Energy Update: July 11, 2019

Energy Update | July 11, 2019
Authors: Riley Smith and Elizabeth Rickert
 
LOOKING AHEAD
 
 

July 16: First Planning Call for the 2019 Malaysia Business Mission

July 24: Roundtable with Incoming Senior Commercial Officer of the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta (Washington, DC)

July 31: 2019 Philippines Business Mission Planning Call #1

August 13-16: Thailand Business Mission

September 3-4: Powertrends 2019 (Manila)

September 3-5: 2019 Business Mission to the 37th ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM) (Bangkok)

September 22-25: AESIEAP CEO Conference 2019 (Mactan, Cebu)

 
THE COUNCIL'S TAKE
 
 

U.S. Government pitches Asia EDGE initiative in Vietnam and Thailand 

During recent trips to Hanoi, Vietnam, and Bangkok, Thailand, last month, Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources, Francis R. Fannon, pitched the U.S. Government’s Asia EDGE (Enhancing Development and Growth through Energy) initiative, stressing that one of the main objectives of his visit was to catalyze U.S. investment in both countries’ energy sectors. Asia EDGE is the energy-focused pillar of the U.S. Government's Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP) strategy and has been described by the U.S. Government as a whole-of-government effort to grow sustainable and secure energy markets throughout the Indo-Pacific. In Vietnam, Fannon met with the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and PetroVietnam, and in Thailand he met with the Ministry of Energy, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, PTT, and the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT).

In describing the initiative to the Thai and Vietnamese governments, Fannon explained how its four main goals – supporting energy security across the globe; promoting open, transparent energy markets; promoting fair energy-trading ties; and promoting energy access for all – would help increase economic growth in ASEAN. Fannon went on to describe how these four goals would be applied in the region, stating that, “There will be absolutely no coercive elements to the initiative. We operate with the mindset of self-determination and offer a flexible framework for countries pursuing their specific energy policies with full transparency.” Fannon explained that Asia EDGE was introduced in part because the energy sector is playing an increasingly important role in U.S. foreign policy, as the United States aims to use its energy abundance to enhance the energy security of its allies and partners.

Still, nearly one year after its announcement, questions remain over the funding behind Asia EDGE and how this funding will be allocated, despite several announcements meant to address both issues. When initially announced by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last July, out of the US$113 million that would be put towards the whole FOIP around US$50 million would support Asia EDGE and infrastructure development. During the Japan-United States Strategic Energy Partnership (JUSEP) in Washington, DC, this past February, the Government of Japan pledged to align US$10 billion in public and private investment and capacity building training with Asia EDGE, though most of this amount had already been allocated prior to the announcement. During his visit to Vietnam and Thailand, Fannon noted that USAID and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a partnership agreement at the Asia Clean Energy Forum in Manila, Philippines. As part of the agreement, USAID and ADB aim to mobilize US$7 billion-worth of investment to support energy projects in Asia, boost the generation capacity of deployed energy systems in the region by 6 GW, and increase regional energy trade by 10 percent over the next five years. USAID has reportedly kicked in US$100 million to get the agreement off the ground. 

Philippines, China reportedly make progress on joint oil and gas exploration framework


In a July 7 social media post, the Philippines’ Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said that negotiations on proposed joint oil and gas exploration with China in the West Philippine Sea were going well and that he had accepted China’s Terms of Reference (TOR) as superior to the Philippines’. The West Philippine Sea is the area of the South China Sea that falls within the Philippines’ Exclusive Economic Zone. In response to Locsin’s post, Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said that the Philippine Government was determined to ensure the public’s interest in any joint exploration agreement signed with China. Panelo went on to say that he was not in a position to know if the Philippines had softened on earlier demands for a 60-40 sharing arrangement with China on any joint development agreement, even though President Duterte had speculated earlier that China likely would no longer accept such a split. Even though Locsin indicated that the Philippine Government had accepted China’s TORs, both governments have agreed not to make the terms of the agreement public at this time.

In November of last year, the Philippine and Chinese governments signed a Memorandum of Understanding agreeing to jointly explore and develop oil and gas resources in the West Philippine Sea (for more information on the signing of this MOU, please refer to the Council’s December 3, 2018 Energy Update here). Maritime experts, legal scholars and fishermen were among those most concerned by the joint exploration MOU, with Senior Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Antonio Carpio, who was at the time Acting Supreme Court Chief Justice, saying that using the words “joint exploration and exploitation” in an agreement would constitute a violation of the Philippine Constitution. However, Duterte’s signing of Executive 80 in May addressed this issue by allowing the state-owned Philippine National Oil Company-Exploration Company (PNOC-EC) to farm out service contracts to third parties. According to the MOU, the Philippines and China have until this coming November to negotiate the details of an agreement for joint oil and gas development in the West Philippine Sea.


Outside the Philippines there is concern that the agreement potentially could also be seen as setting a regional precedent with regard to China’s territorial claims over the South China Sea. In response to news of the MOU last November, the Vietnam Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that Philippines-China joint oil activities must follow international law, which states that joint oil exploration can only be conducted in waters over which the two countries exercise sovereignty and sovereign rights. However, the situation in the South China Sea is complicated by overlapping claims between various ASEAN Member States and China, even though a July 2016 ruling by Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague dismissed China’s 9-dash line, which Beijing has used to justify its expansive territorial claims over the South China Sea, including portions of the West Philippine Sea.

Malaysia moves closer to opening up natural gas market

According to Adif Zulkifli, Executive Vice-President and CEO for Gas and New Energy at Petronas, the upcoming tariff revision for natural gas later this month could bring the price of natural gas in Malaysia in line with the global market price. Zulkifli made his comments while speaking at the Malaysian Gas Symposium 2019, which is organized by the Malaysian Gas Association (MGA). Bringing the local price of natural gas in line with the global market price would be the latest step by the Government to liberalize the natural gas market, part of a subsidy elimination process that has been underway for several years. The process entails reducing the subsidy RM1.50 (US$0.36) per million British thermal units every six months. In combination with the implementation of the third party access system, the effective elimination of the subsidy would open Malaysia’s natural gas market, spurring greater competition and demand. Within the first four months of 2019, Malaysia’s oil and gas industry brought in RM46.8 billion (US$11.3 billion), making the industry the second-highest earner in terms of export for the country during that period.

Around 20 companies commence exploration drilling in Myanmar

Companies that won tenders in 2014 and 2015 will begin exploration drilling either this year or next, according to the production sharing contracts (PSCs) the companies signed with the Ministry of Electricity and Energy’s (MOEE) Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise. Approximately 20 oil and gas companies have already started drilling and carrying out other geological activities in Myanmar this year alone. These companies include Thailand’s PTTEP, Australia’s Woodside Energy, South Korea’s Daewoo, and Italy’s ENI. Overall, 32 oil and gas companies from 20 different countries are conducting exploration and production activities in 63 blocks in Myanmar.

Under the PSCs the companies can choose not to continue with drilling activities if there are not sufficient reserves to make the project commercially viable, according to Assistant Secretary of MOEE U Min Min Oo. However, U Min Min Oo also said that if the companies decide not to move into the production phase or renege on any other terms, then MOEE can seize a proportion of the investments that have already been made and deposited in the bank. He clarified that if a company can present valid reason to cease drilling activity, the MOEE will accept it, even if the PSCs commit the company to drilling after exploration activities. Delays will also be allowed if environmental conservation work or compensation-related activities for locals that live around the drilling site take longer than anticipated.

 
ADVOCACY UPDATE
 
 

4th Energy Roundtable Focuses on Developing Shared Principles for Energy Infrastructure Development in Asia

On June 28, the US-ASEAN Business Council held the fourth roundtable in its Energy Roundtabl series. During the roundtable, Ms. Sarah Ladislaw, Senior Vice President & Director and Senior Fellow of the Energy and National Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) (bio available here), and other experts from CSIS discussed developing shared principles for energy infrastructure development in Asia. The roundtable focused on a research project on which CSIS is embarking that would examine energy infrastructure development projects in Asia and identify recommended best practices to encourage transparent, sustainable, and high-quality/best-value energy infrastructure financing for projects across the whole energy value chain in the region.

