Energy Update: February 27, 2020

Energy Update | February 27, 2020
Authors: Riley Smith and Minh Vu
 
LOOKING AHEAD
 
 
March 3-5: 2020 Vietnam Business Mission
 
THE COUNCIL'S TAKE
 
 

Indonesia Seeks Greater Investment in Renewable Energy

On January 30, the Indonesia Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) announced a new target of renewable energy generation to reach 13.4 percent of total energy mix in 2020, which they will look to increase to 19.5 percent by 2024. To reach this target from the current 12.5 percent generated by renewable energy, the Indonesia government on the same day announced a plan to convert existing fossil-based power plants with renewable energy plants. The plan will replace 1.8 GW of diesel power, 5.6 GW of steam power, and 5.9 GW of gas-fired power with renewable energy units.

The Indonesian government also announced on February 5 proposed regulation changes to encourage investment in the renewable energy sector. The government plans to introduce of a feed-in-tariff (FIT) pricing policy that fixes electricity rates for small renewable power plants to ensure profits and to eliminate the build-own-operate-transfer (BOOT) contract scheme that discourages creditors from financing projects. Before the change, all renewable energy projects were developed under the BOOT scheme where PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) is the sole distributer of the electricity produced. Furthermore, the ESDM is developing a cost recovery contract scheme for the development of the geothermal sector. According to the ESDM, the geothermal sector still has a potential of 28.5 GW while existing geothermal plants only generate 2.1 GW or 7.4 percent of potential.

Indonesia requires an investment of US$41.2 billion to achieve an additional renewable energy target of 17.4 GW by 2025. On February 10, President Jokowi became the first Indonesian leader since 2010 to deliver an address to the Australian Parliament, calling for Australia to jointly develop renewable energy in a bid to reboot ties between two nations.

Thailand Considers Issuing new Licenses for LNG Shipping to Become Regional LNG Hub

In a bid to make Thailand a free trade hub for liquefied natural gas (LNG) proposed by the Thailand Energy Ministry in late 2019, the National Energy Reform Committee (ERC) on February 4 has requested that relevant agencies and companies ease conditions to allow free trade of LNG and peer-to-peer trading in the country. The ERC stated that the government should remove the obligation of eligible LNG shippers to hold gas sale agreements with off-takers, which was initiated in 2015, to allow more energy companies participate as shippers in the LNG market. Four companies have requested LNG shipper licenses: Ratch Group, B.Grimm Power, Gulf Energy Development and Siam Gas and Petrochemical.

Currently, there are only two licensed LNG shippers in Thailand. Thai-owned PTT Plc owned a license in 2011 and operates the only LNG receiving terminal facility in Thailand and the first in Southeast Asia, the Map Ta Phut LNG project, which has a regasification capacity of 11.5 million tonnes a year. In addition, PTT is constructing a second Nong Fab terminal in Rayong with a capacity of 7.5 million tonnes a year and expected to become operational by 2022. It also owns a 30 percent stake in a joint venture with Thailand’s Gulf Energy to build a third LNG terminal, which is scheduled to start commercial operation by 2025. The state-run Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) also received a license in 2018 and said it would import two shipment of 65,000 tonnes each in December 2019 and April 2020. On January 30, EGAT announced it is studying the feasibility of a third LNG shipment of one million tonnes in order to take advantage of the baht's appreciation and low gas prices in the global market. EGAT also has a lease agreement with PTT for the receiving terminal and gas pipeline, with a plan to feed the natural gas to EGAT’s power generation arms.

According to the national gas plan, Thailand will import LNG at more than 24 million tonnes a year by 2027 as gas resources in the Gulf of Thailand and the Gulf of Martaban will be depleted in the future. Energy Minister Sontirat Sontijirawong said the ministry is working to set up a gas market model and draw up investment conditions as part of a greater strategy to promote Thailand as a global LNG trading center.

