Energy Update: June 13, 2019

Energy Update | June 13, 2019
Authors: Riley Smith and Elizabeth Rickert
 
LOOKING AHEAD
 
 

June 17: Energy Roundtable: Briefing on Role of U.S. Dept. of Commerce in Asia EDGE (Washington, DC)

June 19: 2019 Annual Gala - 35th Anniversary (Washington, DC)

June 20: Working Luncheon with OPIC Chief of Staff, Mr. Eric Jones (Kuala Lumpur)

June 21: Working Luncheon with OPIC’s Chief of Staff, Eric Jones (Singapore)

June 28: Energy Roundtable: Briefing on Developing Shared Principles for Energy Infrastructure Development in Asia (Washington, DC)

 
THE COUNCIL'S TAKE
 
 

Non-hydro Renewable Energy Generation Capacity Projected to Grow over 11% by 2030 in the Philippines

The Philippines’ generation capacity for non-hydro renewable energy sources is expected to have an 11.2 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2019 to 2030, according to recent figures from the analytics firm GlobalData. Rising electricity consumption, a result of the Philippines’ increasing population, is projected to be the main driver of this growth in installed capacity, with electricity consumption itself expected to show a 6.5 percent CAGR over the same time period. In 2018 electricity consumption was 81,700 gWh; in 2030, it is expected to reach 173,000 gWh. 

According to GlobalData, the Philippine Government’s efforts to promote the expansion of renewable energy power capacity, coupled with its attempts to reduce its dependence on fossil fuel imports, will bolster investment in the country’s generation capacity. In particular, the Government has incentivized the development of solar energy through the Department of Energy’s net metering scheme for rooftop solar installations. The scheme gives the owners of rooftop solar installations credit for power that is generated in excess of what the owner needs. The excess power is then delivered to the grid and used to offset future electricity consumption. Though net metering currently has a low adoption rate within the Philippines, GlobalData believes that is popularity will increase, especially among institutional power consumers. Overall, the percentage of solar power in the Philippines’ power generation mix is expected to increase from 4.3 percent in 2018 to 13 percent in 2030. Nevertheless, just like many countries in ASEAN coal is still projected to account for around 30 percent of the Philippines’ power generation mix over this same period.

Myanmar Government Announces National Environment and Climate Change Policies

The Myanmar Government announced on the June 5 the launch of two new policies to guide its environmental management and climate change strategy. The two new policies are the National Environmental Policy and the Myanmar Climate Change Policy, both of which recognize the increasing threat of extreme weather and other effects of climate change on the country’s economic and social development. Collectively, the new policies are meant to transform Myanmar into a more climate-resilient, low-carbon society that is sustainable, prosperous, and inclusive. They aim to do this by providing a mechanism for the Myanmar Government to integrate environmental considerations across the whole spectrum of its development planning, ensuring that such planning is in line with the recently adopted Myanmar Sustainable Development Plan 2018-2020. Recognizing Myanmar as one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation worked for five years to the develop the new policies, in collaboration with UNDP and the Myanmar Climate Change Alliance, which receives funding from the EU and technical support from UN Environment and UN-Habitat.  With the government’s adoption of these policy frameworks, Myanmar joins several other ASEAN nations in further integrating the values of resilience and sustainability in conceptualizing national approaches to economic growth and social development.

Record-high Temperatures Feed Surging Power Demand in Vietnam, Constrain Hydropower Production

Vietnam’s industrial and consumer electricity demand is surging at a time of record high temperatures throughout the country, increasing the potential for water shortages which threaten efforts to increase power production. Within the last month, the country has seen record levels of power production and electricity consumption, reaching 36,000 MW and 756.9 million kWh, respectively, in mid-May. In light of rising temperatures, Vietnam Electricity’s (EVN) National Load Dispatch Center (NLDC) said that it expected consumption to reach 800 million kWh a day through at least June. However, the record high temperatures have contributed to decreasing water volumes in reservoirs in central and southern Vietnam. In late May the water volumes were such that hydropower plants could produce 2 billion kWh, which is the equivalent of only three days-worth of national electricity consumption.

With Vietnam’s hydropower capacity already largely exploited, efforts to incorporate other sources of power have reportedly run into some difficulty. Since April the country has been using oil to produce electricity, though reserves are reportedly running low. Within the last few years Vietnam has flipped from being a coal exporter to be a coal importer as more and more domestic reserves are set aside to meet rising electricity demand. While 90 new solar power plants, expected to come online by the end of this month, will increase that national grid’s capacity by up to 1,400 MW, such gains will not be immediately evident as technical difficulties are likely to lead to stability and quality issues, according to the NLDC. Nevertheless, EVN has said that it will be able to keep up with electricity demand this year, even as the country looks to see annual increases in electricity demand of 8 percent over the next decade.

Philippines Seeks Investment in Oil and Gas Exploration for “Explore, Explore, Explore” Program

In an effort to increase investment in the exploration and development of its domestic oil and gas reserves, the Philippine Department of Energy (DOE) aims to establish its Explore, Explore, Explore Program, central to which is the Philippine Conventional Energy Contracting Program (PCECP), the department’s revised petroleum service contract awarding mechanism (available here). Under the PCECP, which was issued in January 2018 and which the DOE has tried to make more transparent, service contracts are awarded to qualified local and international exploration companies through either a competitive selection process or by nomination of the investors in the project. The DOE also sees the resolution in April of the income tax payment dispute with the Malampaya consortium as having renewed international investors’ confidence in the Philippines’ upstream gas industry. Presently, there are 22 active petroleum service contracts in the Philippines. The DOE has received an additional 17 requests from nine local and foreign companies for the issuance of clearance for areas in the Sulu Sea, Recto Bank, Palawan, Quezon, Albay, and Mindoro.

In an effort to attract new investment in the Philippines’ oil and gas sector, the DOE commenced an international roadshow that began at American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) annual convention in San Antonio, TX. However, after this first stop, the Philippines DOE suspended the roadshow, which would have next traveled to Canada, the United Arab Emirates, and Argentina, ostensibly due to a positive response from U.S. oil and gas exploration companies. According to the DOE, the deadline for the submission of tenders on the blocks offered up during the AAPG-leg of the roadshow is August 19.

 
ADVOCACY UPDATE
 
 

Call for Input for Recommendations to Include in Roadmap for LNG Market Reform in Southeast Asia

As a follow-up to the May 9 Energy Roundtable, which featured a briefing on Asia EDGE (the energy-focused pillar of the U.S. Government's Free and Open Indo-Pacific strategy) by Deputy Assistant Secretary (DAS) Melissa Simpson of the State Department's Bureau of Energy Resources, the Council's Energy Committee sent out a call for input for recommendations that could be included in a roadmap for LNG market reform in Southeast Asia. The roadmap would identify:

  • The main challenges U.S. companies face when entering and operating in Southeast Asian markets, 
  • What the U.S. Government (USG) can do to address these challenges,
  • What reforms can ASEAN country governments undertake to improve their business environments in the LNG industry. 

In addition to receiving input on general reforms that country governments in Southeast Asia could undertake, we would also like to highlight reforms that at least one specific market could undertake. DAS Simpson requested the roadmap for Vietnam, but the Council is open to receiving country-specific input for other markets in the region. Though the initial deadline has passed, if your company would like to submit input for the proposed roadmap, please email Riley Smith at rsmith@usasean.org.

 
IN THIS UPDATE
 
 
ASEAN
Asean faces key challenge: Go green or choke on air pollution, says US energy specialist
Asian renewable investment to overtake upstream oil and gas spending in 2020 -Rystad
Commentary: The oil and gas market in Asia is heating up
Is ASEAN Moving Forward with Civilian Nuclear Energy? A Look Back at 2018

Brunei
Sparrows Group selects Deladi Petroleum Services as sole agent in Brunei

Cambodia
Chinese companies to build 400 MW power plants in Cambodia
PM asks Japan for help to build power lines
Hydropower project in Cambodia helps fish to come home
Cambodia among the fastest electrifying, Business
China steel company relocates to Cambodia
Cambodia secures funding to power 5 million in energy poverty
A guide to renewable power in Cambodia
ADB loans $7.6M for Solar Power Construction
Ministry asked about Mekong plan
As Power Cuts Cripple Cambodia, Generator Sales Soar
Solar must be prioritised over hydropower - association
Timber Company in Cambodia Continues to Collect Wood From Protected Forest Areas

Indonesia
EBTKE/ INAGA partner on Indonesia Intl Geothermal Convention, August 2019
Start of three geothermal plants expected in Indonesia in 2H of 2019
Antam, Chinese companies to build cathode and ferronickel plants
Value of North Sulawesi's non-oil, gas exports drops sharply
Swift growth of transport sector drives energy demand in APEC
Government owes Rp 82.94t to energy companies because of fuel program: BPK
Oil potentials in Indonesia need more exploration: association
Indonesia seeks secured coal access in China
Indonesian Presidential Elections
Batang Toru Hydroelectric Power Plant Helps Indonesia Fulfill Paris Agreement
Miners look to S. Korea, China amid low investment
Causal case of oil imports, trade deficit

Laos
Laos ups electricity trade
Energy, mining projects need careful study: Lao PM
Lao gov't aims to lower electricity prices
Lao electricity to bring forex
Electricity imports to drop, exports to drive growth in Laos
Laos and SK Engineering Clash over Cause of Dam Collapse
Xepian-Xe Namnoy Saddle Dam Collapse Is Not Force Majeure, Says A Report

