could lead the way for more such projects to tap energy from the sun here and in the region. While floating panels are more expensive to install, they are more efficient because the water's cooling effect helps reduce thermal losses and extends their life, say experts. Said Sunseap's chief executive and executive director Frank Phuan: "Sunseap is actively looking for alternative areas to extend the overall deployment of solar systems in Singapore.

Singapore Ready to Supply Clean Ship Fuel Wall Street Journal 9th Apr 2019
Singapore, the world’s largest maritime refueling port, said it will have an ample supply of cleaner fuel to meet an increase in demand next year, when the global commercial fleet will be required to cut sulfur emissions. Janil Puthucheary, the island state’s senior minister for transport, told a shipping conference Tuesday that Singapore has been working with big oil refiners and shipowners and will have no problem procuring sufficient volumes of fuel that is compliant with new industry rules. The Singapore port is a major fuel supplier for vessels servicing the world’s busiest ocean trade route from the Far East to Northern Europe. Other global gateways like Shanghai, Malaysia’s Tanjung Pelepas, Rotterdam and Hamburg are also working to secure supplies of the new lower-emission fuel. The change from heavy oil with a sulfur content of 3.5% to cleaner mixes with 0.5% sulfur goes into effect on Jan. 1 and will affect more than 60,000 vessels. Oil majors like BP PLC and Royal Dutch Shell PLC have been testing the new fuels in Singapore amid concerns that they can create engine problems, especially on older ships. The shift mandated by the International Maritime Organization, the global shipping regulator, has roiled the maritime industry. The new fuels are expected to cost 40% more than traditional bunker fuel, boosting operators’ annual fuel bill by as much as $15 billion.

Support for industries investing in tech for low-carbon future The Straits Times 6th Apr 2019
Singapore will work with its industries as it moves to meet standards of a low-carbon future while remaining competitive with its strong connectivity and intellectual property regime, said Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing yesterday. Describing the need to constrain emissions as "a new mountain to climb", he noted the importance of working with companies, such as energy giant ExxonMobil, that invest in technology for more sustainable products. "Today, the world is much more competitive for the next investor dollar," said Mr Chan at the official opening of ExxonMobil's butyl rubber and resin plants on Jurong Island. "Our job is to make sure that we continue to provide that progressive environment, not just in... the kind of relationship that we have (with companies), but also in the kind of rules that we can have." Such rules include a strong intellectual property regime, as well as regulations allowing companies to have data-enabled technologies. ExxonMobil's new plants are part of a multibillion dollar expansion project, and its products go some way in reducing emissions.

Energy industry faces climate and job hurdles: Chan Chun Sing The Business Times 5th Apr 2019
SINGAPORE faces the challenge of building a low-carbon world in the coming decades, Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing said at an energy and chemicals industry event on Friday morning. He said the Republic is committed to working with energy and chemicals industry partners on competitiveness and sustainability, such as by fostering the development of next-generation products. "Singapore will continue to make sure that we stay business-friendly," he said, pointing to how the world has become "much more competitive for the next investment dollar". The minister opened his remarks with a quip about how “whatever happens here may not even make it to the media... because today, many of us take for granted to be able to have such a significant investment”. Mr Chan cited strategies such as competing on quality and innovation rather than price, and raising productivity with advanced manufacturing. Connectivity, supply chain security and an intellectual property regime were other factors that he brought up.

Thailand

Thailand’s Renewable Energy Transitions: A Pathway to Realize Thailand 4.0 The Diplomat 9th May 2019
After three years of revision, Thailand recently unveiled its updated power development plan (PDP 2018–2037), which explicitly shows the country’s ambition to embrace renewable energy. PDP 2018–2037 was approved by the National Energy Policy Council on January 24 and is expected to take effect in the second quarter of 2019. Under the new PDP, Thailand’s power production capacity will have 67 percent growth from 46,090 megawatts (MW) in 2017 to 77,211 MW in 2037. The PDP sets a goal of new power capacity of 56,431 MW, of which renewable energy projects are planned to account for 20,766 MW, or about 37 percent. By 2037, the country’s power production is expected to come from natural gas (53 percent), non-fossil fuels (35 percent), and coal (12 percent). Approval of the new PDP is a critical milestone reflecting not only Thailand’s future energy strategy but also its continuous progress in transitioning to renewable energy in the past year. In 2018, Thailand made some achievements in the renewable energy sector, including adopting innovative blockchain technology as well as issuing the first green bond in the country. Though the country’s renewable energy transition is only getting off the ground, it shows the country is heading in the right direction to become a low carbon society.