Cambodia Reaches 75 Percent Electrification, Addresses Energy Shortage

On February 11, the Cambodia Ministry of Energy and Mines announced that about 92.68 percent of villages and 75 percent of households has had access to electricity. As energy demand continues to increase 16 to 18 percent per year while Cambodia faced an electricity shortage of 400 MW in 2019, the Cambodian government pledged to connect all villages in the kingdom to the national grid by the end of 2020 and increase power generation by 75 percent. In 2019, Cambodia generated 3,382 MW, a 28 percent increase year on year compared to 2,635 MW in 2018. Hydropower dams generated a total of 1,328 MW or 33.5 percent of the total supply, followed by coal-fired power plants with 675 MW, diesel-fired power plants 627 MW, renewable energy 123 MW, and 626 MW from imports.

Looking forward, Cambodia is attracting more private investment to meet the growing energy demand. Private investment from domestic and foreign sources accounts for US$4.6 billion out of US$6.1 billion in the period of 2006-2019, or about 75 percent of total investment in the sector. The government continues to approve private investment proposals, including two power plant projects generating cumulatively 965 MW and a 230kW power transmission line, all of which worth a total of US$1.7 billion. It will also invest US$50 million to reduce electricity tariffs for the industrial and agricultural sector and plans to invest more than US$100 million by the end of 2020 to reduce electricity tariffs to boost economic growth and ease financial burden on businesses and households. In addition, the government is also exploring an 80 MW wind energy project, the first ever in Cambodia, with Singapore-based The Blue Circle.

Thailand Implements Projects for Smart Grid Plan 2017-2021, Digitalizes the Energy Sector

As Thailand aims to maximize energy usage and distribution efficiency as part of the Thailand 4.0 vision, the Thailand Energy Policy and Planning Office (EPPO) on February 8 announced that it will continue the short-term projects phase of 2017-2021 of the Energy Ministry’s smart-grid project. EPPO explains that the projects in this phase will include the development of pilot projects to test technical suitability and investment feasibility of each technology. Some pilot projects include the expansion of alternative power grids and energy system management, such as the smart-grid initiative in Pattaya that aims to change 116,308 old meters into smart meters within this year, and the microgrid pilot project that aims to create an independent energy ecosystem with built-in energy storage system that does not rely on main power lines. In addition, EPPO is also working on research projects for electric vehicles (EV) that cover the expansion of EV-charging station network and development of mobile application to manage the charging time.

This announcement followed the state-run Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT)’s announcement on February 6 to digitalize 32 power plants nationwide to increase operation and maintenance efficiency. The goal is to increase the efficiency of power plants by at least 1% and the heat rate of power generators by 1-2% by 2023. EGAT has planned four phases of its digital transformation, working with each power plant on its future direction.

 
 
IN THIS UPDATE
 
 
Regional Affairs
APAC Hydrogen Association launched in Singapore
Structurally cheaper LNG should displace coal from Japan, and broader Asia: Russell
Record low LNG spot prices attract bargain hunters

ASEAN
Constant Energy completes fund raising for Southeast Asian renewable IPP platform
SMEs urged to invest in pro-environment technologies amid climate-change threat
Green debt markets in Asean poised to grow — SEC

Brunei
Ship management contract extended for Brunei accommodation vessel
Brunei ships 4.7MT of hydrogen to Japan

Cambodia
Countries urge Laos to conduct dam impact studies
Thai firm to build plant in Cambodia
Electricity investment exceeds $6B
Five new solar farms to be connected to the national grid
Gov’t to spend $50M to cut electricity tax for industries
Electricity reaches 75% of households in 2019
Cambodia greenlights two coal projects with 965MW capacity