Malaysia
Sarawak CM launches South-east Asia’s first integrated hydrogen production plant
OCBC Bank takes lead in financing Perlis large scale solar plant
Malaysia in discussion with China firms on pipeline compensation
Malaysia committed to key role as biofuel technology player
Malaysia - renewables replacing nuclear, but coal still on the cards
Malaysia aims to become 100pc  renewable energy nation
Climate change issues remain the priority
New electricity tariff depends on EC review
CM: Oil and gas complex will boost development in Sarawak's north
Hengyuan spends RM852 mil capex for major projects
OCBC Bank finances large scale solar project
Malaysia prepares to boost palm-biofuel use in wake of EU limits
Malaysia hopes to learn from Britain to come up with Climate Change Act, says Yeo

Myanmar
Myanmar state counselor stresses utmost effort to increase power production
Magwe Region to refine crude oil into gasoline
Myanmar announces national environment and climate change policies
What is the future of energy for Myanmar's rural population?
Companies to commence exploratory drilling in 2019 and 2020
Myanmar's fuel market: from fanfare to standstill
1,300 Villages to Receive Solar-Generated Electricity in FY2019-20
Magwe aims to meet country’s power needs through solar energy
Investment opportunities available in Chin State power, transportation sectors: chief minister
Myanmar to borrow more than 1.4 billion baht for more electricity
Residents urge govt to call off coal project in Tanintharyi
Gov’t to Buy Electricity from China to Cover Shortfall
More FDI expected in power sector in five years

Philippines
Meralco to push coal-fired, RE projects
DOE temporarily suspends int’l petroleum contracting roadshows
Typhoon-proof wind turbines to help Philippines keep lights on
Renewable energy to grow 11.2% a year
Waste-to-energy plant in B.C. to handle disputed garbage from Philippines
EDC seeks perks on geothermal projects
Distributed generation the main driver for solar in Japan and the Philippines
Competitive bidding for Power Supply Agreements starts
PH seeks oil, gas investments
Luzon power supply tight until August — NGCP
DOE awaits ERC list of power supply deals requiring CSP
DoE may issue circular to enforce SC ruling on competitive selection
DoE circular on smart grids due by 3rd quarter
Untapped P6-B Epira fund must go to rural devt, and quickly–Gatchalian

Singapore
PUB to deploy Singapore's first large-scale floating solar panel system by 2021
Singapore’s road to electric mobility: What’s the hold-up?
Getting Smart about Energy Grid 2.0
Lights out for five Singapore power retailers amid fierce competition
10 years in, industry takes the lead in advancing green buildings in Singapore
Singapore turns on another large-scale solar roof installation
The future of sustainable energy in Singapore

Thailand
Malaysia's Petronas set to supply Thailand's EGAT its first LNG imports
Thailand launches net metering scheme for residential PV
Panel puts Egat's LNG import plan on hold
Solar power drawing private-sector interest after new PDP
Energy Ministry girds for disrupted oil supply
Draft windfall tax on EEC agenda
Tax structure changed to 6 fuel types for 'flexibility'
Industrial estate eyes on-site power
Smart grid policy advised for renewable energy progress

Vietnam
New electricity tariffs more renewable: EVN
In Vietnam's booming energy sector coal reigns, but renewables play...
Vietnam set to import more electricity from China, Laos
25 years on, 500kV power line remains a technological feat
Industrial gas market in Vietnam growing stably
Most SOEs operating at a profit: audit
PetroVietnam subsidiaries told not to close OceanBank deposits - VnExpress International
88 solar power plants to start commercial operation In June
Power consumption surges as summer heats up
Vietnam poised for renewable boom - report
Oil stocks lift domestic market
Petrol prices drop for the first time since March
 
ARTICLE CLIPS
 
 
ASEAN

Asean faces key challenge: Go green or choke on air pollution, says US energy specialist The Straits Times 6th Jun 2019
Increasingly foul air from rapidly growing cities and industry could force South-east Asian nations to speed up the switch to cleaner sources of energy and to meet UN climate goals, says a leading energy specialist. Dr Ernest Moniz, energy secretary under former US President Barack Obama, said Asean is poised for rapid economic growth but that the current energy policies for most countries in the region risk committing them to highly polluting electricity generation, transport and industry. The problem is especially acute because rapid urbanisation in the region concentrates people, energy use and pollution.

Asian renewable investment to overtake upstream oil and gas spending in 2020 -Rystad The Business Times 27th May 2019
Renewable energy investment in the Asia-Pacific region will overtake spending on oil and gas exploration by 2020, consultancy Rystad Energy said on Monday. Investment into renewables is being supported by government policies such as solar and wind feed-in-tariffs across the region. Rystad said one big change in the renewable industry was the emergence of oil and gas majors as investors.

Commentary: The oil and gas market in Asia is heating up CNA 21st May 2019
SINGAPORE: In 2011, the International Energy Agency (IEA) predicted a "golden age" of gas, where natural gas would be a "bridge fuel" between coal and renewable energy over the next two decades.  But weak demand for natural gas in Asia in 2013 to 2015 forced the IEA to step back in June 2015 from its previously optimistic projection, concluding:  As reported by the International Gas Union (IGU), Asia Pacific markets were the destination for almost 70 per cent of global LNG trade in 2018.  The Asia Pacific also hosts some of the world’s leading LNG exporters: Australia, Malaysia, the United States and Indonesia (the world second, third, fourth and seventh largest exporters in 2018, respectively).  The Asia Pacific will undoubtedly be the centre of gravity in future gas and LNG markets. While Asia Pacific countries are the major players, the entrance of the world’s largest gas exporter — Russia — into the East China gas market (initially through LNG and later pipeline gas) adds further competition.  Natural gas markets are changing in response to new opportunities in the Asia Pacific and globally. 

Is ASEAN Moving Forward with Civilian Nuclear Energy? A Look Back at 2018 ASEAN Centre for Energy 20th May 2019
Under ASEAN Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation (APAEC) 2016-2025, civilian nuclear energy (CNE) is one of the seven programme areas to develop. Even though none of the ASEAN Member States (AMS) took an affirmative decision to pursue CNE for power generation in the short-term, some have been in the front line in developing it and expressed some interest to move forward with CNE in their future energy mix. According to ACE study on CNE which was published in April last year, it is identified that Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam are the front-runners in putting efforts to establish civilian nuclear power by developing legal and regulatory frameworks, as well as establishing nuclear-related infrastructures and organisation. Nonetheless, due to changes in their priorities and political energy landscape, some have slowed down the effort and shelved their nuclear plans. In this insight, we analyse further the current status of nuclear development in ASEAN. Among the five front runners, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam decided to postpone their nuclear plans until indefinite time. Vietnam has also halted its plan to build its first nuclear plant due to economic reasons, especially given the fact that there are cheaper options of energy resource other than nuclear available in the country to support the economic growth. In the recently launched Power Development Plan (PDP) 2020-2037, Thailand has also removed the plan to have its first nuclear plant by 2035 stated in its previous PDP. In contrast, the Philippines still shows great interest in pursuing CNE in the near future, while Indonesia is also moving forward but with a much slower pace.  

Brunei

Sparrows Group selects Deladi Petroleum Services as sole agent in Brunei World Oil 27th May 2019
Sparrows Group has appointed Deladi Petroleum Services Sdn Bhd as their sole representative in Brunei. The new agreement creates a partnership to deliver a broad range of equipment and services supporting reliability and operational safety in the oil and gas industry.

Cambodia

Chinese companies to build 400 MW power plants in Cambodia Bangkok Post 12th Jun 2019
Cambodia's state-run electricity supplier Electricite Du Cambodge (EDC) has signed an agreement with two Chinese firms to build a power facility fueled by heavy fuel oil and liquefied natural gas that will be able to generate 400 megawatts. The facility, which will be composed of two main plants, will be built in Kandal province’s Lvea Em district, the Khmer Times reported on Wednesday. Chinese firms CGGC-UN Power Co and China National Heavy Machinery Corporation (CHMC) will build the power plants under an engineering, procurement and construction contract. No exact date has been given as to when construction will begin, but EDC representatives have said the facility will be ready within 10 months. The project is composed of two plants. One will be powered by a 200 MW generator from Finnish firm Wartsila. This plant will be built by CGGC. The second plant will use another 200 MW generator, this time from Germany’s Man Group, and will be built by CHMC. There are also plans to build a substation to connect the 400 MW plant to the national grid. Keo Ratanak, EDC managing director, said the project will cost US$380 million (11 billion baht) – $300 million to be lent by the government and the rest coming from EDC’s budget. Ratanak said that, to cope with the current energy crisis, the government has approved a number of solar energy projects in Kampong Chhnang, Kampong Speu, Battambang, and Banteay Meanchey provinces. Since power cuts began in March across the country, the government has approved several energy investments – a hydropower dam in Pursat province as well as several solar farms across the country – and increased energy imports from neighbouring countries.

PM asks Japan for help to build power lines Khmer Times 4th Jun 2019
Prime Minister Hun Sen last week asked his Japanese counterpart for assistance to finance a high-voltage transmission network to carry electricity from Laos to Phnom Penh. Speaking at a graduation ceremony in Phnom Penh on Monday, Mr Hun Sen said the high-voltage transmission network is needed to transfer power from Laos to Cambodia, and noted that Electricite du Cambodge (EDC) recently signed an agreement to purchase 200 MW from Laos. “In my trip to Japan last week, I met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to ask for help to finance the transmission lines capable of transporting 500 kilowatts from the border with Laos to Phnom Penh, which is about 350 kilometres,” Mr Hun Sen said.

Hydropower project in Cambodia helps fish to come home - Chinadaily.com.cn China Daily 31st May 2019
The 400-megawatt dam is the largest and the seventh one built by China in Cambodia. The Lower Sesan 2 dam, 56.5 meters tall, covers a 36,000-hectare plot. When talking about the fishway, engineering manager Nong Zuguan, who is responsible for the construction management of the fishway, said: "We made it into a natural fishway to fit into the surrounding environment, like a natural river. This is the way the fish came home." The construction of the fishway began in April 2017 and it had been put into use since the end of the same year.