The impetus for the project is increasing demand for energy infrastructure in the region, which could potentially transform the global order as developing nations become arenas for economic and strategic competition. China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is at the forefront of the global infrastructure build-out; however, BRI has also sparked a debate about infrastructure needs, gaps in project financing, and the principles that should govern infrastructure development in the twenty-first century, prompting the United States and other like-minded countries to emphasize high-quality/best-value infrastructure and coordinate efforts aimed at presenting alternatives to the BRI development model. The purpose of the roundtable was to discuss the project and how the U.S. private sector could lend its expertise to developing energy infrastructure development standards that are more transparent and sustainable, and that provide high-quality and best-value infrastructure and financing. The Energy Roundtable Series is an initiative by the Energy Committee at the Council to keep member companies well-informed of prevailing and shifting trends in Southeast Asia's vital energy sector. If you are interested in hosting future roundtables, please contact Riley Smith at rsmith@usasean.org.

 
IN THIS UPDATE
 
 
ASEAN
Future tense: Fastest-growing market Asia rethinks coal's prospects
SE Asia solar energy space seen up for faster growth
From smokestacks to solar panels: Asia starts embracing renewables
Cost of developing renewables in Southeast Asia put through new mapping tool
American investors eye energy sector under Asia Edge initiative
ADB not yet ready to quit coal
US govt, ADB sign agreement mobilizing US$7 billion investment for energy projects in Asia
11 Million People Now Have Jobs In Renewable Energy

Brunei
SEB expected to export electricity to Brunei, Sabah by end of 2022

Cambodia
Cambodia buys power generator from Finland
Solar energy to be prioritised to ease power cuts
Parliament approves power projects
Oil refinery construction pushed to 2021

Indonesia
Indonesian utility PLN to resume adjustable electricity tariffs in 2020
Indonesia's regulatory changes set to bring more uncertainty to coal sector
Indonesia’s energy sector booming with revenue reaching US$ 13.8 billion
Asia's coal developers feeling left out by cold shoulder from banks
Indonesia's Bukit Asam aims coal gasification from new plants by 2024
Indonesia to charge higher coal mining royalties under revised rules
Indonesia should seek more economic cooperation with Gulf States
Indonesia targets US$5 billion oil and gas investment from UAE
Pertamina domestic crude intake jumps 800 percent
Only 10 percent of 35-GW power projects in operation, PLN data show
Govt, House agree to lower diesel subsidy rate, larger volume of subsidized gas
Great Potential of Geothermal Energy as Renewable Energy
Private sector to challenge EU biofuel ban

Laos
Lao Government Begins Plan to Inspect 55 Dams One Year After PNPC Disaster
Lao PM pledges to focus on sustainable hydropower development
Lao, South Korean business communities promote renewables investment
Govt speeds up power grid investments for electricity distribution in Laos
Laos gov’t set to reduce economic overreliance on natural resources
Solar power helps farmers in Attapeu save on electricity payments

Malaysia
O&G decommissioning works in big demand
Malaysia Unhappy About Europe’s New Palm Oil Rules
Malaysia closer to opening up natural gas market
Rajiv: No question of political will, govt on track with renewable energy targets
White paper on Malaysia’s energy future aimed at achieving Paris Agreement pledge
Mahathir Bin Mohamad Plots A Path To A Sustainable Future For Malaysia
Malaysia's Petronas Chemicals budgets $6 bn for deals in specialty portfolio
Malaysia: ASEAN’s biggest solar employer
PM calls for Asian O&G industry leaders to form partnerships for new energy solutions
Yeo Bee Yin: Malaysia has no immediate plan to impose carbon pricing
Azmin: Malaysia supports deal to reduce oil production until March 31, 2020 | Malay Mail
Malaysia strengthens its position as a key gas player in the region

Myanmar
Yangon Region losing electricity units worth over K1.6bn yearly
How solar micro-grids are powering Myanmar’s villages
Power purchase tenders called for summer 2020
First commercial solar power plant launched in Myanmar
Myanmar hikes electricity rates to fund grid investments
Electricity demand tops projections, dams unable to keep up: ministry
To Electrify Myanmar, Build The Grid From The Outside In
World Bank Puts Myanmar’s Power Investment Needs at $2B a Year
Taking politics out of power
LNG projects: delayed, not dead
Kyaukphyu power deal expected ‘within weeks’: Supreme Group

Philippines
DFA chief accepts Beijing’s terms as ‘superior’
Southeast Asia’s Nuclear Energy Future in the Spotlight With Philippines Debate Revival
Philippines, China working to meet oil exploration deadline
Gov't on 'right track' in crafting renewable energy portfolio
PCC approves New Clark City power distribution deal
DOE plans auction of renewable power
DOE mulls extension of FIT allocation for hydro
More investors keen on PH oil, gas exploration
Business groups ask Duterte to review franchise of solar power firm owned by Legarda’s son
Senate committee on energy to review EPIRA
PH, 7 other countries form ‘Asian platform’ on energy efficiency collaboration
Meralco to add RE projects in portfolio
Are waste-to-energy plants bad investments in the Philippines?
Power underwhelming:Why are there power outages?

Singapore
Singapore plans huge 50MW floating solar project
Electricity tariffs to rise 6.4% in third quarter to hit highest rate in nearly 5 years; gas tariffs to increase by 1.6%
Sunseap gets loan for 37 MWp of rooftop solar in Singapore
Pre-assembled concept proposed for 10 GW Northern Territory PV project
Singapore's Pavilion Energy to acquire LNG assets of Spain's Iberdrola
Singapore’s Sunseap Receives $43 Million Green Loan to Install 210 Rooftop Solar Systems
Sunseap gets S$43m green loan to put solar power systems on rooftops in Singapore

Thailand
Thai Ministry increases Renewable Energy ratio
Thai Oil Giant Boosts Renewables Funding Over 'Uncertain' Crude Outlook
BGRIM’s Vietnam solar projects come on line adding 31% to operating capacity
Thailand sets target to become ASEAN’s electricity hub
US Will Support The Rise Of Energy Sector In Asia
Thailand's PTT CEO: no rush to lock in new LNG purchase contracts
'Tesla of Thailand' powers vision of electric paradise
Solar rooftop revisions soon
PTT targets renewables amid 'uncertain' oil view
Thailand ready for 37th SOM on Energy

Vietnam
Sunseap completes Vietnam solar farm amid steady pipeline of Asia projects
Growth demand fuels solar power boom in Vietnam
Vietnam targets international cooperation for renewable energy development
Việt Nam has huge potential to develop renewable energy
Samsung C&T to build Vietnam’s first LNG terminal - News - GCR
Pacifico Energy Commences Operation of a 40 MWp Mui Ne Solar Power Plant in Vietnam
US sees great potential in Vietnam’s energy industry: A/S Fannon
US Delegation Discusses Possible LNG Cooperation During Meeting In Vietnam - State Dept.
Norwegian energy developer pursues ambitious Vietnam plan
Petrolimex and JXTG sign MoU on LNG research
Hòa Hội solar power plant opens in Phú Yên
Vietcombank and JBIC sign US$200 million contract for renewable energy development
Vietnam seeks foreign capital for renewable energy projects
 
ARTICLE CLIPS
 
 
ASEAN

Future tense: Fastest-growing market Asia rethinks coal's prospects Reuters 8th Jul 2019
After riding China’s demand train for nearly two decades, Asia’s coal industry is looking to a future of smaller markets and slimmer pickings, as buying declines in the world’s second-biggest economy and climate change concerns blunt demand. By far the biggest user of coal-fired power, China is buying less thermal coal from global markets, said delegates to Asia’s premier coal conference last month in Bali, both as renewables gain market share and as it digs up more of its own supply. As China takes less, economies like India, Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Philippines are also expected to pick up the slack, delegates said.

SE Asia solar energy space seen up for faster growth Inquirer.Net 3rd Jul 2019
Vietnam is now the fastest-growing solar photovoltaic (PV) market in Southeast Asia, overtaking the Philippines but thanks partly to investments made by the Ayala group’s AC Energy and its local partners, according to SolarPlaza. The Rotterdam-based consultancy said in a report that Southeast Asia was quickly becoming one of the most promising regions in the global expansion of the solar energy industry.