Indonesia
Indonesia's Pertamina signs crude swap deal with Malaysia's Petronas
Energy and Natural Resources in Indonesia: Beneficial Ownership Disclosure Obligations and Tax Compliance | Lexology
Indonesia to Replace Fossil Fuel Plants with Renewable Plants
Eight dams to be ready in 2020: Public Works Ministry
New renewables bill may give Indonesia chance to move away from coal
Pertamina to kick off gas, oil exploration in Thousand Islands in March
Jokowi invites Australia to develop renewable energy
Indonesia to mend contract scheme to boost green energy projects
Rekind Completed Phase One of Muara Laboh PLTP Project
Indonesia eyeing cost recovery contract scheme for geothermal exploration
Indonesia to boost use of renewable energy
Indonesia to set cheaper coal prices for future gasification plants -minister | Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide

Laos
Laos to Build World's Largest Floating Solar Power Project at Nam Ngum 1
Laos consults Mekong nations on proposed Luang Prabang dam/power plant
Lao electricity exports increase 145% within 2016-2020

Malaysia
EV market slows on low awareness, limited charging stations
B20 biodiesel to be sold in 3,400 petrol stations by mid-2021
Malaysia's banks are bucking global finance decarbonisation trend by funding coal, study finds
Kenanga IB, Petronas ink MoU on scheme for oil & gas players keen on doing IPO
Petronas-Petros partnership can help increase S'wak participation in oil and gas value chain
Malaysia not ready for nuclear energy — Dr Mahathir
Dr M: World needs non-polluting renewable energy, Malaysia not ready for nuclear power | Malay Mail
RON95, diesel drop below capped price
Malaysia’s LSS2 solar auction project reaches commercial operation
High Court sets Feb 11 for decision on Petronas' stay application

Myanmar
Posco International discovers new gas field in Myanmar
Chinese State Firm, HK’s VPower to Implement Three Electricity Projects in Myanmar
Thai developer invests $1bn to put Myanmar industry on global map
Myanmar to increase renewable energy sources
Wärtsilä to deliver equipment for two LNG-fuelled power plants in Myanmar
Proposal to purchase power from China to be studied
Myanmar generates about 3,200 megawatts of electricity now

Philippines
GE to upgrade 218 MW Philippines hydro plant
Baguio eyes WTE plants on Pinsao lot
NEA to Luzon, Visayas power co-ops: Prepare summer contingency plans
Auctions could bring in $20-B RE investment to PHL, study shows
Gas prices up; diesel, kerosene to decline
Power co-ops advised on shortages in April, May
PH could attract $20-B renewable energy investment
‘Murang Kuryente’ measure hurdles bicam; ratification seen next week
GE Renewable Energy to support the clean energy growth in the Philippines
ERC rejects DOE price scheme for renewable-energy auction | Lenie Lectura
NGCP claims to have thwarted 100 cyberattacks on grid system
As Cusi revives plan to consider nuclear energy
Fitch flags Philippines lack of focus on clean energy
Natural gas import projects slow out of the gate — Fitch Solutions
FDC Utilities to build 26-MW hydro plant in Philippines
Philippines steps up security to shield power grid from foreign control

Singapore
Singapore’s clean energy firm Sunseap raises $72m from Thailand’s Banpu Group
Incentives likely to encourage electric vehicle adoption in Singapore, but questions remain, say analysts
Budget 2020: Steering towards adoption of electric vehicles a shift in Govt focus, say experts
Sembcorp to build Singapore's largest floating solar farm covering 45 football fields
People in Singapore support use of clean energy, want 'more ambitious climate action': NCCS study
Future of solar panels bright as sales hot up

Thailand
New oil pipeline in northern Thailand may worsen flooding
Envision Digital to develop first AIoT smart grid for PTT in Thailand
LNG hub comes together quickly
Egat to run solar power trade test
Smart-grid plan aims to make Thailand the electricity hub of Asean
UOB launches U-Solar programme in Thailand to support local solar industry ecosystem
Egat eyes digital tech in operations
Thailand’s Constant Energy raises $15m as loan from GCPF
Panel suggests easing rules for LNG trade
Electric vehicles to be levied lower registration tax in Thailand
Egat mulls more LNG imports amid low prices