Cambodia among the fastest electrifying, Business Phnom Penh Post 31st May 2019
Cambodia is currently among the fastest electrifying countries in the world, with coverage reaching 89.1 per cent as of the end of 2017. The Kingdom has made significant progress in providing access to electricity, becoming one of four countries to have electrified at a rate of around eight per cent each year since 2010, said the World Bank’s Energy Progress Report 2019. Sixty-seven per cent of electricity access in Cambodia’s rural areas comes from the national grid, while 31 per cent is from off-grid solutions. Cambodia witnessed regular nationwide power cuts for nearly three months this year – from mid-March to mid-May. The government said it was due to the recent hot weather causing low water levels in hydropower dam reservoirs and affecting the production of electricity.

China steel company relocates to Cambodia , Business, Phnom Penh Post Phnom Penh Post 30th May 2019
Chinese state-owned iron and steel company China Baowu Steel Group Corp Ltd has unveiled plans to relocate its blast furnaces from Xinjiang Autonomous Region in the northwest of China to Cambodia, which will be the first overseas Baowu production plant. The plan was welcomed by Cambodian officials and private sector representatives, who expressed hope that local steel production will help satisfy the growing demand for steel in the Kingdom as the construction sector continues to boom and materials flood in through imports. Baowu is looking at the feasibility of shipping two blast furnaces, with a combined capacity of 3.1 million tonnes, along with two converters to turn iron into steel, to Cambodia late this year.

Cambodia secures funding to power 5 million in energy poverty Smart Energy International 29th May 2019
Cambodia has secured funding to improve its energy generation as part of efforts to enhance access to energy to nearly 5 million people living without electricity. Cambodia will make use of a $7.64 million loan issued by the Asian Development Bank to diversify its energy mix by building a new 100MW solar park in Kampong Chhnang province. The solar park will be built as part of the country’s National Solar Park Project, which secured a $11 million loan from the ADB and a $3 million grant from the Strategic Climate Fund through the Scaling UP Renewable Energy Program.

A guide to renewable power in Cambodia | Wright Daily Wright Business Daily 27th May 2019
Hydropower is already an important part of the energy mix and attention is shifting towards other renewable energies, but many challenges lie ahead The Kingdom’s electricity demand has been increasing year-on-year since 2010 as rapid development in the country continues, with last year’s growth around 15%. Hydro: Hydroelectric power production was almost 50 times greater in 2016 than it was in 2011, according to the Basic Energy Plan report. However, it still only amounts to 13% of the potential total amount, leaving open the possibility of further developments. Solar: Cambodia benefits from consistent sunshine year round, making it perfectly suited to solar power production. A 2016 Mekong Strategic Partners report estimated that the country has the potential to generate 700MW of electricity through solar power. Wind: Wind power has been widely overlooked in the past in Cambodia, but renewable independent power producer The Blue Circle has its sights set on harnessing this resource in the Kingdom.

ADB loans $7.6M for Solar Power Construction Khmer Times 24th May 2019
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on May 24 approved a $7.64 million loan to support the construction of a 100-megawatt (MW) solar power park in Cambodia to help  in a contribute to  the development of renewable energy and diversify the power supply that can improve the country’s competitiveness. ADB Principal Climate Change Specialist Mr. Pradeep Tharakan said that ADB’s assistance will not only help diversify Cambodia’s energy mix through solar power development, but also help the country meet its greenhouse gas emissions reductions target, as per the Paris climate agreement.

Ministry asked about Mekong plan, National, Phnom Penh Post Phnom Penh Post 24th May 2019
Members of the Supreme Consultation and Advisory Council on Thursday listen to Minister of Mines and Energy Suy Sem discuss a proposed plan to develop a sizeable stretch of the Mekong River and the recent increase in electricity bills despite a spate of power cuts. Sros also asked the chairman of EdC, Keo Ratanak, whether there was a second option for electricity supply when water levels in the reservoirs of hydroelectric dams were low. Sros said Ratanak blamed the recent high temperatures and heavy consumption of electricity by the general public.

As Power Cuts Cripple Cambodia, Generator Sales Soar VOA 23rd May 2019
As the hot season scorches Cambodia’s capital, its 1.5 million residents have struggled to stay cool without air conditioning, while business and factory work frequently grinds to a halt as a result of the worst power outages in many years. While residents and business owners across the city have complained for weeks, one group of traders has reaped the benefits: generator sellers. She said high generators sales had driven up prices and depleted stores across the city and some customers began scouring the internet to order generators online. The shops have been accused by some customers of price gauging, a claim they have denied.

Solar must be prioritised over hydropower - association Khmer Times 22nd May 2019
With the country currently struggling with its power supply, Cambodia must prioritise the development of solar energy facilities over hydropower dams. Sokun Sum, chairman of the association, said Cambodia should focus on attracting investment in solar energy. He said construction times for solar farms are lower than for hydropower dams, and with demand for electricity skyrocketing, Cambodia needs to build energy infrastructure as fast as possible. “It has been brought up to our attention that power consumption in Cambodia has dramatically increased, mostly driven by construction projects,” he said. Mr Sum acknowledged that solar farms can be expensive and require large plots of land, but said returns on investment are high.

Timber Company in Cambodia Continues to Collect Wood From Protected Forest Areas Radio Free Asia 20th May 2019
A timber company in Cambodia is ignoring environmental protection laws by transporting felled trees by night from protected forests in the country, activists said on Monday. The Sam Oeun Sovann Company, operating out of Kampong Thom province, has not been punished or stopped from ignoring conservation laws, nor has it been investigated by relevant authorities, the activists say. They are able to avoid detection by claiming the felled trees are gathered from an area given to the Chinese-run Heng Fu Sugarcane Company in an economic land concession (ELC).

Indonesia

EBTKE/ INAGA partner on Indonesia Intl Geothermal Convention, August 2019 Think GeoEnergy - Geothermal Energy News 26th May 2019
The Directorate General of New Energy, Renewable and Energy Conservation (DG EBTKE) together with the Indonesian Geothermal Association (API) officially delivered the plan to hold the 7th Indonesia International Geothermal Convention & Exhibition (IIGCE). The implementation of IIGCE this time took the theme “Making Geothermal Energy of Today” which has relevance to current global issues to continue to promote renewable energy, especially geothermal energy. He hopes that the holding of the 7th IIGCE will be able to raise awareness of various initiatives by stakeholders in the geothermal field.

Start of three geothermal plants expected in Indonesia in 2H of 2019 Think GeoEnergy - Geothermal Energy News 23rd May 2019
Reported locally, the Directorate General of New and Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation (EBTKE) targets the Sorik Merapi Geothermal Power Plant (PLTP), at Mandailing Natal, North Sumatra to be able to operate commercially in the second half of this year. The construction of the 40 MW capacity plant costs US $ 180 million or around Rp. 2.6 trillion. The progress of the construction of the plant had reached 70-80%. The contractor working on the construction is PT Sorik Merapi Geothermal Power. “It is expected to be operational in the third or fourth quarter,” she told local news outlet katadata.co.id.

Antam, Chinese companies to build cathode and ferronickel plants The Jakarta Post 21st May 2019
For the production of the cathodes, which would be used in the manufacturing an electric vehicle (EV) batteries, Antam is to cooperate with a private cobalt supplier, Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt Company Ltd. He estimated the cathode project would require an investment of between US$6 billion and $12 billion. Arie said that Antam’s parent company Inalum woud also participate in the cathode project while state energy holding company Pertamina was expected to be involved in incorporating the cathodes into EV batteries. Arie said two plants would process nickel ore to make cathodes. One would be located at Antam’s nickel mine in Tanjung Buli, East Halmahera and another at its nickel mine in North Konawe, Southeast Sulawesi. Arie said that the two locations were picked because of their proximity to their nickel resources.

Value of North Sulawesi's non-oil, gas exports drops sharply Antara News 10th Jun 2019
The value of non-oil and gas exports of North Sulawesi in April 2019 again recorded a sharp drop than the previous period. "In comparison with March 2019, North Sulawesi's export performance decreased by 18.66 percent, and as compared to the previous year, it fell by 44.24 percent," Head of the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) of North Sulawesi Dr Ateng Hartono remarked in Manado on Monday. Hartono noted that in March 2019, North Sulawesi's exports of US$68.81 million, dropped 18.66 percent, to reach $55.96 million.

Swift growth of transport sector drives energy demand in APEC Antara News 8th Jun 2019
The 21 economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) are expected to witness a 21 percent surge in energy demand over the subsequent three decades, partially owing to population and economic growth in Southeast Asia. It was cited in a new APEC report issued by the APEC Energy Working Group and received here on Saturday. Whilst industry continues to be the largest energy-consuming sector, two sectors – transport and building – will trigger increased energy demand, according to the APEC Energy Demand and Supply Outlook.

Government owes Rp 82.94t to energy companies because of fuel program: BPK The Jakarta Post 4th Jun 2019
The Supreme Audit Agency (BPK) finds that the government fuel program, through which Premium-branded gasoline and Solar-branded diesel fuel were sold below their economic prices, cost two energy companies a total of Rp 82.94 trillion (US$5.83 billion). The revenue shortfalls of state-owned energy holding company Pertamina and PT AKR Corpotindo were recorded by the BPK as government debts to the companies.

Oil potentials in Indonesia need more exploration: association Antara News 2nd Jun 2019
President of the Indonesian Petroleum Association (IPA) Tumbur Parlindungan expects oil and gas exploration activities in Indonesia to be encouraged given that there are still many oil reserves in the Southeast Asia region. "Unfortunately, in the past 15 years, exploration activities have been quite minimal in Indonesia. In fact, many other countries whose oil and gas reserves are less than those of Indonesia have been improving for upstream oil and gas investments," Tumbur Parlindungan said in a press release received here on Sunday.