From smokestacks to solar panels: Asia starts embracing renewables strategy+business 25th Jun 2019
Environmental devastation, routine brownouts, and pollution from coal power plants so thick it coats buildings, cars, and lungs. These are the images many people associate with Asia’s energy infrastructure... Yet this grim picture does not tell the whole story, and it certainly doesn’t necessarily indicate what the future of energy consumption will be in this burgeoning region of the world.

Cost of developing renewables in Southeast Asia put through new mapping tool pv magazine International 24th Jun 2019
To realize the regional goal of generating 23% of energy from renewables within six years, quality data and analyses are needed to support investment decisions made by member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). One such piece of analysis has used a new mapping application to visualize the costs of developing solar and wind projects in the region.

American investors eye energy sector under Asia Edge initiative The Nation 22nd Jun 2019
“The US recognises the centrality of Asean within Asia and will support the rise of the energy sector in this region,” said Francis Fannon, assistant secretary for the US Bureau of Energy Resources. Fannon was speaking to the press after meeting Thai government officials to discuss how Asia Edge can help Thailand pursue its energy policies.  The energy sector, he said, plays a key role in US foreign policy because it is fundamental to regional security and economic development and can foster bilateral cooperation. 

ADB not yet ready to quit coal Eco-Business 19th Jun 2019
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has plans to stop funding coal-fired power plants—except in selected countries where the bank considers the alternatives to be limited. Unveiled in July last year, ADB’s updated climate strategy promises up to US$80 billion in climate adaptation and mitigation spending primarily to support renewable energy and energy efficiency projects, and highlights the bank’s shift of focus from poverty reduction to creating climate resilient and inclusive growth for the region. 

US govt, ADB sign agreement mobilizing US$7 billion investment for energy projects in Asia Manila Bulletin News 19th Jun 2019
The United States government and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Tuesday launched a US$7 billion worth of investment through an agreement that seeks to accelerate the transition to a sustainable, secure, and market-driven energy sector in Asia. At the Asia Clean Energy Forum held in Manila, US Agency for International Development (USAID) Asia Bureau Acting Assistant Administrator Gloria Steele and ADB Strategy, Policy, and Review Department Director-General Tomoyuki Kimura signed the partnership agreement to promote energy efficiency, energy sector reform, and good governance of Asia’s energy sector. Under the pact, USAID and ADB will mobilize the $7 billion for energy projects in Asia, boost the capacity of deployed energy systems by six gigawatts, and increase regional energy trade by 10 percent over the next five years. As it follows decades of development collaboration between the US government and ADB, the new partnership is part of Asia Enhancing Development and Growth through Energy (Asia EDGE), a key initiative contributing to the US government’s Indo-Pacific Strategy.

11 Million People Now Have Jobs In Renewable Energy Forbes 17th Jun 2019
Eleven million people around the world were employed by the renewable energy sector in 2018, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) reports in the sixth edition of their Renewable Energy and Jobs series. This represents an increase of 700,000 jobs from 2017, growing nearly 7% in just one year. The greatest growth came from countries like Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, spreading the renewable sector beyond the primary markets in China, Brazil, the U.S., India and the EU while maintaining Asia’s 60% stake in renewable employment globally. The trend should inspire confidence in renewables by other countries as technologies improve and costs go down. “The prospect of job creation bolsters the global Sustainable Development Agenda,” says IRENA Director-General, Francesco La Camera, “and should encourage all countries to make bold commitments to renewable energy. “Increasingly, countries envisage a domestic renewable energy industry taking the place of unsustainable fossil-based industries.” Renewable energy technologies provide employment along the entire supply chain, including manufacturing, trade and installation. Solar photovoltaic panels generate a third of employment in renewables, driving much of the growth, followed by liquid biofuels, hydropower and wind power. Off-grid renewables have also helped create jobs across formerly isolated communities in Africa and Asia. While jobs grew in India, Southeast Asia and Brazil, they declined in the U.S., Japan and the EU.

Brunei

SEB expected to export electricity to Brunei, Sabah by end of 2022 Borneo Post Online 26th Jun 2019
Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) is expected to export electricity to Brunei and Sabah under the Borneo Grid by the end of 2022. Its group chief executive officer Datu Sharbini Suhaili said the connection to Brunei could be realised earlier due to the proximity of Miri, Sarawak to the Sultanate.

Cambodia

Cambodia buys power generator from Finland The Phnom Penh Post 8th Jul 2019
Cambodia has officially signed an agreement to buy a power generator from Finland, according to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s official Facebook page. The Cambodian government approved the purchase of the 200MW power generator from Finland for $175 million, with it set to further bolster Phnom Penh’s power supply. Cambodia last month also agreed in principle to purchase a 200MW generator from Germany for $180 million.

Solar energy to be prioritised to ease power cuts Khmer Times 7th Jul 2019
Electricite du Cambodge (EDC), the national electric utility, is aiming for a considerable increase in the amount of renewable energy produced in the country within the next few years, a senior official said Friday. Cambodia mostly generates energy from coal-fired power plants and hydropower dams. Solar energy made up less than one percent of total energy output last year. The goal is to diversify energy production, now largely dominated by hydroelectricity, which accounted for about 48 percent of all power consumed last year. Through this diversification strategy, the government hopes to put an end to the power shortages that have affected the country, Mr Rattanak said.

Parliament approves power projects Khmer Times 1st Jul 2019
The National Assembly yesterday unanimously approved plans by SPHP (Cambodia) to invest in a new hydroelectric dam in Pursat province, as well as plans by Schnei Tech to build solar farms in Pursat and Kampong Chhnang province. 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.

Oil refinery construction pushed to 2021 Khmer Times 27th Jun 2019
Following delays, the construction of an oil refinery plant in Preah Sihanouk province has been officially pushed back and will continue in 2021, after the facility was originally expected to start operating this year.

Indonesia

Indonesian utility PLN to resume adjustable electricity tariffs in 2020 Reuters 8th Jul 2019
State electricity utility PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) will return to using adjustable electricity tariffs for non-subsidised customers in 2020 after two years of flat rates, an energy ministry official said on Tuesday. Starting next year, PLN can adjust their electricity prices every three months for customers, such as industrial users, based on the price of oil and the rupiah exchange rate.

Indonesia's regulatory changes set to bring more uncertainty to coal sector The Business Times 27th Jun 2019
Indonesian coal miners said upcoming regulatory changes are putting added pressure on their businesses amid depressed prices and rising competition from other energy sources.The Indonesian government is in the process of amending coal mining rules to enforce implementation of a 2009 mineral law that requires miners to convert their mining permits to a licensing system upon the expiration of their current contracts.

Indonesia’s energy sector booming with revenue reaching US$ 13.8 billion AsiaNews 25th Jun 2019
The latest data by the Indonesian Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) indicate that the total revenues from the oil and gas sectors reached 196 trillion rupiahs (US$ 13.8 billion), 157% of the amount forecast in the 2018 National Budget Plan of 125 trillion rupiahs (US$ 8.8 billion).

Asia's coal developers feeling left out by cold shoulder from banks Yahoo News 25th Jun 2019
Developers of coal mines and coal-fired power plants in Asia are facing difficulties growing their businesses as global financial institutions refuse to back their projects to avoid criticism over climate change, industry participants said on Tuesday. More than 100 major financial institutions have divested from thermal coal projects by February, along with more than 20 significant insurers, according to the Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis.

Indonesia's Bukit Asam aims coal gasification from new plants by 2024 ETEnergyworld.com 24th Jun 2019
Indonesian state coal miner PT Bukit Asam expects coal gasification from first of its four plants being built by the company near its mine in Tanjung Enim, South Sumatra by 2024, a company official said on Monday. The factories are being constructed in a consortium with state energy company Pertamina state fertilizer producer PT Pupuk Indonesia, and petrochemical company PT Chandra Asri Petrochemical. The commercial production for all these units will begin in 2024.