Vietnam
Vietnam's draft decision on the pilot program on corporate synthetic (financial/virtual) direct PPA mechanisms provides new opportunities for renewable energy developers and private power consumers
Vietnam encourages private investment in energy: Politburo
Made in Vietnam Energy Plan 2.0 to debut next week
Vietnam looks to more than double power generation capacity by 2030
Ministry reverts to old proposal on fixing solar power tariffs
Vietnam to use more coal, oil in 2020 to power growth: government
HCM City scales up smart city development project to all districts
New World Bank strategy to help Vietnam scale up solar power
Deputy PM hosts investors interested in LNG power development in Vietnam
Quang Tri aims to become regional energy centre by 2025
Massive investment in wind power plants could overload grid: experts
Citibank, ING to arrange funds for LNG-fired power units in Vietnam
Vietnam working on corporate PPA platform with 1-GW target
Vietnam seeks greater cooperation with US in infrastructure, energy
Vietnam Goes Big on Solar Power
 
ARTICLE CLIPS
 
 
Regional Affairs

APAC Hydrogen Association launched in Singapore Renewablesnow.com 20th Feb 2020
A new organisation dedicated to supporting the hydrogen industry in the Asia Pacific region has been formed this week. The Asia-Pacific Hydrogen Association (APAC Hydrogen Association) was set up by industry executives from the renewables sector in Asia. The Singapore-based entity will coordinate international policy, communications, research and analysis. Additionally, the association will provide networking and learning opportunities within APAC, according to an official statement published on Thursday.

Structurally cheaper LNG should displace coal from Japan, and broader Asia: Russell Reuters 10th Feb 2020
The collapse in the spot price of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in Asia is a short-term phenomenon that may well end up having a longer-term impact, especially on thermal coal. The spot price dropped to $2.95 per million British thermal units (mmBtu) for the week ended Feb. 7, the lowest price in records stretching back to 2010. It has lost 57% of its value since the pre-winter peak of $6.80 per mmBtu in mid-October, and is down 74% from the peak price in 2018 and 86% from the all-time high from February 2014. The reasons for the slumping price are well understood, with both demand and supply factors playing a role. On the demand side, growth in China has slowed from its breakneck pace as the world’s second-biggest buyer of LNG works to build the infrastructure needed for more coal-to-gas switching in both residential heating and industry. LNG demand in Japan, the world’s top buyer of the super-chilled fuel, has also been sluggish amid a warmer than usual winter and the restart of some of its nuclear fleet, idled after the 2011 Fukushima disaster. On the supply side, the commissioning of several new projects in Australia, which has overtaken Qatar as the top LNG exporter, as well as in the United States, has led to an abundance of cargoes. While it’s unlikely that spot LNG prices will stay at the current depressed levels indefinitely, the trend toward structurally lower prices appears sustainable.

Record low LNG spot prices attract bargain hunters ETEnergyworld.com 10th Feb 2020
Record low spot prices for liquefied natural gas (LNG) are attracting buying interest from companies in Asia hunting a bargain after China's top buyer of the fuel declared force majeure last week, four trade sources said on Monday. Sellers, however, are wary because of an array of operational issues, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Asian spot LNG prices touched a record low this month following reports China's top LNG buyer China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) had declared force majeure on some prompt LNG deliveries. Companies have been seeking to invoke force majeure, a legal provision that allows them to break contractual obligations because of circumstances beyond their control. The drop in demand following the coronavirus outbreak has added to oversupply caused by mild weather.