Indonesia seeks secured coal access in China The Jakarta Post 27th May 2019
In an effort to secure access for coal exports to China amid a potential slump in domestic production, the Indonesian Coal Mining Association (APBI) signed on Friday a memorandum of agreement (MoU) with the China National Coal Association (CNCA) to support further trade and investment flow between the two countries.

Indonesian Presidential Elections Lexology 27th May 2019
The incumbent, Joko Widodo, declared victory in Indonesia's presidential elections over his challenger and former general Prabowo Subianto. The election commission said Mr. Widodo, widely known as Jokowi, won 55.5 percent of the vote with his rival, Prabowo, on 44.5 percent. Here we put the spotlight on what can be expected of a Jokowi government with respect to energy and infrastructure policy over the next five years. In summary, the expectation is business as usual for the President's second and final term in office. What this means is a continuation of a mixed model economic policy underlined by inward-looking economic policies for resources such as oil, gas and mining, and outward-looking strategies in pushing for greater FDI in oil & gas and infrastructure. Protectionist economic policy characterised Jokowi's tenure over his first term in office where he embarked on a nationalisation project with respect to mineral resources and oil and gas. With this nationalistic drive, BUMN (Badan Usaha Milik Negara) (the local term for state-owned enterprises) have taken the opportunity to secure majority interests in projects in the Indonesian resource sector. In the past four years of Jokowi's tenure, BUMNs have secured majority interests in the Grasberg mine from Freeport-McMoran, the Rokan oil block from Chevron Corp and the Mahakam gas field from Total SA and Inpex Corp. The expectation is for the same trend of the nationalisation of mineral resources to continue over the next five years.

Batang Toru Hydroelectric Power Plant Helps Indonesia Fulfill Paris Agreement Jakarta Globe 24th May 2019
The Batang Toru Hydroelectric Power Plant will play a key part in fulfilling Indonesia's commitment to reduce carbon dioxide under the Paris Agreement. The largest economy in Southeast Asia has committed to slash its carbon dioxide emissions by 29 percent by 2030, or even up to 41 percent if it receives technological assistance and funding from the international community. 

Miners look to S. Korea, China amid low investment The Jakarta Post 17th May 2019
Indonesia’s second-largest coal producer, PT Adaro Energy, has started looking to China and South Korea for potential funding sources as countries in Europe have shifted away from investing in coal-related businesses such as power plants and mining due to climate concerns. A report released in February by global energy think tank Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) shows that over 100 global financial institutions have shifted away from thermal coal, including 40 percent of the top 40 banks and 20 insurers.

Causal case of oil imports, trade deficit The Jakarta Post 16th May 2019
Indonesia posted a record-breaking US$2.5 billion deficit in April, the largest monthly deficit recorded since 2013, according to Statistics Indonesia (BPS). Every time the country’s trade balance is in deficit, the oil and gas sector is usually blamed for its large share of imports. The government has tried to curb oil imports by requiring state energy holding company Pertamina to prioritize the use of domestic crude and through the biofuel mix policy.

Laos

Laos ups electricity trade, Business, Phnom Penh Post Phnom Penh Post 6th Jun 2019
The LAO government has agreed to conduct a feasibility study on electricity trading and hydropower exchanges with neighbouring countries to boost cooperation in the energy sector. Laos has agreed to sell 5,000MW of electricity to Vietnam, and while it is currently exporting just over 300MW it is expected to supply 1,000MW by next year, Minister of Energy and Mines Khammany Inthirath reported at the opening of the energy and mining sector’s first quarter meeting on Monday. “Both countries are hoping to increase Lao electricity exports to Vietnam to 3,000MW by 2025 and to more than 5,000MW by 2030,” he said.

Energy, mining projects need careful study: Lao PM - Xinhua | English.news.cn Xinhua 5th Jun 2019
Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith told the energy and mining sector at the first quarter meeting of 2019, which was held here on Tuesday, that every project needs to be considered carefully before approved, local daily Vientiane Times reported on Wednesday. Sisoutlith has called for the energy and mining sector to make greater use of natural resources to maximize sustainable incomes from various projects nationwide. The Lao premier also told officials in charge of the sector that three different measures need to be considered before any project is approved. "The three measures refer to thinking wider, thinking further, and going on the right track."

Lao gov't aims to lower electricity prices - Xinhua | English.news.cn Xinhua 4th Jun 2019
The Lao Ministry of Energy and Mines is trying to cut electricity prices so that power is affordable for local residents and businesses. Many consumers in Laos have been complaining about their escalating electricity bills. The tariff is high when compared to neighboring countries, Lao Minister for Energy and Mines Khammany Inthirath, acknowledged at the first quarter meeting of the energy and mining sector held in Lao capital Vientiane on Monday, local daily Vientiane Times reported on Tuesday.

Lao electricity to bring forex Phnom Penh Post 21st May 2019
Bank of the Lao PDR initially projected the export value of electricity would reach $1.3 billion last year. Electricity generation looks set to take a leading role in supplying Laos with foreign exchange in the coming years, according to data from the Bank of the Lao PDR. According to data cited in the bank’s 2018 report, electricity generation will likely become the main provider of foreign exchange in the foreseeable future, thanks to the industry’s rising export value.

Electricity imports to drop, exports to drive growth in Laos Xinhua 16th May 2019
The amount of electricity imported by Laos is likely to drop in 2019 as the country witnesses a surge in electricity generation. In 2018, Laos spent 15.4 million U.S. dollars on electricity imports. In 2019, Laos plans to spend about 12.1 million U.S. dollars on electricity imports, mostly from China and Vietnam. The country's target is to earn about 1,328 million U.S. dollars from electricity exports this year. Electricity is the key sector expected to drive the growth of the economy, according to the report.

Laos and SK Engineering Clash over Cause of Dam Collapse Laotian Times 29th May 2019
A South Korean construction firm has dismissed the latest findings by the Lao government that are cited as the reason for a fatal hydropower dam collapse last year in Laos. SK Engineering & Construction said in a press release on 29 May that the company could not agree with the findings as they lack scientific basis and data.

Xepian-Xe Namnoy Saddle Dam Collapse Is Not Force Majeure, Says A Report KPL: Lao News Agency 28th May 2019
The findings of an investigation conducted by a panel of professional and independent experts have suggested that the root cause of the saddle dam D of the Xepian- Xe Namnoy hydropower project is not force majeure. The National Investigation Committee revealed on Tuesday the results of the dam collapse investigation which has been conducted by the Independent Expert Panel, IEP. The IEP’s members are Prof. Anton J. Schleiss of Switzerland, Honorary President of the International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD), Mr. Ahmed F. Chraibi of Morocco, Former Vice President of ICOLD and Dr. Jean-Pierre Tournier of Canada, a Vice President of ICOLD.

Malaysia

Sarawak CM launches South-east Asia’s first integrated hydrogen production plant | Malay Mail MalayMail 27th May 2019
A significant milestone was achieved today for Sarawak’s Green Energy Agenda with the official launch of South-east Asia’s first integrated hydrogen production plant and refuelling station and the introduction of the state’s first hydrogen-powered vehicles. Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg, who launched the facility, said the state government allocated RM10 million to SEB to build the plant two years ago. He said the state government must do its part in reducing the current reliance on fossil fuel which has been proven to be unsustainable in the long run and is also bad for the environment.

OCBC Bank takes lead in financing Perlis large scale solar plant The Star Online 27th May 2019
OCBC Bank (Malaysia) Bhd is leading a consortium of lenders to finance a large-scale solar (LSS) plant, in Bukit Keteri, Perlis. OCBC Bank said its was setting fresh benchmarks for “green” syndicated project financing involving LSS plants in the country. The project financing effort comes on the heels of the OCBC Group’s announcement last month that it will stop financing coal-fired power plants globally in order to inspire a shift to cleaner and greener sources of energy. “OCBC Bank is committed to the development of renewable energy in Malaysia, in support of the Malaysian government’s target to increase the country’s generation mix from renewable energy to 20% by 2025. 

Malaysia in discussion with China firms on pipeline compensation The Straits Times 25th May 2019
The government is negotiating with China Petroleum Pipeline Engineering Co and Huanqiu Project Management Beijing Co on the total compensation to be paid by Suria Strategic Energy Resources Sdn, which was overseeing the projects, for the termination of the work. Malaysia undertook a sweeping review of public projects after a change in government in May 2018. It has revived billion-dollar projects this year, including the East Coast Rail Link done in partnership with Chinese companies.

Malaysia committed to key role as biofuel technology player | Malay Mail MalayMail 25th May 2019
As one the world’s major palm oil producers, Malaysia will continue to play a key role in ensuring that the commodity remains a sustainable and eco-friendly fuel replacement for world markets. “As the largest exporter and second largest producer of the palm oil in the world, we sit in a position of ensuring this commodity evolves into an industry that brings much benefits to global market, in particular, the energy and transportation ecosystem,” Minister of International Trade and Industry (MITI) Datuk Darell Leiking added.

Malaysia - renewables replacing nuclear, but coal still on the cards Smart Energy International 20th May 2019
Malaysia will continue to embrace and develop thermal power capacity for the next decade and beyond, which will see an increase of 5 GW of coal and gas capacity. And renewables, particularly wind and solar, will also rise by 2.8 GW, according to a new report which explores the make-up of the country’s energy mix to 2030. However, the study by analytics company GlobalData points out that rise of renewables will come at the expense of nuclear, which has seen new build plans stall because of strong public opposition. As a net importer of electricity, Malaysia is primarily dependent on thermal resources for electricity generation and, although it possesses substantial fuel reserves, it faces the risk of declining energy security. 