Indonesia to charge higher coal mining royalties under revised rules Reuters 20th Jun 2019
Indonesia’s Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry has proposed revising regulations governing mining rights to include higher royalty payments and earlier applications for permit extensions. Under the proposals, royalties on coal sales to central government would rise to 15% from 13.5%. The change in the royalty rate would be imposed when coal miners shift from so-called contracts of work to special mining permits which is required under the 2009 mining law.

Indonesia should seek more economic cooperation with Gulf States The Jakarta Post 18th Jun 2019
The Arab world has long-rooted ties in Indonesia, as historic indications reveal that the first traders initially reaching the archipelago in the fifth century. Since then the Arab world has provided maritime trade and financial services.

Indonesia targets US$5 billion oil and gas investment from UAE Antara News 6th Jul 2019
Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Ignasius Jonan is targeting investment worth US$5 billion from a cooperation between Indonesia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). UAE's Energy and Industry Minister Mohamed Faraj Al Mazrouei paid a visit to Jonan in his office in Jakarta. "In line with President (Joko Widodo's) directive, (to attract) investment from the UAE and Middle East, there is large investment not only from the oil and gas sector but also from other sectors..." Jonan noted in a statement, Saturday.

Pertamina domestic crude intake jumps 800 percent The Jakarta Post 2nd Jul 2019
Up to June, state energy holding company Pertamina has purchased 116.9 thousand barrels of oil per calendar day (MBCD) from local private contractors, an 800 percent jump from  2018’s full-year realization, which stood at 12.8 MBCD. The jump in the crude intake, which was then distributed to Pertamina's refineries, was supported by the government's policy that required Pertamina and other oil companies to prioritize domestic supply to help reduce oil imports.

Only 10 percent of 35-GW power projects in operation, PLN data show The Jakarta Post 2nd Jul 2019
More than three years after the government launched a program to add 35 gigawatts of power generation capacity to national supply, only 3.6 GW have been realized, data from state-owned electricity firm PLN show. The initial target was to wrap up the entire 35 GW program in 2019, the final year of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s first presidential term. That deadline has since been moved back to 2024 or 2025, because of slower than expected growth in electricity demand.

Govt, House agree to lower diesel subsidy rate, larger volume of subsidized gas The Jakarta Post 24th Jun 2019
The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry and House of Representatives Commission VII, which oversees energy, have agreed to cut the diesel fuel subsidy next year and channel the savings to provide more gas to the people. The subsidy for diesel fuel, sold under the Solar brand, is to be cut to Rp 1,500 (11 US cents) per liter next year in order to increase the volume of subsidized liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

Great Potential of Geothermal Energy as Renewable Energy Katadata 20th Jun 2019
The Center for Energy Conversion Technology at the Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT) reveals the potential of several Renewable Energy (EBT). One of them is geothermal which is qualified for renewable energy. The Head of the Great Energy Conversion Technology Center, BPPT, Mohammad Mustafa Sarinanto said Indonesia was among the top four countries with the largest geothermal potential in the world.

Private sector to challenge EU biofuel ban The Jakarta Post 15th Jun 2019
Palm oil producers support the government’s efforts to challenge the European Union’s latest decision to completely phase out the consumption of palm oil, which the EU has classed as a high-risk vegetable oil, by 2030. In addition to filing a separate legal suit, palm oil producers and separate parties would provide funds for the government to oppose the EU’s move.

Laos

Lao Government Begins Plan to Inspect 55 Dams One Year After PNPC Disaster ReliefWeb 3rd Jul 2019
The Lao government is embarking on an plan to inspect all 55 dams in the country nearly one year after the collapse of a saddle dam that caused a disaster described as Laos’ worst flooding in decades. The disaster occurred on July 23, 2018, when a saddle dam at the Xe Pian Xe Namnoy (PNPC) hydropower project collapsed following heavy rains, inundating 12 villages and killing at least 40 people in Champassak and Attapeu provinces, leaving many more missing. The government inspection is focusing on the structure, design and technical specification of the dams, while inspectors are also checking whether the dam developers are properly insured and have knowledgeable consultants on hand.

Lao PM pledges to focus on sustainable hydropower development Xinhua 25th Jun 2019
Laos will continue to promote environmentally friendly and sustainable hydropower projects with renewable wind and solar considered as additional alternatives for electricity production, Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith said.

Lao, South Korean business communities promote renewables investment Phnom Penh Post 25th Jun 2019
The business communities of Laos and the Republic of Korea (RoK) are keen to jointly promote the development of renewable energy in Laos. The first Lao-Korean event on “Business Promotion for Renewable Energy” was part of steps to strengthen cooperation between the Ministry of Energy and Mines of Laos and the RoK government, especially of North Chungcheong province.

Govt speeds up power grid investments for electricity distribution in Laos Asia News Network 20th Jun 2019
The Ministry of Energy and Mines has said that seven construction and installation projects related to the national power grid will be completed in the last three quarters of this year. A recent report from the ministry noted that these seven projects will include two 230kV transmission lines (86.4 km and 82 km) in the provinces of Oudomxay and Bokeo, and one project in Huaphan (82 km). Another five projects are for 115kV transmission lines in the provinces of Xayaboury (90 km), Bokeo (50 km), Borikhamxay (33 km), and Vientiane (33.8 km).

Laos gov’t set to reduce economic overreliance on natural resources Phnom Penh Post 17th Jun 2019
The Lao government has announced it will reduce the nation’s overreliance on natural resources as it seeks to grow the economy despite the recent slowdown. Speaking at the National Assembly (NA) session recently, Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith said although the Lao economy is set to grow 6.5 per cent this year, it relies too much on the energy and mining sector. In addition, external loans for infrastructure projects that will likely result in low economic returns will be limited. The move should contribute to minimising the country’s debt distress. However, the government vowed to boost commercial productivity and promote processing industries.

Solar power helps farmers in Attapeu save on electricity payments Vientiane Times 20th Jun 2019
Solar energy is one of the best alternatives for green power that is environmentully  friendly, and Phouvong district of Attapeu province is forging ahead in the race to use the sun’s rays to power an irrigation system. The owner of Internet Trade of Import-Export Company and the head of the solar project in Phouvong, Mr Sengsamoud Noraseng, said he began working on the project in Naxeuk area of Khamvongsa village in 2018 and plans to complete it in 2020.

Malaysia

O&G decommissioning works in big demand The Star Online 3rd Jul 2019
As more oil and gas (O&G) fields in Malaysia and the region approach the end of their lifespan, the demand for decommissioning works is set to surge. The value of decommissioning contracts in the region, over the next three years, is expected to reach up to RM6bil, according to estimates by industry players. UOB Kay Hian Research analyst Kong Ho Meng said while there have not been any large tenders awarded by Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas), it expected contracts to be rolled out from next year.

Malaysia Unhappy About Europe’s New Palm Oil Rules VOA 30th Jun 2019
In March, the EU announced that it would stop supporting palm oil as a transportation fuel by 2030 because of environmental concerns. The EU has linked the intensive growing of oil palms to deforestation in Malaysia and Indonesia. Now, the countries are threatening to bring a case on the issue to the World Trade Organization. Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad told Reuters that the EU is risking a trade war over “grossly unfair” policies that looked like protectionism. Mohamad also said Malaysia would seek to buy new warplanes from China and not European companies if the EU stopped its palm oil trade.

Malaysia closer to opening up natural gas market Intan Farhana Zainul 27th Jun 2019
Malaysia is moving closer towards opening up its natural gas market to spur competition and demand. In the past few years, Malaysia’s gas market has been undergoing reforms, including a gradual subsidy elimination strategy by the government of RM1.50 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) for every six months. “The ongoing liberalisation of the natural gas market would ultimately result in a stronger and more sustainable oil and gas (O&G) industry, where prices would be determined on a willing buyer-willing seller basis. “Moreover, with the ongoing implementation of the third party access (TPA) system, it would also encourage new parties to enter Malaysia’s gas market, thereby driving competition for the benefit of Malaysian gas users,” the MGA said yesterday.

Rajiv: No question of political will, govt on track with renewable energy targets The Star Online 26th Jun 2019
There is no question over political will of the government in its effort to promote the uptake of renewable energy (RE), says Sustainable Energy Development Authority (Seda) board member Rejiv Rishyakaran. "Malaysia is on the right trajectory to achieve its RE targets," Rajiv said.