Solar cell recycling beckons Bangkok Post 3rd May 2019
Local companies are keen on investment in solar panel recycling plants under the flagship Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) scheme to capitalise on growth of solar panel installation in Thailand. Recycling facilities for solar panels are in demand as usage of panels on rooftops, farms, households, factories and buildings skyrockets, with prices of installation falling as the panels become cheaper. Solar panels contain many different silicon cells -- thin film solar cells and crystalline silicon solar cells -- as well as cadmium telluride, which is needed for recycling. The Industrial Works Department projects the volume of solar panels expiring in 5-10 years will reach 500,000 tonnes or 18 million solar panels. Solar panels typically last 20 years. Thongchai Chawalitpichaet, director-general of the department, said the pilot location for solar panel recycling plants will be in Chachoengsao, as some local investors have prepared budgets and land plots there. Mr Thongchai said there will be 10 strategic areas across the country allotted as recycling zones for solar panels. According to the department, Thailand has 450 solar power generation projects. Most projects are located in central and northeastern provinces.

Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) to renovate power plants Thailand Business News 1st May 2019
The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) is planned to renovate existing power plants for better flexibility and to support electricity generation from renewable energy, while the peak electricity usage this summer season is expected to increase no more than 500 megawatt. EGAT’s Governor Viboon Rerksirathai has said on the occasion of EGAT’s 50th anniversary that the EGAT will continue to maintain and develop the country’s energy security in the future in keeping with consumers’ changing demands with more renewable energy introduced to the power grid, and to improve flexibility of power plants to be able to produce more electricity to substitute those provided from renewable energy in case of outage. The renovations will start at Wang Noi Power Plant costing 160 million baht budget and is expected to complete in 2020. The renovations are also further planned for Phra Nakhon Nuea and Chana power plants. Thailand’s highest electricity usage this year has so far been recorded on 24 April 2019 at 30,120 megawatt due to hot climate. It is expected the number may increase by 500 megawatt, reaching up to 30,500 megawatt this summer.

Thailand approves power plan, expects capacity to reach 77 GW by 2037 Reuters 30th Apr 2019
Thailand’s cabinet on Tuesday approved a national energy plan that looks to add 56 gigawatts (GW) of power by 2037, a senior official said. The Power Development Plan 2018-2037 (PDP2018), which maps out the long-term energy needs and capacity of the country, expects Thailand to add 56,431 megawatts of new capacity by 2037 to reach a total capacity of 77,211 megawatts, Nathporn Chatusripitak, government spokesperson told reporters. Thailand currently has a power generation capacity of 40,000 megawatts, with 20,000 megawatts to go offline over time, he said. By 2037, 53 percent of total capacity would be from natural gas, 20 percent from renewable sources, 12 percent from coal and the remainder from other sources including imports, Nattaporn said. The previous plan from 2015 estimated natural gas would make up 40 percent of total Thai energy by 2036 and coal up to 25 percent.

12 firms bid for Egat LNG Bangkok Post 23rd Apr 2019
State-run Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) has revealed 12 companies have qualified to bid to be liquefied natural gas (LNG) suppliers of 800,000 to 1.5 million tonnes per year. Egat is expected to announce the winning bidder by Friday. Egat governor Viboon Rerksirathai said out of 34 companies qualified to bid, 12 submitted bid envelopes to be the LNG shipper for Egat.

NGV for public transport to be raised in May Bangkok Post 22nd Apr 2019
The Energy Policy Administration Committee has decided to gradually increase the price of natural gas for public transport by a total of three baht per kilogramme over 12 months. Energy Minister Siri Jirapongphan said on Monday the committee would increase the price by one baht per kg every four months -- on May 16 and Sept 16 this year and Jan 16 next year.

Peak power demand forecast to increase Bangkok Post 12th Apr 2019
The country's electricity consumption in the summer months is expected to reach 35,889 megawatts (MW) at peak hours, up 4.6% from the same season last year. Sarawut Kaewtathip, deputy permanent energy secretary, said the projection of power demand is estimated from Meteorological Department projections of the weather this summer reaching 42-43C. A change in temperature of 1C will have a corresponding power consumption change of 400MW, according to the ministry. Last year, peak power demand for the year was on April 24 at 2pm, reaching 34,317MW, up 0.6% from the same period in 2017. "Demand during the peak will not affect the country's total power generation as reserves of 56,034MW remain 20% higher than the demand projection," Mr Sarawut said. Many companies have installed power generation systems at their properties over the last three years, such as solar rooftops, biogas and natural gas. Power generation has increased in part thanks to that capacity, he said.