Malaysia aims to become 100pc  renewable energy nation Borneo Bulletin 17th May 2019
Malaysia is getting ready to make a transition towards 100 per cent renewable energy to make the environment more sustainable, competitive, efficient and greener. Malaysia’s Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin said the transition would be possible after Malaysia signs the global initiative RE100 agreement, probably in January next year. RE100 is a Global Renewable Electricity Initiative that brings together influential businesses committed to 100 per cent renewable electricity with the aim to accelerate change towards zero carbon grids, at the global scale.

Climate change issues remain the priority The Malaysian Reserve 17th May 2019
Minister of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Yeo Bee Yin said the ministry will also continue to promote a green industry through different incentives. “We are aggressively doing two things, one is to increase renewable energy (RE) in electricity generation and increase our efforts in being energy efficient." “We are on track to meeting our Paris Agreement, but we want to do more. The green industry will be a new frontier for growth, and we want to leverage on that.” she said. Additionally, Yeo said her ministry will announce the framework by the third quarter of 2019 for the RE100 initiative. She said any type of companies would be welcomed, including local and foreign companies, with incentives for first-movers. “If companies are deciding on a headquarter for the region, this will be one of the advantages we can offer.” Yeo said.

New electricity tariff depends on EC review New Straits Times 14th May 2019
New electricity tariff will depend on the next review by the Energy Commission while coal and gas prices through the imbalance cost pass through (ICPT) mechanism will likely be maintained, says TNB CEO Amir Hamzah. "We understand the electricity tariff is affected by fuel prices. Ultimately, the movement of the tariff will depend on where the coal and gas prices are. Some trending of coal prices are seen but gas prices are still adjusting towards market price.

CM: Oil and gas complex will boost development in Sarawak's north The Star Online 10th Jun 2019
A proposed integrated oil and gas complex in Lawas will help boost development in Sarawak's northern region, says Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg. The Chief Minister said the US$5bil (RM20.8bil) project by China's Beijing Beca Sci-Tech Co Ltd and Sinopec Engineering Incorporation would create jobs and spread development to the area. "This will be a game changer for northern Sarawak, particularly Lawas and Limbang. "About 1,000 jobs will be created in the first phase, while the peak construction period will create about 20,000 jobs," he said.

Hengyuan spends RM852 mil capex for major projects New Straits Times 28th May 2019
Hengyuan Refining Company Bhd is spending US$205.3 million (RM852 million) in capital expenditure this year on four ongoing major infrastructure projects. They are Euro 4M Mogas (Euro 4M), clean air regulation (CAR), hydrogen generation (H2GEN) and Euro 5 Gasoil (Euro5G). To-date, Hengyuan Refining has approved capital investments of over US$415 million since 2016 on top of its annual asset integrity capital spend, chairman Wang YouDe said. “Our proactive hedging strategy, coupled with our ongoing focus on operational excellence ensures the refinery will be fully capable of operating efficiently and will be very commercially competitive, once our intensive capital investment programme has been completed,” Wang said in a statement issued after its annual general meeting here today.

OCBC Bank finances large scale solar project New Straits Times 28th May 2019
A consortium of lenders led by OCBC Bank (Malaysia) Bhd is financing a large-scale-solar (LSS) plant in Bukit Keteri, Perlis, setting benchmarks for green syndicated project financing involving LSS plants in the country. OCBC Bank said the project financing structure for project owner KBJ HECMY Sdn Bhd (KHSB), was aligned to meet the Asia Pacific Loan Market Association’s Green Loan Principles to ensure global acceptance and benchmarking. OCBC Bank is the bookrunner and mandated lead arranger of the syndicated project financing.

Malaysia prepares to boost palm-biofuel use in wake of EU limits New Straits Times 28th May 2019
MALAYSIA’S national automotive policy is expected to allow for a higher percentage of palm-biodiesel blends over the next few decades, according to International Trade and Industry Minister Darell Leiking. The government plans to include a “B20/B30-ready” specification for vehicles in a review of the policy, Leiking said in a statement on Saturday. Malaysia, the world’s second-largest palm oil producer, plans to double its biofuel programme to B20 by 2020, which mandates fuel be blended with 20 per cent palm-biodiesel.

Malaysia hopes to learn from Britain to come up with Climate Change Act, says Yeo The Star Online 16th May 2019
PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia will use Britain's Climate Change Act 2008 as a model reference in the country's aim to institutionalise climate change action, said Yeo Bee Yin. The Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister said Malaysia will look at Britain's success stories, as well as lessons it could learn since applying the Act 11 years ago.

Myanmar

Myanmar state counselor stresses utmost effort to increase power production Xinhua 18th May 2019
Myanmar State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi has stressed the need to make utmost effort to increase electricity production, saying that the government has set up new infrastructure for the power system including installation of new cable lines and opening of new sub-power stations. She expected that about 50 percent of the country's electricity demand will be fulfilled before the end of this year, which will be up from 30 percent in 2016. Myanmar is meeting just under 50 percent of its electricity demand which is one of the major requirements for the development of the country. She added that power and transport are crucial for the country's development and if the people get access to good transportation and electrification, their social-economic life will improve quickly.

Magwe Region to refine crude oil into gasoline The Myanmar Times 11th Jun 2019
Magwe’s Minister of Natural Resources, Environment, Electricity and Energy U MyintZaw said arrangements were being made, including giving permission to three companies - Power 95, Myanma Mandai and Pyae Sone Win – to refine crude oil into gasoline. Another two companies will be given permission out of 10 that have applied. Hand-dug oil wells continues to be a lucrative source of income for regional governments. Magwe has received K14 billion from June 2016 to June 2019, from K7.5 billion during the previous government’s term. 

Myanmar announces national environment and climate change policies Mizzima Myanmar News and Insight 6th Jun 2019
The Government of Myanmar yesterday announced its vision for the country’s environmental protection and climate action, launching two new policies that will guide Myanmar’s environmental management and climate change strategy, according to a UN Environment statement. Myanmar is widely considered one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to the impacts of climate change, and its renowned biodiversity and natural resources are under increasing pressure as the country develops. More intense and more frequent floods, cyclones and droughts have caused immense loss of life and damage to infrastructure and the economy.

What is the future of energy for Myanmar's rural population? Eco-Business 31st May 2019
Among the 10 countries that make up the Asean, Myanmar has the highest percentage of renewables in its energy mix - hydropower constitutes 65 per cent of generated electricity. But this figure alone masks the country’s absymal rate of electrification, with chronic power shortages a regular occurence and more than 40 per cent of its total population still lacking access to the national grid. Sixty per cent of Myanmar’s rural populace live off gid, relying on polluting, expensive kerosene lamps and firewood to illuminate their homes.

Companies to commence exploratory drilling in 2019 and 2020 The Myanmar Times 30th May 2019
This is the next phase after seismic surveys and testing operations were carried out over the past five years under the terms of the Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) between the companies and the government. It includes both onshore and offshore drilling.  Around 20 oil and gas companies, including Thailand’s PTTEP, Italy’s ENI, South Korea’s Daewoo and Australia’s Woodside Energy have commenced drilling and other geological and seismic activities in Myanmar so far this year. “The companies have reached the drilling phase under the contract. Should they decide that it is not commercially viable to move on to production after drilling has been conducted, they can choose not to continue with the contract,” said U Min Min Oo, assistant secretary of the MOEE.

Myanmar's fuel market: from fanfare to standstill Frontier Myanmar 28th May 2019
IN JULY 2017, Frontier reported on the longstanding frustration among drivers in Myanmar at the poor quality of fuel sold at local stations. Just a few months earlier, the Myanmar Investment Commission had abolished a requirement that foreign investors in the sector partner with the Ministry of Energy and Electricity. The larger local players were already aligning with foreign partners. “The long fuel lines at the few private stations with a good reputation could soon be a thing of the past,” we wrote. Almost two years later, though, there has been almost no perceptible change: few foreign brands, the same old complaints from drivers about price and quality. But a long-closed, profitable market has supposedly opened up, so why have investors mostly stayed away? Although there is no single answer, it’s certainly not lack of interest. Back in mid-2017, Shell, Total, PTT and CNPC among others were all said to be in the middle of talks with potential partners.

1,300 Villages to Receive Solar-Generated Electricity in FY2019-20 The Irrawaddy 24th May 2019
Over 1,300 villages in rural areas of five regions will get access to electricity through solar power in fiscal 2019-20 as part of the National Electrification Project (NEP), according to the Ministry of Electricity and Energy. The ministry will team up with the Rural Development Department overseen by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation to supply solar power, according to the deputy permanent secretary of the Electricity and Energy Ministry, U Htay Aung. He said fees collected from villagers will cover 20 percent of the cost, with the government financing the rest from the proceeds of solar-power generation.

Magwe aims to meet country’s power needs through solar energy The Myanmar Times 24th May 2019
The solar plant, on 800 acres of land between Zee Ain and Lay Pin villages on the Minbu-Ann road, will distribute the 20MW via the Mann sub-power station in Minbu township. The solar project – which was approved in March 2016 during the government of president U Thein Sein and began construction in February 2018 – is part of the government’s renewable energy programme.  A study is being carried out in Chauk, Mindon and Minhla townships to build a wind power station, which is expected to be operational by 2021. The power it produces will be distributed across the country via the national grid. These are the biggest renewable energy projects in Myanmar. Up to 170MW will be produced by solar power and more than 260 MW by wind power.