White paper on Malaysia’s energy future aimed at achieving Paris Agreement pledge www.thesundaily.my 25th Jun 2019
Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) is spearheading an industry-wide study with various agencies to develop an Oil, Gas, Energy and Environment White Paper on Malaysia’s Future Energy Landscape. Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the study supported Malaysia’s aspirations to be a low-carbon economy with a blueprint on energy policies that will stimulate action towards achieving the country’s Paris Agreement pledge.

Mahathir Bin Mohamad Plots A Path To A Sustainable Future For Malaysia Forbes 25th Jun 2019
Mahathir explained that for the region to continue its upwards growth the governments will need to focus on improving both the cost and efficiency of their energy, and a crucial factor here is the diversification of the energy mix. The predictions from the likes of the International Energy Agency (IEA) is that the demand for fossil fuels will remain steady. Asia is pressing ahead with the use of natural gas, considered to be a less carbon-intensive fossil fuel. Also, renewable energy is seen to have doubled in the region in five years with China and India leading the pace.

Malaysia's Petronas Chemicals budgets $6 bn for deals in specialty portfolio ETEnergyworld.com 25th Jun 2019
The chemical manufacturing unit of Malaysian state energy firm Petroliam Nasional Bhd , or Petronas, plans to spend roughly $6 billion over the next 15 to 20 years to expand its specialty chemicals portfolio through acquisitions and partnerships, its chief executive said on Monday.

Malaysia: ASEAN’s biggest solar employer The ASEAN Post 25th Jun 2019
The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) this week named Malaysia as the region’s biggest solar photovoltaics (PV) employer with a total of more than 54,300 people working in the industry last year – up from 40,300 in 2017.

PM calls for Asian O&G industry leaders to form partnerships for new energy solutions The Edge Markets 24th Jun 2019
To withstand the rising challenges facing the oil and gas (O&G) industry, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is calling for Asian industry leaders to enter into strategic dialogues to open up possibilities of new avenues for collaboration that will lead to innovating new energy solutions. Dr Mahathir stressed that for Asia to develop within the industry, the countries in the region must explore a range of options to improve energy efficiency and affordability by diversifying their energy mix.

Yeo Bee Yin: Malaysia has no immediate plan to impose carbon pricing The Edge Markets 10th Jul 2019
Malaysia has no immediate plan to impose carbon pricing on industry players, because there are other prior actions that can be taken to reduce carbon emission, such as improving energy efficiency on existing processes before such regulation is introduced, Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin said today. "More than 50% of electricity [in Malaysia] is [consumed] by buildings. If we actually focus on these lower hanging fruits [of improving consumption efficiency], it is much more efficient.

Azmin: Malaysia supports deal to reduce oil production until March 31, 2020 | Malay Mail Malay Mail 3rd Jul 2019
Malaysia supports the proposal for the Declaration of Cooperation (DoC) to be extended by nine months to March 31, 2020, at the current agreed production levels to ensure the smooth continuation of the current cooperation. Minister of Economic Affairs, Datuk Seri Azmin Ali said, despite being a non-member of Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) and a small oil-producing country, Malaysia would stand together in solidarity with the oil-producing countries, in continuing the global market stability agenda, which would benefit producing and consuming countries alike.

Malaysia strengthens its position as a key gas player in the region New Straits Times 26th Jun 2019
Malaysia is poised to further strengthen its potential as a key gas player in the region by capitalising on its existing extensive gas infrastructure. The natural gas industry has also contributed significantly to the national gross domestic product over the years, while encouraging investments opportunities for local businesses. Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali said Malaysia has recorded consistent economic expansion due to strong economic fundamentals and diverse sectorial strength despite the ongoing global economic challenges.

Myanmar

Yangon Region losing electricity units worth over K1.6bn yearly Eleven Media Group Co., Ltd 8th Jul 2019
Government suffers losses of K1.6 billion per year as each of 45 townships in Yangon Region see loss of electricity units worth about K30 million every month, said MP Yan Aung for Mingalar Taungnyunt Township Constituency No (2). 

How solar micro-grids are powering Myanmar’s villages GovInsider 7th Jul 2019
Villages in Myanmar are taking electricity generation into their own hands, turning to solar micro-grids to power their homes. One of the solar pioneers in the country is Yoma Micro Power. It specialises in solar-powered generation and micro-grid distribution. Each of its 51 micro plants can power a small town and its surrounding areas. By the end of 2019, Yoma Micro Power plans to build 200 more solar power plants, towards a total of 2000 by 2022.

Power purchase tenders called for summer 2020 The Myanmar Times 3rd Jul 2019
The invitation comes after State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi last week officiated the opening of the Minbu Solar Plant project, Myanmar’s first commercial solar-powered plant, in Magwe Region. In Minbu, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said an additional 1200MW of power will need to be generated over the short term to fulfill demand in the coming year.  This will be purchased from existing gas-fired plants as well as floating power plants, U Ye Tun Zaw, an engineer for the MOEE, told The Myanmar Times.

First commercial solar power plant launched in Myanmar The Myanmar Times 1st Jul 2019
The Minbu Solar Power Plant project, which will be completed in four phases, will have the capacity to generate 170MW of power and produce 350 million kilowatt hours per annum, which is sufficient to electrify about  210,000 households. The Minbu plant is part of a longer term goal to electrify the entire country by 2030, said Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. By 2021, at least 55pc of the country is expected to receive access to power. 

Myanmar hikes electricity rates to fund grid investments Nikkei Asian Review 25th Jun 2019
Myanmar will raise electricity prices for the first time in five years, with rates as much as tripling for households and nearly doubling for businesses. The government's just-announced tariff increases take effect this coming Monday and will bring relief to money-losing utilities that have sold power for far below generating costs. With urbanites buying more household appliances and electrification spreading to rural villages, demand for electric power is growing 11% a year, according to estimates published in a World Bank report this month. But supply, much of it from hydropower, has struggled to keep up as aging infrastructure falls into disrepair.

Electricity demand tops projections, dams unable to keep up: ministry The Myanmar Times 19th Jun 2019
The Ministry of Electricity and Energy says the demand for electricity this year is expected to be higher than projected. “Demand, whether because of higher-than-expected usage or lower-than-expected power generation, is likely to exceed supply as a result of the late arrival of the monsoon,” the ministry’s Permanent Secretary U Soe Myint told a press conference last week. The ministry had originally estimated a 15 percent increase in demand for power this year, but to date, demand has already risen 19pc.

To Electrify Myanmar, Build The Grid From The Outside In Forbes 19th Jun 2019
Myanmar faces an uphill battle to achieve universal electrification. And with the lowest GDP per capita in the region, the need to unleash the transformative power of reliable and sufficient energy for all becomes all the more urgent. In the context of the 21st century, we can’t end poverty without ending energy poverty.

World Bank Puts Myanmar’s Power Investment Needs at $2B a Year The Irrawaddy 19th Jun 2019
To sustain economic growth, Myanmar needs to invest up to US$2 billion (3.06 trillion kyats) annually in its electricity sector, according to a World Bank report released on Tuesday. In the report, “Myanmar Economic Monitor: Building Reform Momentum”, the World Bank said Myanmar’s economic growth is expected to rise to 6.5 percent in fiscal 2018-19, due to strong performances by the industrial and service sectors. Growth reached 6.4 percent during the six-month transitional fiscal period from April to September 2018.

Taking politics out of power Frontier Myanmar 6th Jul 2019
The government's decision to raise electricity prices is commendable, but creating an independent regulator would take politics out of the country's power supply. This is not a government known for making brave political decisions. But on June 25, it announced a much-needed increase in electricity prices, for both households and businesses. The new pricing came into effect on July 1. In reality, the government didn’t have much choice. Electricity subsidies are already close to US$500 million a year and threatening to balloon out of control. Still, to announce an increase of this size relatively close to an election was commendable. The price hike will hurt many middle-income households.