IEAT eyes single bidder for Map Ta Phut port megaproject Bangkok Post 12th Apr 2019
The Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT) expects to sign a contract for development of Map Ta Phut seaport in June because the only bidder -- a consortium led by PTT and Gulf Energy Development -- qualified for all the bidding criteria to win the megaproject. PTT Tank Terminal Co and Gulf formed a consortium and submitted bid envelopes for the third phase of Map Ta Phut seaport (55.4 billion baht), investing via a public-private partnership. Somchint Pilouk, the governor of the IEAT, said the bid is being considered and the winner will be announced later this month. "The bidding committee is in talks with PTT and Gulf about the development plan and the return on investment," she said. "Then the Office of the Attorney-General will consider a draft contract before signing in June." On Feb 15, PTT and Gulf submitted a bid envelope for the third phase of Map Ta Phut seaport, with the IEAT hosting the project. Map Ta Phut seaport is one of five megaprojects under the flagship Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) scheme.

B10 roll-out planned for May Bangkok Post 11th Apr 2019
The Energy Ministry plans to use both biodiesel B10 and B7 at petrol stations nationwide from the end of May. B10 contains 10% methyl ester (ME) from crude palm oil, combined with diesel. The combination available at petrol stations now is B7, with 7% ME. Minister Siri Jirapongphan said most diesel-based vehicles are compatible with B10, such as pickups, trucks and buses. Some 80% of diesel-powered vehicles on local roads are made and assembled by Japanese companies, Mr Siri said. "European and US brands are not B10 compatible," he said. Mr Siri said policymakers plan to discuss this matter with relevant stakeholders, including oil traders, ME makers and car assemblers, aiming to make B10 the preferred diesel fuel within a planned time frame. "Incentives to encourage motorists to shift to B10 will be announced soon, such as a lower retail price and a collection of a levy and tax," he said.

Most trucks tipped to be B20-compliant Bangkok Post 10th Apr 2019
Energy policymakers announced yesterday that biodiesel B20 will be compatible with nearly all general trucks on the road in Thailand. Nantika Thangsuphanich, director-general of the Energy Business Department, said the majority of trucks on the road will be compatible with B20. Owners of Isuzu trucks should contact the Isuzu consultation centre to check and change lube oil and car filters when switching to B20. A guarantee letter from truck assemblers was sent to the department on Tuesday, paving the way for B20 to become available at 156 fuelling stations nationwide. Toyota announced that it's ready to comply with B20 fuel and that the company supports the government's initiative to tackle air pollution. The Hilux and Fortuner models are compatible with the biofuel, Toyota said, and the price of the Hilux Revo will decline as a result of adopting the cheaper fuel.

100 plants mulled for solar waste Bangkok Post 9th Apr 2019
The Industry Ministry is considering setting up a plant to handle old and irreparably damaged solar cells. It would also support private companies in establishing roughly 100 plants to either repair or recycle about 90% of between 620,000 and 790,000 tonnes of solar cells whose lives will start to expire in the next three years, the ministry said on Monday. These are among the measures being considered to deal with what is expected to be huge amounts of solar-cell waste from 2022, said Surapol Chamat, deputy permanent secretary for industry. Solar panels normally have a 20-year lifespan and Thailand has been using them since 2002, he said. After 20 years, their power-generating capacity is drastically reduced but they may still be able to generate power. Depending on their condition at the time of expiry, the panels will need to be either destroyed, repaired or recycled, Mr Surapol added.

Household LPG subsidies to continue to July The Nation 9th Apr 2019
The Energy Ministry is confident that support from the oil fund will maintain the price of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) at Bt363 per 15 kilograms until July, its minister, Siri Jirapongpha, said recently. The fund will continue to subsidise the costs of energy for household customers following the Energy Policy Committee approval. The committee approved losses to the oil fund of up to Bt7 billion to support the household costs for LPG. So far, the fund is showing a net loss of I Bt6.13 billion, leaving room for continuing price subsidies through to July, said Siri.