Investment opportunities available in Chin State power, transportation sectors: chief minister The Myanmar Times 24th May 2019
Owing to its difficult and mountainous terrain, Chin State is one of the poorest states in Myanmar with the least investment. Yet, it is also the most scenic In Chin, the most successful sectors are hotels and tourism because of the scenery and attractions such as Nat Ma Taung National Park, Reeds Lake and Kanpatlat township, which is home to the famed Mount Victoria. “Chin State is also a very peaceful state. Chin people even take delight in offering visitors the food they have. They are a very united people and enjoy their traditional dances. Local as well as foreign businesses are invited to invest in any sector they desire in Chin State. As there are currently not many investments there yet, it’s a good time for investors to gain the first mover advantage in Chin,” Salai Lian Luai told The Myanmar Times during an exclusive interview in Mandalay, where he visited this week. There are many infrastructure requirements. The hilly terrain is very suitable for hydropower projects. Big companies are coming to do it. I invite both local and foreign investors to come and carry out field studies and invest. So far, we have found 27 places in which 30-megawatt projects can be carried out. There are also several locations on the Manipur River where 300-megawatt and 600-megawatt hydropower projects are feasible. A total of ten companies from India, Norway, China, the Netherlands and Japan have already conduced feasibility studies and we have signed six MOUs with the likes of the Union Government, Power China Company, Norway Power Company and other local companies.

Myanmar to borrow more than 1.4 billion baht for more electricity The Myanmar Times 15th May 2019
With this loan, the Ministry of Electricity and Energy will make sure that Yangon’s power distribution system is improved and the frequency of power shortages reduced, said deputy minister U Tun Naing.  The project term is from 2020 to 2022 and power plants and transmission lines will be built and upgraded in North Dagon, North Okkalapa and Shwepaukkan in Yangon. Currently, many townships in Yangon are experiencing blackouts every day. The interest rate for the loan is 1.5 percent per year and the loan term is 30 years. According to the agreement, 50pc of the contract’s value must be used for buying products and services from Thailand under an official tender system.

Residents urge govt to call off coal project in Tanintharyi The Myanmar Times 15th May 2019
Residents of Ban Chaung in Dawei district said that while the project has been suspended since 2017, piles of coal waste from the project have been burning since 2015, and they are suffering from breathing the foul smoke.  The open pit coal mine on 60 acres in Kun Chaung Gyi village was suspended due to residents’ protests.  Over 100 villagers gathered on Saturday near the project site to commemorate the suspension of the project and to urge the authorities to extinguish the fire. They also asked authorities to call off the project permanently. “If the project restarts, Ban Chaung and Myittar will be damaged, so I ask you to close the coal mine permanently,” Ka Htaung Ni village leader Saw Tin Oo said.

Gov’t to Buy Electricity from China to Cover Shortfall The Irrawaddy 14th May 2019
The Myanmar government plans to buy 1,000 MW of electricity from a Chinese state-owned enterprise to meet an expected electricity shortage over the next two years. Myanmar, which already has Southeast Asia’s lowest rate of access to electricity, has recently been plagued by regular power blackouts due to water shortages at hydropower plants following severe heat across the country. Hydropower remains Myanmar’s main source of electricity, followed by natural gas and coal. According to the Ministry of Electricity and Energy (MOEE), the country faced a 400 MW power shortage as of April. This is expected to rise to 1,588 MW by 2020.

More FDI expected in power sector in five years The Myanmar Times 13th May 2019
With just 40 percent of all households enjoying access to electricity as at September 2017, which is amongst the lowest in Asia, the research firm said.  With power cuts still taking place often during the summer months, major impediment to economic development, and the government is aiming for full electrification by 2030.  In Myanmar, almost half of all uncompleted projects in the pipeline, valued at US$1 billion, are related to the power sector. This, although aligned with the government’s aim for full electrification by 2030, indicates that the country is likely to fall short of capacity requirements. 

Philippines

Meralco to push coal-fired, RE projects Manila Bulletin Business 30th May 2019
Giant distribution utility Manila Electric Company (Meralco) has formally transitioned to a new leadership. Espinosa said that despite the recent Supreme Court (SC) ruling that would require Meralco to start from scratch when it comes to securing power deals for its Atimonan project, the company would still attempt to pursue the US$3-billion coal project through it power generation arm Meralco Powergen Corp. To recall, SC ruled that “all deals or PSAs submitted by distribution utilities or the power companies to the ERC, must undergo a competitive selection process. This means that all DUs like Meralco should enter into a competitive selection process (CSP) before awarding its PSAs to generation companies. Meanwhile, Espinosa said Meralco is in discussion with “less than a dozen” renewable energy (RE) proponents as part of its efforts to somehow reduce its dependence on coal.

DOE temporarily suspends int’l petroleum contracting roadshows Manila Bulletin Business 30th May 2019
The Department of Energy (DOE) will not proceed for now on its next three-country swing of roadshows for the country’s petroleum contracting round – the sorties prospectively targeting investors in Canada, United Arab Emirates and Argentina. In the United States, Marcos noted they had discussions with several firms and they are counting on these firms to really advance on their interests when the submission of tenders would fall due in August 19 this year. And in the “area nomination scheme”, interested parties can submit tenders year-round, but this will be subject to a Swiss challenge process based on the terms set forth by the DOE. These companies have either sought area clearances and have submitted letters of interest (LOI) on targeted area nominations; some have viewed and purchased technical data sets including those on seismic lines and well listings; while the rest have made courtesy visits and one-on-one meetings with relevant DOE officials.

Typhoon-proof wind turbines to help Philippines keep lights on Nikkei Asian Review 28th May 2019
The Philippines frequently finds itself in the path of powerful typhoons, and a Japanese startup is working on wind power equipment that can stand up to the storms. Challenergy, the startup, is betting there will be high demand for typhoon-proof turbines on remote Philippine islands that often take direct hits and lack sufficient power infrastructure. "So far, the company looks promising with good potential to succeed," said Gregg Ilag, an energy analyst at Daiwa Securities in Manila. "Wind turbines that can withstand and generate power during Category 5 typhoons are a new technology."

Renewable energy to grow 11.2% a year Inquirer.Net 27th May 2019
Power generation capacity in the Philippines based on renewable sources other than hydro is expected to see a double-digit annual growth over the next 12 years, driven by the continued growth in the economy and the population. The London-based firm said investments in renewables were being driven by rising electricity consumption, which is expected at 6.5 percent CAGR to reach 173,000 gigawatt-hours in 2030 from 81,7000 gWh in 2018.

Waste-to-energy plant in B.C. to handle disputed garbage from Philippines CTVNews 24th May 2019
About 1,500 tonnes of garbage that is being sent back to Canada from the Philippines will be taken to a facility in Burnaby, B.C., that turns waste into electricity. Earlier this week, the Philippines rejected Canada's late-June timeline for repatriating its garbage and was moving forward with plans to ship it back to Canada itself. Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo told a media briefing in Manila on Thursday that Canada's timeline isn't good enough and that the Philippine government will have 69 containers of mislabelled Canadian trash shipped across the Pacific no later than next week. Canada and the Philippines have battled since 2014 about what to do with the contents. The Philippines has recently recalled its ambassador and consuls general until Canada deals with the waste.

EDC seeks perks on geothermal projects Manila Standard 23rd May 2019
Geothermal leader Energy Development Corp. urged the government to grant incentives to the development of geothermal energy to provide not only clean and reliable power but also jobs and livelihood to local communities. “The Philippines has vast geothermal potential. To spur the development of this untapped geothermal potential, we urge the government to incentivize the development of geothermal,” EDC president Richard Tantoco said. Tantoco said geothermal is “the holy grail of renewable energy” being the cleanest, most reliable and readily available. 

Distributed generation the main driver for solar in Japan and the Philippines pv magazine International 22nd May 2019
Rising electricity prices and unattractive support schemes for large scale solar could see rooftop PV replace utility scale developments as the main driver for new capacity in the Philippines and Japan. According to Fitch’s forecasts on Japanese PV, distributed solar may be able to expand by around 4 GW per year between 2024 and 2028. Such growth would be triggered by rising power prices and the need for commercial and industrial electricity consumers to reduce grid consumption. Self consumption would be preferred to the option of selling surplus power to the grid, and would add to the appeal of distributed generation.

Competitive bidding for Power Supply Agreements starts philstar.com 22nd May 2019
Power distribution utilities (DUs) should start undertaking competitive bidding for the power supply agreements (PSAs) affected by the Supreme Court decision, the Department of Energy said. The agency will call Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) and other affected stakeholders to a meeting to direct them to undergo CSP, DOE assistant secretary Redentor Delola said in an interview during the Future Energy Show Philippines 2019. He said the PSAs with power plants that have yet to build should immediately conduct competitive bidding once the new rules are out. The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) is currently finalizing the rules on CSP, including a format for PSAs for all power players to follow to secure supply in the grid and to protect consumers from sudden spikes in power rates.

PH seeks oil, gas investments Malay Business Insight 21st May 2019
The Department of Energy’s  (DOE)  Philippine Conventional Energy Contracting Program (PCECP) will hold its international road show at the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) annual convention and exhibition this week in a bid to attract more prospective investors in the country’s oil and gas exploration opportunities. PCECP is the DOE’s revised and transparent petroleum service contract awarding mechanism that allows the government to develop and utilize indigenous petroleum resources under a service contract with qualified local and international exploration companies. Awarding of service contracts are conducted either through the competitive selection process or via nomination of the investors themselves. Government is optimistic the country will attract investments in its oil and gas reserves especially after the resolution of the tax dispute with the Malampaya consortium.

Luzon power supply tight until August — NGCP | Philstar.com philstar.com 17th May 2019
Residents of Luzon will continue to experience tight power supply in the next three months. At a briefing on Wednesday, Fidel Dagsaan, National Grid Corp. of the Philippines division head for power network planning, said the Luzon grid is expected to normalize in September yet when hydropower plants resume operations after the rainy season. Dangsaan said yellow and red alerts could still be raised in the Luzon grid until September. A yellow alert means there are not enough reserves to cover the largest running generating unit at the time, but does not necessarily lead to power outages.  Several power plants are operating on derated capacity while hydropower plants are operating at limited capacity due to low water level.