LNG projects: delayed, not dead Frontier Myanmar 28th Jun 2019
In January 2018, the Ministry of Electricity and Energy took a big punt on imported liquefied natural gas. At a ceremony in Nay Pyi Taw on January 30, it signed “notices to proceed” with the sponsors of three LNG-to-power projects totalling almost 3,000 megawatts. With Myanmar’s hydropower projects delayed and output from domestic gas fields declining, minister U Win Khaing has said these huge investments are necessary to meet Myanmar’s electricity needs over the next decade and beyond.

Kyaukphyu power deal expected ‘within weeks’: Supreme Group Frontier Myanmar 13th Jun 2019
The consortium developing a 135-megawatt power project at Kyaukphyu in Rakhine State expects final approval of a power purchase agreement within weeks, a spokesperson says. Myanmar’s Supreme Group and Chinese state-owned firm Sinohydro are jointly developing the US$180 million project, which will use gas from the Shwe field and generate power for distribution in Rakhine State. The companies signed a letter of acknowledgement for the conclusion of the PPA negotiations with Minister for Electricity and Energy U Win Khaing on the sidelines of the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing on April 28. However, the agreement still requires final government sign-off, said Supreme Group deputy chief executive officer U Htu Htu Aung.

Philippines

DFA chief accepts Beijing’s terms as ‘superior’ Inquirer.net 8th Jul 2019
The Philippines has accepted the terms of reference proposed by China for an agreement on the joint exploration for oil and gas in the West Philippine Sea, according to Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. “I accepted China’s version of the Terms of Reference (TOR) as superior to our own. Everything going well,” Locsin posted on Twitter on Sunday. When retired diplomat and former ambassador to Europe Victoria Bataclan asked to see the draft, Locsin declined and said “it is not a draft. I accepted it so it is final.” Locsin did not say whether the TOR is the same as the “draft framework agreement” that Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV released last November during the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping. Locsin has never confirmed nor denied the veracity of the document, but Malacañang defended its acceptance “for review.” The TOR released by Trillanes contained a provision that all documents, data and information on the matter remain confidential until both parties decide otherwise.

Southeast Asia’s Nuclear Energy Future in the Spotlight With Philippines Debate Revival The Diplomat 8th Jul 2019
Over the past few months, Philippine officials have been more publicly mentioning the idea of reviving nuclear power in the Southeast Asian state. While it is still early days and much remains to be worked out, the issue deserves attention amid the historical and contemporary context of nuclear power in the Philippines as well as the broader conversation about some Southeast Asian states considering nuclear power for their future energy needs to varying degrees.

Philippines, China working to meet oil exploration deadline philstar.com 6th Jul 2019
The Philippines and China are working to meet a November deadline to form a framework for joint exploration in the West Philippine Sea, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said yesterday. The Department of Energy (DOE) chief said both nations are working to reach their goal of joint exploration activities in the disputed waters.

Gov't on 'right track' in crafting renewable energy portfolio GOV.PH 4th Jul 2019
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian on Thursday said the Department of Energy (DOE) has put itself "right on track" in its energy direction by crafting a new program that seeks to build a renewable energy (RE) portfolio of 2,000 megawatts (MW) in 10 years. Gatchalian, chair of the Senate committee on energy, lauded the DOE's initiative to collaborate with the National Renewable Energy Board (NREB) in boosting the use of renewable energy in the country.

PCC approves New Clark City power distribution deal pna.gov 3rd Jul 2019
The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) has approved the proposed joint venture between the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) and the consortium of Manila Electric Company (Meralco) and its Japanese partners to develop a power distribution system in New Clark City.

DOE plans auction of renewable power philstar.com 3rd Jul 2019
The Department of Energy (DOE) is proposing to auction off 2,000 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy capacity to encourage developers to put up renewable energy (RE) projects, according to a top official of the agency...Under the government’s long–term renewable energy roadmap, RE installed capacity is seen to reach 20,000 MW by 2040.

DOE mulls extension of FIT allocation for hydro philstar.com 3rd Jul 2019
The Department of Energy (DOE) is looking to extend anew the deadline for the feed-in-tariff (FIT) allocation for run-of-river hydro due to slow take up for the technology. FIT for hydropower and biomass developers were extended until Dec. 31 from the original deadline on Dec. 31, 2017. Unlike solar and wind, the FIT allocation for biomass and run-of-river technologies remain undersubscribed three years after the program’s implementation.

More investors keen on PH oil, gas exploration Inquirer.Net 1st Jul 2019
The Philippines’ efforts to rev up the exploration for oil and gas in the country continue to attract interest from potential investors, the Department of Energy (DOE) said, despite the prevailing uncertainty due to the territorial dispute with China. The DOE said in a statement that it had so far received from 11 companies 21 requests for rights to look for petroleum reserves in portions of the Recto Bank—itself a subject of territorial disputes—as well as Sulu Sea, Palawan, Quezon, Albay and Mindoro.

Business groups ask Duterte to review franchise of solar power firm owned by Legarda’s son CNN Philippines 27th Jun 2019
The country’s major business groups are asking President Rodrigo Duterte to review the legislative franchise of Solar Para sa Bayan Corp. (SPSBC), saying that it grants the solar power generation firm of outgoing Senator Loren Legarda’s son “undue competitive edge.”

Senate committee on energy to review EPIRA philstar.com 24th Jun 2019
The Senate committee on energy plans to review the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 (EPIRA) and introduce supporting bills through the Joint Congressional Power Commission (JCPC) since electricity prices have yet to go down 18 years after the said law was passed. Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, who chairs the committee, said the EPIRA has not yet achieved its goal of bringing down electricity prices.

PH, 7 other countries form ‘Asian platform’ on energy efficiency collaboration Manila Bulletin Business 24th Jun 2019
Energy service companies (ESCOs) from the Philippines, China, Japan, India, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan have formalized “collaboration” for an Asian platform in the promotion of energy efficiency initiatives – including investment hunting as well as shoring up financing tracks for projects. These countries have essentially pioneered the setting up of the Asia Pacific ESCO Industry Alliance (APEIA).

Meralco to add RE projects in portfolio Power Philippines 20th Jun 2019
The Manila Electric Company (Meralco) announced plans to expand its portfolio by investing in renewable energy projects of up to 1,000 MW as the company cements its shift to green energy and adoption of more sustainable practices.

Are waste-to-energy plants bad investments in the Philippines? Eco-Business 17th Jun 2019
Filipino infrastructure conglomerate Metro Pacific Investment Corporation’s proposal for a P22 billion (US$423 million) waste-to-energy plant is expected to be approved this month in Quezon City, the country’s most urbanised district. The project is expected to convert up to 3,000 metric tonnes of municipal solid waste into electricity each day in a power plant with 36 megawatts of installed capacity.

Power underwhelming:Why are there power outages? Business World 17th Jun 2019
IN THE PHILIPPINES, one would have to get used to brownouts, or the drop in voltage in an electrical power supply system. Whether or not it is intentional, these outages have wide-ranging effects on the economy: households would experience no electricity for a few minutes or even for hours, causing great inconvenience; businesses would incur higher costs by way of lost revenue and reduced productivity; and investors would be hesitant to do business, leading to reduced investments. The Luzon grid has had episodes of “yellow” alerts since March due to high electricity demand outstripping supply as well as unscheduled outages of power plants. The first yellow alert, which occurred on March 5, saw peak demand for the day reaching 9,491 megawatts (MW) against the grid’s available capacity of 10,115 MW with an operating margin at just 624 MW — falling short of the required contingency reserve of 647 MW.

Singapore

Singapore plans huge 50MW floating solar project RenewEconomy 5th Jul 2019
Singapore’s national water agency will work with Norwegian technical consultancy DNV GL to develop what will be one of the largest single floting solar systems in the world – a 50MW project planned for the Tengeh Reservoir in the island’s north-west. DNV GL announced on Thursday that it had been contracted by Singapore’s Public Utilities Board (PUB) as technical advisor for the 50MW floating solar PV project.

Electricity tariffs to rise 6.4% in third quarter to hit highest rate in nearly 5 years; gas tariffs to increase by 1.6% The Straits Times 29th Jun 2019
Electricity tariffs are set to rise by an average of 6.4 per cent in the third quarter of this year, SP Group said on Saturday (June 29). Gas tariffs for households are also set to increase by 1.6 per cent in the third quarter, City Gas said. For the period from July 1 to Sept 30, electricity tariffs will increase by 1.43 cents per kilowatt hour (kwh) compared to the previous quarter.