Vietnam

BIM and Ayala complete Southeast Asia’s largest solar project PV Tech 29th Apr 2019
Vietnamese company BIM Group and Filipino firm AC Energy have completed and connected to the grid 330MW of PV capacity spread across three projects in Ninh Thuan, Vietnam, with one 250MW plant being the largest solar installation in Southeast Asia to date. Work began on the projects in January 2018 and took around nine months to complete, with a power purchase agreement (PPA) being signed with monopoly utility EVN at the end of last year. Grid connection for the BIM 1 (30MW), BIM 2 (250MW) and BIM 3 (50MW) solar power plants took place earlier this month. Rivalling these projects, a Thai and Vietnamese partnership are also working on a 420MW plant in Tay Ninh due for completion in June. Collectively, the BIM plants required VND7,000 billion (US$301 million) investment. They will provide power to the equivalent of 200,000 households, producing 600 million kWh annually. BIM Energy and AC Energy of major Filipino corporation Ayala Group had established a joint venture to develop renewable energy projects in Ninh Thuan Province. This province has high levels of irradiation but has also been subject to fears about grid and transmission capacity given the high concentration of solar plants being developed there. This is why the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) recently updated its next feed-in tariff (FiT) rules incentivising developers to set up projects in less sunny parts of the country and spreading the load. 

Vietnam's New Draft Development Guidelines on Rooftop Solar Power Systems from 1 July 2019 Lexology 18th Apr 2019
On 12 April 2019, the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Vietnam ("MOIT") released the third draft ("Third Draft") of the Decision of the Prime Minister on the mechanism for encouraging the development of solar power in Vietnam, applicable from 1 July 2019 ("Draft Decision"). In addition to proposing new Feed-in-Tariffs for application from 1 July 2019 through to 31 December 2021, the Draft Decision sets out guidelines and requirements for rooftop solar power systems in Vietnam to replace the current Decision No. 11 in 2017 as amended by Decision No. 02 in early January 2019. The Third Draft continues to recognize a "direct power sale and purchase" model (as defined below) for rooftop solar power systems with an installed capacity of less than 1MWp. The Third Draft leaves unchanged (compared to the second draft) the specific FiT rates for "rooftop solar power systems". However, the Third Draft has removed the "intermediary power sale and purchase" model from the list of rooftop solar power systems under the Draft Decision.

Petrolimex focus on divestments and restructuring in 2019 vietnamnews.vn 27th Apr 2019
Việt Nam National Petroleum Group (Petrolimex) will focus on divestments and restructuring in 2019, implementing unfinished tasks from last year, the company’s management board announced at its annual shareholders’ meeting on Friday. The main issues include the reduction of State holding in the group to 51 per cent and cutting its stake in Petrolimex Insurance (Pjico) to 35 per cent, as well as completing the merger between PGBank and HDBank.

Work begins on wind power plant in Bac Lieu province Voice of Vietnam 16th Apr 2019
Construction work started on the operations centre of the Dong Hai 1 wind power plant, first phase, in Long Dien commune, Dong Hai district, the Mekong Delta province of Bac Lieu, on April 15. According to the Director of Bac Phuong Joint Stock Company- the investor of the project- Mai Trong Thinh, the construction of the operations centre, which costs 130 billion VND (5.6 million USD), will lay the foundation for the building of undersea infrastructure of the wind power plant, slated to begin in Quarter 4. The first phase of the Dong Hai 1 wind power plant is estimated to cost nearly 2.5 trillion VND (107.8 million USD), and has a total designed capacity of 50 MW. It will cover an area of more than 935 hectares of water surface and more than 11 hectares on land. Thinh said that the plant will have 12 wind turbines, a transformation station 22/110kV-1x63MVA, a 110kV line, an operations centre and other supporting works. Upon completion, the plant will contribute 161.02 million kWh of electricity to the national grid each year.

PM questions ministry on admin procedures spiking renewable energy prices VnExpress 12th Apr 2019
PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc has asked the Ministry of Industry and Trade to report after local media quoted Nguy Thi Khanh, director of the Hanoi-based Green Innovation and Development Center (GreenID), as saying many investors were interested in renewable energy but faced challenges in administrative procedures that increase energy prices. She proposed that these procedures are simplified or removed to attract more investors. Vietnam is said to have great potentials for renewable energy development with a long coastline and 2,700 sun hours a year. The government has issued policies to attract investors for renewable energy production to reduce the country’s dependence on thermal power. The country has added 121 solar power projects with a capacity of 8,100 MW to the national electricity plan. It is estimated that by the end of this year, another 2,000 MW of wind and solar electricity will be added to the country’s electricity network. Vietnam’s economy, one of the fastest-growing in the region, makes the country hungry for power. World Bank country director for Vietnam Ousmane Dione said that Vietnam would need to raise $150 billion by 2030 to develop its energy sector, with electricity demand growing by around 8 percent a year over the next decade.