DOE awaits ERC list of power supply deals requiring CSP BusinessMirror 29th May 2019
ENERGY regulators are keen on fulfilling their mandate to institutionalize the Competitive Selection Process (CSP) for power supply contracts—as a recent Supreme Court ruling reminded them—and are holding meetings on the matter, a Department of Energy (DOE) official said. Energy Assistant Secretary Redentor Delola said the DOE is waiting for the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to send a list of power supply contracts that need to undergo the CSP as ordered by the high court.

DoE may issue circular to enforce SC ruling on competitive selection | BusinessWorld Business World 22nd May 2019
THE Department of Energy (DoE) is meeting with Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) and other stakeholders that are expected to be affected by the Supreme Court (SC) decision requiring all power supply agreements (PSAs) forged after June 30, 2015 to undergo a competitive selection process (CSP). “Magkakaroon kami ng meeting (We will meet) with Meralco, with all the stakeholders this week,” Energy Assistant Secretary Redentor E. Delola told reporters during the two-day Future Energy Show at the Mall of Asia’s SMX Convention Center in Pasay City. Asked what the DoE will tell Meralco and the others, he said: “I-CSP na nila (They should do a CSP),” he said, referring to the scheme that requires a distribution utility and a power generation company to first subject the cost per kilowatt-hour of their PSA to price challengers.

DoE circular on smart grids due by 3rd quarter | BusinessWorld Business World 20th May 2019
THE DEPARTMENT of Energy (DoE) is scheduled to issue in the third quarter a circular covering the operation of smart grids in the Philippines as distribution utilities embark on projects to upgrade power systems in line with advances in the technology. “Many have already adopted and implemented some level of smart grid initiatives in their operations, and the DoE is spearheading the formulation of a policy framework and roadmap for the smart grid implementation,” said Energy Assistant Secretary Redentor E. Delola during the The Future Energy Show at the Mall of Asia’s SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.

Untapped P6-B Epira fund must go to rural devt, and quickly–Gatchalian BusinessMirror 13th May 2019
CITING the P6-billion unused income from the implementation of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (Epira) due to red tape, Sen.Sherwin Gatchalian moved over the weekend to tap the idle funds for rural electrification, development and livelihood, rehabilitation of watersheds, as well as environmental enhancement projects.

Singapore

PUB to deploy Singapore's first large-scale floating solar panel system by 2021 CNA 6th Jun 2019
National water agency PUB said in a press release on Thursday (Jun 6) that it intends to deploy a 50 megawatt-peak (MWp) floating solar photovoltaic (PV) system on Tengeh Reservoir by 2021. According to PUB, the floating Tengeh system will eliminate the need to emit 28,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year that it is in operation - the equivalent to removing 6,000 cars off Singapore's roads. When installed, it will be Singapore’s first single large-scale floating solar PV system, and one of the largest of its kind in the world. PUB first tested the systems at Tengeh Reservoir in 2016.

Singapore’s road to electric mobility: What’s the hold-up? Eco-Business 28th May 2019
At the end of last year, there were only 466 pure electric vehicles out of a total of almost 615,000, up from just 12 EVs in 2016.  “Singapore is the best city in the world to demonstrate full electrification.” There are three key hurdles Singapore still needs to clear, say experts. 1. There simply aren’t enough chargers Firstly, a lack of publicly accessible chargers. 2. Setting standards Singapore is also treading carefully into EV territory because of uncertainty around standards. 3. Ever-evolving global macrotrends Whether the nation’s electricity grid can cope when thousands of drivers charge their cars at the same time each evening. 

Getting Smart about Energy Grid 2.0 Asian Scientist Magazine | Science, technology and medical news updates from Asia 28th May 2019
Helping to take ideas and inventions out the laboratories and into the market are two new consortia: the Smart Grid and Power Electronics Consortium Singapore (SPECS) and the Cooling Energy Science and Technology Singapore (CoolestSG), officially launched at the Energy Grid 2.0 Forum. SPECS Professor Subodh Mhaisalkar highlighted four ‘D’s—decarbonization, decentralization, digitalization and democratization—as global challenges in the sustainable energy space.

Lights out for five Singapore power retailers amid fierce competition The Business Times 24th May 2019
FIVE players have called it a day in Singapore's retail electricity market for big businesses amid fierce competition triggered by a phased liberalisation of the sector - a process completed only this month, with all residential households in the fold as well. BT understands that the dropouts are Red Dot Power, Energy Supply Solutions, SmartCity Energy, Charis Electric and Sun City. Under Singapore's liberalised energy market, larger businesses that consume 2,000 kilowatt hour (kWh) a month and more can buy power from any one of 22 retailers - or stay with the incumbent and former monopoly SP Services, the market share of which has fallen steadily in the increasingly crowded field of rivals.

10 years in, industry takes the lead in advancing green buildings in Singapore Eco-Business 23rd May 2019
From this July, professionals who want to be certified in the design and development of green buildings will obtain their qualification from the Singapore Green Building Council (SGBC) rather than from the Building and Construction Authority (BCA). The reason for this change is to motivate professionals to “stay relevant” and up-to-date with changes in technology and design methods, said Lee Ang Seng, managing director of Beca Carter Hollings & Ferner Southeast Asia, who serves on the SGBC board. It also ensures that building industry professionals will continue to push the envelope in retrofitting and developing green buildings that are energy efficient and that have the smallest carbon footprint possible, said SGBC’s Soh.

Singapore turns on another large-scale solar roof installation Singapore Business Review 23rd May 2019
Over 7,000 PV panels will generate 3.5GW hours of energy enough to power 1,000 three-bedroom HDB flats for a year. Personal care firm Kimberly-Clark Corporation has installed rooftop panels for its Tuas manufacturing facility in one of Singapore’s largest solar energy installations to date, an announcement revealed. A total of 7,730 photovoltaic panels mounted on its roof will generate 3.5GW hours of clean energy, which will be enough to power up 1,000 three-bedroom Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats for a year.

The future of sustainable energy in Singapore The Business Times 21st May 2019
As part of Singapore’s Smart Nation journey, the city-state has started to implement clean energy initiatives such as the SolarNova programme and is embarking on intensive research and development to increase the contribution of renewable energy to its energy mix.     Dedicated to making sustainable energy more accessible, Geneco offers businesses the option to purchase solar energy generated from solar photovoltaic systems which the company will build, own and operate.  It can additionally help businesses achieve their environmental sustainability goals by facilitating the purchase and retirement of market-based instruments, such as carbon credits and renewable energy certificates. Beyond generating and selling electricity, Geneco's status as an integrated energy expert allows it to share its knowledge to help businesses transit to a low-carbon business model.    Alongside its commitment to make sustainable energy more accessible to people and communities, Geneco’s active involvement in pushing forward related initiatives and discussions has continued to grow the company’s position in the sustainable energy sector, with good success. 

Thailand

Malaysia's Petronas set to supply Thailand's EGAT its first LNG imports The Business Times 6th Jun 2019
Malaysia's state oil and gas company Petronas has been selected to supply Thailand's state-run Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand its first liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports, a company spokesman told Reuters on Thursday. Petronas has been selected out of 12 short-listed companies that also included Qatargas, Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron Corp, Total SA and Japan's Marubeni Corp . Petronas and EGAT are still negotiating the terms of the contract, and EGAT is negotiating how much it will pay Thailand's PTT, an EGAT spokesman said.

Thailand launches net metering scheme for residential PV pv magazine International 24th May 2019
The Thai government is attempting to fire rooftop installations – but the net metering payment is not generous. Thailand’s metropolitan and provincial electricity authorities have launched anet metering scheme for residential PV installations with a generation capacity of up to 10 kW. Applications will have to be submitted to the country’s Office of the Energy Regulatory Commission, which will also be the buyer of surplus power produced by rooftop systems.

Panel puts Egat's LNG import plan on hold Bangkok Post 21st May 2019
The Energy Policy Administration Committee (Epac) has sent back a plan from the state-run Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) to import 1.5 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) for the country's power generation. On May 10, Egat announced that it had selected a winning bidder to be the LNG importer and supplier for Egat's power plants and aimed to propose its conclusions to Epac. Malaysia's Petronas LNG Ltd was selected as the winning bidder, competing against 11 other companies. PTT Plc and Egat are the only two agencies that are eligible to import LNG. They were granted licences from the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC). Egat's 1.5-million-tonne LNG contract is the first tranche, while PTT has signed purchase contracts totalling 5.2 million tonnes a year. Epac also authorised Eppo to conduct public hearings nationwide in order to draft a gas plan for 2018-37 because natural gas in the Gulf of Thailand accounts for 60-62% of the country's power generation in 2019 but is expected to decline. Meanwhile, gas demand for power generation stands at 5,000 million standard cubic feet per day, but it's seen rising to 5,500 MMSCFD in 2037. "The country needs to import LNG at 23 million tonnes a year by 2037," Mr Siri said.

Solar power drawing private-sector interest after new PDP Bangkok Post 27th May 2019
Thailand's solar power market is heating up as many listed companies plan massive investments in the sector. Distribution channels for solar panels are also expanding to serve local demand for both on-grid and off-grid power generation. For on-grid power capacity, the national power development plan (PDP) for 2018-37 has a revised target for its solar power portfolio over the next 20 years. The target is divided between the household rooftop scheme at 10,000 megawatts and a further 2,725MW for floating solar farms at nine dams operated by the state-run Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat).

Energy Ministry girds for disrupted oil supply Bangkok Post 23rd May 2019
The Energy Ministry has ordered relevant oil and gas regulators to monitor the political conflict in the Middle East to prepare for an interruption of petroleum supplies in a worst-case scenario. Energy Minister Siri Jirapongphan said all state agencies have to prepare measures for an interruption of oil and gas supplies. Six oil refineries in Thailand have to report their supply and selling volume as well as the quantity of crude oil and refined oil to the ministry every day, instead of every month.