Sunseap gets loan for 37 MWp of rooftop solar in Singapore Renewablesnow.com 27th Jun 2019
Singapore-based renewable energy firm Sunseap Group Pte has secured a green loan to support the roll-out of 37 MWp of rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) projects in its home country.

Pre-assembled concept proposed for 10 GW Northern Territory PV project pv magazine Australia 26th Jun 2019
Ambitious plans have been announced for a 15,000 hectare solar array near Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory. If built, the 10 GW solar farm will join the ranks of the world’s biggest solar parks and be coupled with a massive battery of an unspecified capacity. The project plans to export electricity to both Darwin and Singapore.

Singapore's Pavilion Energy to acquire LNG assets of Spain's Iberdrola Reuters 25th Jun 2019
Singapore’s Pavilion Energy said on Thursday its wholly owned subsidiary has agreed to buy Spanish energy company Iberdrola’s portfolio of liquefied natural gas (LNG) assets. The portfolio comprises about 4 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of Iberdrola’s long-term LNG sale and supply contracts, Pavilion said in a statement.

Singapore’s Sunseap Receives $43 Million Green Loan to Install 210 Rooftop Solar Systems Mercom India 25th Jun 2019
Sunseap Group, a Singapore-based renewable energy firm, has secured a $43 million green loan from the United Overseas Bank Limited (UOB) to increase the reach of solar power in the country. The Southeast Asian renewable energy company will use this loan to install solar photovoltaic (PV) systems on 210 rooftops, ranging from commercial and industrial premises to government establishments. Altogether, the sites have a total solar capacity of 37 MW, which would provide power to more than 9,600 four-room flats of the Housing & Development Board (HDB) for a year.

Sunseap gets S$43m green loan to put solar power systems on rooftops in Singapore The Business Times 20th Jun 2019
Local renewable energy firm Sunseap has secured a S$43 million green loan to install solar power systems on rooftops across Singapore that combined, can generate enough energy to power more than 9,600 four-room HDB flats for one year.

Thailand

Thai Ministry increases Renewable Energy ratio Thailand Business News 7th Jul 2019
On the move to reinforce electricity security, the Ministry of Energy has amended its Alternative Energy Development Plan (AEDP) 2018 to comply with the national electricity generating capacity development, increasing the ratio of electricity generation from renewable energy sources to 29,358 megawatts by 2037. The Department of Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency’s (DEDE) Director General, Yongyut Juntararotai has disclosed that the Alternative Energy Development Plan (AEDP) 2018, which covers operations from 2018 to 2037, is aimed at increasing electricity generation from waste materials utilized in energy plants, from 500 megawatts to 900 megawatts, which will help solve the national issue of excess garbage needing disposal.

Thai Oil Giant Boosts Renewables Funding Over 'Uncertain' Crude Outlook Bloomberg 1st Jul 2019
Thai energy conglomerate PTT Pcl is boosting investments in electricity generation, particularly renewables, given what it says is a “highly uncertain” outlook for oil over the next year.The country’s biggest company revised its 2019 capital spending plan in late June, Chief Executive Officer Chansin Treenuchagron said in an email interview. Most of the 33.2 billion baht ($1.1 billion) of extra budget will be spent on electricity projects, he said.

BGRIM’s Vietnam solar projects come on line adding 31% to operating capacity Bangkok Post 27th Jun 2019
B.Grimm Power Plc (BGRIM), one of Thailand’s largest private power producers, successfully commenced commercial production from its two large solar power schemes in Vietnam with a combined total installed capacity of 677 megawatt during June 3-13, 2019. The commencement of the two solar PV projects lifts BGRIM's total installed generating capacity already in commercial production by 31% and boosting the contribution of renewal energy in the company's total portfolio to 30% from 10% previously.

Thailand sets target to become ASEAN’s electricity hub Thailand Business News 26th Jun 2019
Thailand has set a target of becoming an electricity hub in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Thailand is planning to develop its power transmission lines to become the electricity hub of the region, sourcing hydropower from Laos and selling it to Malaysia, Cambodia and Myanmar, the Thai Energy Ministry’s Permanent Secretary Kulis Sombatsiri said at the 37th Senior Officials Meeting on Energy (SOME) on June 24.

US Will Support The Rise Of Energy Sector In Asia Business Times 25th Jun 2019
A US delegation led by Assistant Secretary of State of the Bureau of Energy Resources Francis Fannon visited the Thailand Energy Ministry of Energy this week to discuss In a teleconference call with the media this week, Fannon said the Asia Edge initiative would help boost US-Thai relationship and develop energy resources and secure energy markets He also said Thailand reaffirmed its shared commitment to partner with one another through the energy initiative. 

Thailand's PTT CEO: no rush to lock in new LNG purchase contracts Reuters 25th Jun 2019
Thailand’s largest energy firm PTT Pcl is in no hurry to lock in new long-term liquefied natural gas (LNG) contracts as it monitors domestic gas output and the growth of renewables over the next 2-3 years, its chief executive said. The country is expected to become more reliant on LNG imports because of falling output in the Gulf of Thailand, but natural gas demand growth has slowed to about 1% or less in the past 3-4 years because of increases in solar power.

'Tesla of Thailand' powers vision of electric paradise Bangkok Post 8th Jul 2019
Thailand could be on the verge of an electric vehicle (EV) revolution. After decades of promising ubiquitous plug-in stations and quiet roads full of whirring, non-petrol-powered cars, the futuristic fantasy could soon be a reality. Dubbed the "Tesla of Thailand", SET-listed Energy Absolute (EA) will kick off the first phase of its 100-billion-baht lithium-ion battery production line in mid-2020, the largest of its kind in Thailand, anticipating a "tidal wave of new business growth".

Solar rooftop revisions soon Bangkok Post 4th Jul 2019
The Department of Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency plans to ask the Energy Ministry to launch a revised solar scheme for the public after witnessing lower participation than expected in the household solar rooftop programme. Following the launch of the national power development plan (PDP) for 2018-37, the objective was to focus on new solar power generation of 10,000 megawatts -- all from the solar rooftop type invested in by homeowners. Under the PDP, there is no allowance for solar farms.

PTT targets renewables amid 'uncertain' oil view Bangkok Post 3rd Jul 2019
State energy firm PTT Plc is boosting investments in electricity generation, particularly renewables, given what it says is a "highly uncertain" outlook for oil over the next year. The country's biggest company, which is involved in everything from oil exploration and power generation to gasoline and coffee retailing, revised its 2019 capital spending plan in late June, chief executive Chansin Treenuchagron said in an email interview.

Thailand ready for 37th SOM on Energy vietnamplus.vn 13th Jun 2019
Thailand is ready to host the 37th Senior Officials Meeting on Energy (SOME) to push for concrete regional energy cooperation. Thailand’s Energy Ministry Permanent Secretary Kulis Sombatsiri said that the meeting, which is scheduled from June 24 -28, will be held on the concept of “Advancing Energy Transition through partnership and Innovation”. It will be attended by representatives from 10 ASEAN countries as well as international organisations, such as international energy agencies and international renewable energy agencies, to discuss important policies at the regional level.

Vietnam

Sunseap completes Vietnam solar farm amid steady pipeline of Asia projects The Business Times 3rd Jul 2019
SINGAPORE clean-energy provider Sunseap Group's unit has completed a US$150 million Vietnam solar farm project ahead of schedule, Sunseap International said on Wednesday. It was completed and connected to the Vietnam national grid ahead of a June 30 deadline, the solar energy firm said.

Growth demand fuels solar power boom in Vietnam vietnamplus.vn 26th Jun 2019
Many solar power plants have become operational in the southern region in the first half of 2019, showing part of the solar power development wave to meet the economic growth demand in Vietnam. In mid-June, TTC Group of Vietnam and Gulf Group of Thailand opened two solar power plants in Thanh Thanh Cong Industrial Park in An Hoa commune of Trang Bang district, the southern province of Tay Ninh.