Vietnam eyes 1,000 MW wind power capacity by 2020 Voice of Vietnam 10th Apr 2019
The Government is aiming to bring wind power capacity to 1,000 MW by 2020 and 6,200 MW by 2030 with a view to optimizing the use of this renewable energy for enhancing the country’s socio-economic development and energy security. Do Duc Quan, deputy head of the Electricity and Renewable Energy Authority under the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), mentioned the goal at a workshop on the expansion of offshore wind power, held in Hanoi on April 9. The workshop was co-organized by the MoIT and the Netherlands Embassy in Vietnam. Quan went on to say that local demand for energy, especially electricity, will remain huge in the 2020-30 period. The overall demand is predicted to see a sharp rise while the supply of energy is facing various challenges, most worryingly the worsening depletion of fossil fuels, upward oil prices throughout the world, and the domestic market’s increasing dependence on global energy prices. In a bid to step up green growth and sustainable development, Vietnam has been accelerating wind power expansion with existing wind farms yielding a combined capacity of 197 MW.

Việt Nam embraces opportunities to be renewable viable Vietnam News 9th Apr 2019
In 2010, Prime Ministry approved the national programme on developing non-fired construction materials by 2020. United Nations Development Programme in Việt Nam and Global Environment Fund have supported efforts to reduce pollution by sponsoring the project of “Accelerating production and use of non-fired bricks". Việt Nam News’s Khoa Thư talks with UNDP Việt Nam Resident Representative Caitlin Wiesen on how Việt Nam can promote green expenditure in the future. Non-fired bricks are still new to Việt Nam’s market. Why have the UNDP and GEF decided to invest in the project and what are major achievements so far? This is a very important project for the UNDP since non-fired bricks support companies to use waste from fossil fuel and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a way that can be greener, more effective and healthier for the planet. UNDP has been working together with the Government, Ministry of Science and Technology and 23 companies looking at how to improve the standard for the non-fired bricks and also improve the production schedule for it. The main benefit has been shifting away from coal. So far at least two million tonnes of CO2 emissions have been reduced. We hope by the end of the project, the amount will be doubled.

GAS to increase stake in PV Gas South to 51% Vietnam News 9th Apr 2019
PetroVietnam Gas JSC (GAS) has approved a plan to increase its capital contribution in the Petrovietnam Southern Gas JSC (PGS) to 51 per cent of the company’s charter capital. GAS is currently the largest shareholder in PGS with 35.3 per cent of capital, followed by MB Capital, an investment arm of Military Joint Stock Commercial Bank, with 5.98 per cent of capital. To increase ownership to 51 per cent, GAS will have to buy additional 7.87 million shares of PGS. On the market, PGS closed yesterday at VNĐ35.000 per share. If temporarily calculated according to this price, GAS is expected to spend about VNĐ275 billion (US$11.8 million) for the purchase. Although holding less than 51 per cent, GAS has long been recognised as the parent company of PGS. PGS was established in 2000, equitised in 2007, and officially listed on the Hà Nội Stock Exchange on November 2007.

Ministry mulls direct power sale Vietnam Plus 6th Apr 2019
The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) is considering allowing companies that use a lot of power to buy electricity directly from power plants. Speaking at a press meeting in Hanoi on April 5, Nguyen Anh Tuan, director of the Electricity Regulatory Authority of Vietnam (ERAV), said they have been working with international consultancy firms to study the mechanism. “The pilot implementation aims to establish the competitive retail electricity market in 2021,” Tuan said. The ministry launched the competitive power generation market in 2012 and the competitive wholesale power market at the beginning of this year. Since then, 10 percent of the country’s total power capacity has been sold to power generation firms directly. From the beginning of this year, in addition to Vietnam Electricity (EVN), five other power corporations have been able to buy electricity from power plants. The ministry plans to gradually increase the number of such corporations in the competitive wholesale power market.

IAEA’s role in promoting atomic energy application praised Voice of Vietnam 5th Apr 2019
Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam expressed his appreciation for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)’s role in promoting the application of atomic energy for peaceful purposes at a reception for its Deputy General Director Najat Mokhtar in Hanoi on April 5. The Deputy PM highlighted the growing ties between Vietnam and the IAEA in recent years via technical cooperation projects, including developing nuclear infrastructure in healthcare, agriculture, industry, environmental protection, food security, and climate change response. He also praised the IAEA for having contributed to raising the capacity of building Vietnam’s legal documents in the fields of nuclear energy, radiation, and nuclear safety management. Vietnam launched 20 national and 48 regional or inter-regional projects funded by the IAEA during 2014-2019. For the 2020-2021 period, five new projects have got approval from the IAEA. In late 2018, the Vietnam Atomic Energy Institute and the IAEA inked an agreement on setting up a cooperation centre using nuclear technology for the management of water resources and the environment in Vietnam and coastal areas in Southeast Asia.