Draft windfall tax on EEC agenda Bangkok Post 18th May 2019
The Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) Office plans to talk with the Finance Ministry soon about a draft bill on taxing windfall gains to collect capital gains tax from companies, property owners and speculators that are expected to gain from inflated prices for plots as new infrastructure is developed in the three EEC provinces. Five megaprojects are planned for the corridor, consisting of a high-speed railway linking three airports (225 billion baht); U-tapao aviation city (290 billion); a maintenance, repair and overhaul centre (10.6 billion); the third phase of Laem Chabang seaport (114 billion); and the third phase of Map Ta Phut seaport (55.4 billion).

Tax structure changed to 6 fuel types for 'flexibility' Bangkok Post 16th May 2019
The Excise Department has tweaked the biodiesel excise tax structure by expanding the fuel brackets to six from two to provide flexibility for manufacturers, in line with efforts to thin the nation's palm oil supply. According to the new structure, biodiesel containing fatty acid methyl esters of up to 4% are taxed at 6.44 baht per litre, 4-7% at 5.99 baht a litre, 7-9% at 5.93 baht per litre, 9-14% at 5.8 baht a litre, 14-19% at 5.48 baht per litre and 19-24% at 5.153 per litre, said Sodsri Ponguthai, deputy director-general. The previous tax structure covered B7, a biodiesel with 7% methyl ester from crude palm oil blended with diesel, and B20.

Industrial estate eyes on-site power Bangkok Post 14th May 2019
Two state-run agencies -- the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) and the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT) -- are teaming up with Pinthong Industrial Park to develop on-site power generation at industrial estates in Chon Buri province. The system includes power generation from solar rooftops and energy storage, as well as a blockchain system to promote a smart grid.

Smart grid policy advised for renewable energy progress Bangkok Post 13th May 2019
Regulatory support for a smart grid should be the next government's top priority for renewable energy policy, as finding funding sources for environmentally friendly projects is becoming easier in Thailand, says B.Grimm Power's president. "I do not believe financing is our problem, as everyone wants to invest in renewables now," Preeyanart Soontornwata, president of the SET-listed private power producer and a subsidiary of Thailand's oldest industrial conglomerate, B.Grimm Group, told Bangkok Post. The president was invited by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to discuss "Renewable Energy Investing in Asia and the Pacific" at lender's 52nd annual meeting in Fiji last week. In December 2018, the ADB invested 5 billion baht in B.Grimm Power's maiden five- and seven-year green bonds, the first certified climate bonds to be issued in Thailand.

Vietnam

New electricity tariffs more renewable: EVN vietnamnews.vn 31st May 2019
According to the EVN, a key purpose of cutting down from seven scales down to six scales is to encourage people to save electricity and use it more efficiently. The Government has set a target that from 2019-2025, we should reduce our total consumption of electricity from 5-7 per cent and from 8-10 per cent from 2019-2030. All in all, the EVN has encouraged all Vietnamese to use electricity more efficiently and be more thrifty. Then from 2021 onward, we’ll start to establish a competitive market in the retail electricity market so that consumers will have their own choice of which electricity company to buy power from.

In Vietnam's booming energy sector coal reigns, but renewables play... Reuters 31st May 2019
Vietnam has become a hot spot for energy investors eyeing a spend of up to $150 billion over the coming decade to meet surging power demand. Once largely reliant on hydropower, the production hub for global companies such as Samsung Electronics has turned to cheap but polluting coal to boost electricity generation. Vietnam’s coal use in the five years to 2017 grew 75 percent, faster than any other country in the world. The country’s current Power Development Plan (PDP 7) puts coal front and center to meet new demand. Facing a rapid rise in pollution, the Ministry of Industry and Trade has started to offer incentives for renewables, which so far only play a marginal role in Vietnam’s energy sector.

Vietnam set to import more electricity from China, Laos Xinhua 29th May 2019
Vietnam plans to import more electricity from China and Laos in the coming years as its power supply is running out, Vietnam News Agency reported on Wednesday. Annual electricity imports from China and Laos are expected to increase to 3,000 megawatt (MW) by 2025 and 5,000 MW by 2030. Now, many power projects in Vietnam are lagging behind schedule. Almost all big and medium-sized hydropower sources have been used, and there remain only a few small ones for exploitation.

25 years on, 500kV power line remains a technological feat vietnamnews.vn 23rd May 2019
May 27 this year will mark 25 years since Việt Nam’s first 500kV power transmission line was switched on, connecting the north and south of the country with an uninterrupted electricity supply. Dubbed the ‘backbone’ of the national power grid, the power line is one of Việt Nam’s most significant technological feats, given how construction workers and technicians raced against time and finished nearly 1,500km of cables through 14 provinces and cities in a mere two years. In the early 1990s, the southern region suffered from a serious electricity deficiency.

Industrial gas market in Vietnam growing stably gasworld 22nd May 2019
According to The Gas Review, the gas market in Vietnam has been growing stably for the past few years. In November (2018), the Vietnamese government set a GDP growth rate of 6.6% to 6.8% as its 2019 economic target. The government announced GDP growth rate for January through September 2018 at 7% against the same period a year ago. Although there are concerns with rising wages and increasing inflation, the economy should continue favourably for the time being. In spite of that, Vietnam still has a lot of appeal for gases and equipment due to the steady market expansion produced by stable economic growth. For carbon dioxide, the source is fertiliser manufacturers. Off-gas is collected, but a lot of fertiliser is imported and when fertiliser market prices soften, production is halted. The petrochemical business is not yet set up very well in Vietnam, so there is very little by-product carbon dioxide gas available. Sources of hydrogen are also scare.

Most SOEs operating at a profit: audit vietnamnews.vn 22nd May 2019
Most State-owned enterprises were operating at a profit but still needed to improve their operational efficiency, according to a report by the State Audit Office of Việt Nam (SAV). Loose management of debts resulted in rising overdue receivables, for example VNĐ510 billion ($21.7 million) at MobiFone Corporation, VNĐ547 billion at Việt Nam Electricity and VNĐ1.9 trillion at Sông Đà Corporation, according to the report. At the Việt Nam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam), bad debts amounted to VNĐ11.36 trillion. PetroVietnam’s overseas investments were also found to have been inefficient and risky, according to the report. The SAV said that 24 oil and gas exploration had been successful and cost $773 million. The value of investment transferred abroad by PetroVietnam even exceeded the limits on the investment certificates for some projects.

PetroVietnam subsidiaries told not to close OceanBank deposits - VnExpress International VnExpress International – Latest news, business, travel and analysis from Vietnam 22nd May 2019
According to a report submitted to the National Assembly by State Auditor General Ho Duc Phoc, many firms belonging to the state-owned oil and gas group PetroVietnam (PVN) are having trouble cash flow because they have deposited money with OceanBank. A PVN executive who did not want to be named said the SBV has requested enterprises to temporarily stop withdrawing their deposits from the ailing bank, but the central bank has also issued guarantees for the deposits. According to the auditor’s report, parent company PVN has over VND5.02 trillion ($214.75 million), $86 million and EUR 2,171 ($2,423) stuck at OceanBank.

88 solar power plants to start commercial operation In June vietnamnews.vn 22nd May 2019
Electricity of Việt Nam (EVN) has been speeding up completion of 61 solar power projects so that by the end of next month as many as 88 solar power plants will connect to the national grid and begin commercial operation. As of April 23, only four solar power plants in Việt Nam had started commercial operation, but the number rose to 27 by May 17. The additional 61 solar power plants in June are expected to generate a total capacity of 2,000MW.

Power consumption surges as summer heats up - VnExpress International VnExpress International – Latest news, business, travel and analysis from Vietnam 20th May 2019
Last Saturday, power production topped 36,000 MW for the first time, according to the National Load Dispatch Center (NLDC) under Vietnam Electricity (EVN), the national power utility. Consumption on the same day reached the record-high 756.9 million kWh. Vu Xuan Khu, deputy director of the NLDC said consumption could go up to 800 million kWh a day during May and June as the summer gets hotter. But electricity production is facing challenges as reservoirs in the central and southern regions are low on water. With the current water volumes in these reservoirs, the hydropower plants can produce 2 billion kWh , equal to national consumption for three days, Khu said. EVN is also having difficulties in utilizing other sources like gas and coal.

Vietnam poised for renewable boom - report Smart Energy International 13th May 2019
Wind and solar power are poised for a significant rise in Vietnam and will hit 19.9 GW by 2030, according to a new report. The study from analytics firm GlobalData predicts a a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.4 per cent for currently untapped non-hydropower renewables in the country, which it attributes to a change in government policies. The report highlights that, with Vietnam’s coal reserves depleting, the government is looking to expand the energy mix away from fossil fuels.

Oil stocks lift domestic market vietnamnews.vn 18th May 2019
Vietnamese shares rallied for the fifth straight session on Friday, propped up by strong gains by oil and gas stocks. The benchmark VN-Index on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange inched up 0.08 per cent to end at 976.48 points. More than 135 million shares were traded on the southern bourse, worth VNĐ3.1 trillion (US$136 million).

Petrol prices drop for the first time since March vietnamnews.vn 17th May 2019
Petrol retail prices were reduced at 3pm on Friday, the ministries of industry and trade and finance jointly announced. The prices of RON 95-III fell by VNĐ592 per litre to VNĐ21,599 (US$0.92) and E5 RON 92 by VNĐ200 to VNĐ20,488. Diesel is VNĐ81 cheaper at VNĐ17,614 and kerosene, VNĐ203 lower at VNĐ16,422. The ministries also decided to reduce the use of subsidies from the petrol price stabilisation fund as the balance at petrol firms was negative.