Vietnam targets international cooperation for renewable energy development Nhan Dan 25th Jun 2019
Vietnam's economy has achieved an impressive rate of growth over the last few years. Its growth is expected to be strong and sustainable for decades to come. Looking forward, economic reports project that Vietnam's economy will continue to grow at a high rate of 6.5-7.5% per year from now until at least 2030. Specifically, to maintain Vietnam's current economic growth, for every 1% of GDP growth requires 2.2% of growth in electricity production. Therefore, the National Electricity Development Plan was approved, targeting to increase the national power installation capacity to 130,000 MW by 2030, compared to the current capacity of 47,000 MW.

Việt Nam has huge potential to develop renewable energy vietnamnews.vn 25th Jun 2019
Việt Nam has set lofty goals for renewable energy, targeting raising total production from 58 billion kWh in 2015 to 101 billion kWh in 2020, 186 billion kWh in 2030 and 452 billion kWh in 2050. Under the country's renewable energy development strategy, which was approved by the Government in 2015, Việt Nam is aiming to increase the ratio of electricity from renewable sources from 35 per cent of total output in 2015 to 38 per cent in 2020 and 43 per cent in 2050.

Samsung C&T to build Vietnam’s first LNG terminal - News - GCR Global 25th Jun 2019
Korea’s Samsung C&T has formed a joint venture with PetroVietnam Technical Services to build a $180m liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal. The project, which will be worth $110m to Samsung C&T, will be Vietnam’s first LNG terminal. The scheme is being paid for by PetroVietnam Gas, a state-run energy utility.

Pacifico Energy Commences Operation of a 40 MWp Mui Ne Solar Power Plant in Vietnam Hastings Tribune 24th Jun 2019
Pacifico Energy, an Asia based developer of renewable energy, is pleased to announce the commencement of operation of the 40 MWp Mui Ne Solar Power Plant in Phan Thiet city, Binh Thuan province, Vietnam on June 12, 2019.

US sees great potential in Vietnam’s energy industry: A/S Fannon Hanoi Times 22nd Jun 2019
Vietnam’s economic growth has been incredible and along with that the country’s energy demand has sustained a double-digit rate, which is great potential for the United States and Vietnam to boost energy cooperation and a tremendous opportunity for US companies, stated Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources Francis R. Fannon. The US and Vietnam have seen unexpectedly meaningful advancement in energy cooperation over the past three years, especially after the US-Vietnam Energy Security Dialogues held in Hanoi on March 30, 2018, and Washington D.C. on April 12, 2019, Mr. Fannon told a group a reporters during his two-day visit to Vietnam in mid-June. During his stay in Vietnam, he met with several Vietnamese government agencies, including the Ministries of Industry and Trade, of Foreign Affairs and state-owned energy giant PetroVietnam. The US and Vietnam had positive discussions on possible collaboration on activities under the Asia EDGE (Enhancing Development and Growth through Energy) initiative to support the implementation of sound electricity and natural gas resources, including liquefied natural gas (LNG), renewable energy, and energy efficient technologies, as discussed at the US-Vietnam Energy Security Dialogue, the US Embassy in Hanoi said in a statement. During his visit to Vietnam, Mr. Fannon and PetroVietnam celebrated the first shipment of US sourced crude oil, which will facilitate Vietnam in diversifying its import sources, thereby improving its energy security.US capital on standby to flow into Vietnam. Mr. Fannon stressed that one purpose of his trip was to catalyze US investment in Vietnam’s energy sector as a number of American companies have invested and are deploying large-scale projects in Vietnam.

US Delegation Discusses Possible LNG Cooperation During Meeting In Vietnam - State Dept. UrduPoint 18th Jun 2019
A US delegation led by Assistant Secretary for Energy Resources Francis Fannon discussed the possibility of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) collaboration during a meeting with Vietnamese officials in Hanoi, the US State Department said in a press release on Tuesday.

Norwegian energy developer pursues ambitious Vietnam plan Voice of Vietnam 8th Jul 2019
Norwegian energy firm Scatec Solar has affirmed its strong commitment to becoming a top player in Vietnam’s solar power market over the next years by releasing an ambitious scheme aimed at developing the world’s largest floating solar plant and other hundred-megawatt power projects throughout the central and southern regions. Carlsen met with representatives of the Ministry of Planning and Investment and Vietnam Electricity group to brief the hosts on his firm’s business and investment plans in the country as well as update changes in the legal framework for domestic renewable energy development, especially those in relation to solar power. The CEO voiced his belief that his firm can become a valuable partner to Vietnam due to the company’s ability to quickly create significant amounts of clean and affordable solar energy. Scatec has partnered with domestic firm MT Energy in order to develop and operate several large-scale solar projects in the country. This strategic partnership covers three projects located in the central provinces of Quang Tri and Nghe An, and Binh Phuoc in the southern region.

Petrolimex and JXTG sign MoU on LNG research VnExpress International 2nd Jul 2019
An MoU signed Monday by Vietnam's Petrolimex and Japan's JXTG Group will support a plan to build an LNG terminal in Khanh Hoa. The two sides will jointly make research on liquefied natural gas (LNG) and gas issues in Vietnam to support Petrolimex's plan to build an LNG terminal in the central province. JXTG Group is currently an 8 percent strategic shareholder in Petrolimex, Vietnam’s biggest petroleum retailer in terms of marketshare. At a shareholders’ meeting in April, Petrolimex chairman Pham Van Thanh said the group had asked for the government’s permission to halt implementation of the Nam Van Phong oil refinery and petrochemical project in Khanh Hoa and build an LNG terminal instead. He said the reason for the move was the fact Vietnam already has Dung Quat and Nghi Son oil refineries, which are able to meet 70 – 80 percent of the country’s oil and petrol demand. Additionally, incentives for oil refinery projects are no longer as high as in the past. In mid May this year, Petrolimex signed an MoU with the Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) on cooperation in developing clean energy. Accordingly, Petrolimex will supply LNG to power plants built by the EVN.

Hòa Hội solar power plant opens in Phú Yên Vietnam News Agency 26th Jun 2019
The Hòa Hội solar power plant officially opened in the central coastal province of Phú Yên on Tuesday. The plant, a joint venture between the Trường Thành Việt Nam Group JSC and Thailand’s B Grimm Power Pcl, has total investment of over VNĐ4.9 trillion (US$210.7 million) funded by the Phú Yên TTP JSC. Construction of the 265ha plant with a capacity of 257MWP started in November 2018. Trần Hữu Thế, vice chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, urged the investor to run the project effectively, abide by environmental regulations and pay attention to social welfare. Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has also designated the plant as a key project in Phú Yên’s socio-economic development master plan until 2020

Vietcombank and JBIC sign US$200 million contract for renewable energy development Vietnam News Agency 26th Jun 2019
The Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of Việt Nam (Vietcombank) and the Japan Bank for Co-operation (JBIC) on Tuesday signed a US$200 million credit contract to finance renewable energy projects. Accordingly, JBIC will arrange loans from four leading commercial banks in Japan including MUFG Bank Ltd, Mizuho Bank Ltd, the Joyo Bank Ltd and the Nishi-Nippon City Bank Ltd with terms of 14 years for green energy projects in Việt Nam.

Vietnam seeks foreign capital for renewable energy projects VietnamNet 25th Jun 2019
Vietnam is trying to develop a renewable power market in the long term, and to do this, it must seek foreign capital. Under the national strategy on renewable energy development for 2015-2030, Vietnam’s electricity output from renewable sources would increase from 58 billion kwh in 2015 to 101 billion kwh in 2020, 186 billion kwh in 2030 and 452 billion kwh by 2050, or 42 percent of total electricity output. To reach that goal, the government has offered a series of preferences to investors, includng credit access, tax and land rent remissions, and the application of the Feed-in-Tariff electricity pricing mechanism for solar, wind, biomass power. Experts pointed out that power transmission network congestion is a big risk for solar and wind projects in Vietnam. It will take Vietnam time to fix the problem, which will cause foreign investors to be more reluctant to fund renewable energy projects. Also, while Vietnam wants to accelerate the investments, it still has not set a long-term FIT for renewable energy projects.