ASEAN

Constant Energy completes fund raising for Southeast Asian renewable IPP platform Eco-Business 7th Feb 2020
Constant Energy announced today that funds advised by Olympus Capital Asia are partnering with them to create a new larger renewable energy assets platform that will pursue opportunities in the attractive, rapidly expanding commercial and industrial (C&I) renewable and storage market in Southeast Asia. Olympus Capital Asia’s investment will be made through Asia Environmental Partners (“AEP”), its clean energy and sustainability platform. Constant Energy has been operating solar plants providing low-cost green power to large industrial clients in Thailand since 2017 and has over 150 megawatts of subsidy-free projects at the development stage in Thailand and other Southeast Asian markets with over 25 large industrial clients. “We are pleased that Asia Environmental Partners, one of the most experienced clean energy and sustainability investors in Asia, chose to partner with Constant Energy for its C&I platform. We are looking forward to accelerating our investment in world-class solar plants and thereby enabling our clients to rapidly and materially reduce their carbon footprint,” said Franck Constant, founder and CEO of Constant Energy. Pankaj Ghai, Managing Director of AEP, added: “We are excited to be able to participate in the clean energy revolution through investing in solar plants supported by long-term contracted cash yields with tier one corporates.The management team at Constant Energy has an excellent track record in delivering good-quality power projects in Asia. We look forward to bringing more renewable power into this fast-developing part of the world and supporting rapid and sustainable economic growth.” Constant Energy was advised by Finergreen as financial advisor and by Webber Wentzel as legal advisor in the transaction.

SMEs urged to invest in pro-environment technologies amid climate-change threat BusinessMirror 19th Feb 2020
Epson, in its SME Study on Digital Transformation in Southeast Asia, found that almost 30 percent of respondents in six of the largest Asean member-nations in terms of gross domestic product agreed managing customer experience as their top business challenge. About half of the participants in the Philippines considered this to be a lead concern. Knowing the increasing importance of environmental concerns among their customers is high among the corporate SMEs in the region, especially when purchasing office equipment, the study showed, as nearly 70 percent of them said they think about it when choosing a printer. This is more apparent among Thai SMEs, according to the research, the study showed. While “going green” is gaining momentum in the region’s business community, the same study noted, investing in new innovations, though, seems lacking. The Epson survey, for instance, revealed that more than 60 percent of Asean SMEs do not move forward with updating existing technologies due to cost.

Green debt markets in Asean poised to grow — SEC philstar.com 10th Feb 2020
The green debt markets in ASEAN countries including the Philippines are poised to grow, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). In a keynote speech at the ASEAN+3 Bond Market Forum Meeting held recently at the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Headquarters in Manila, SEC commissioner Ephyro Luis Amatong said bond issuances under the ASEAN Green and Sustainability Bond Standards have reached more than $3.8 billion last year. “While ASEAN may still be a relatively small player in the global Green/ Sustainability debt market – with $330 billion raised in 2019 – the rate of growth in ASEAN appears to show the necessary foundations for the development of such a green/ sustainability debt market have indeed been laid, including the issuance of a clear set of guidelines for issuers to follow and which investors, both international and domestic, recognize as holistic and reliable,” Amatong said.

Brunei

Ship management contract extended for Brunei accommodation vessel Riviera Maritime Media 24th Feb 2020
Brunei offshore vessel owner JISCO Marine Sdn Bhd has signed a two-year extension with Vroon Offshore Services (VOS) Singapore for a third-party ship-management contract for the accommodation workboat Nautical Aisya. This renewal will extend the co-operation between JISCO and VOS Singapore until at least the end of February 2022. The extension follows the award of a new contract by Brunei Shell Petroleum to JISCO Marine for Nautical Aisya. Built in 2015, the accommodation vessel has dynamic positioning class 2 capability, an overall length of 85 m, beam of 23 m and draught of 6.1 m, with a 900 m2 working deck and helipad. The new charter, which commenced on 1 February, continues an initial two-year, dynamic positioning class 2 charter, during which Nautical Aisya was cited by Brunei Shell Petroleum as its best-performing vessel in 2019, said Vroon. Sailing under the Brunei flag and in ABS class, Nautical Aisya will now widen its job scope to include helicopter operations, creating added value for Brunei Shell Petroleum (BSP). Preparations for this new charter involved some maintenance work on the vessel, and an onboard ‘Partners in Safety’ briefing on the learning engagement tool by VOS manager ship management Sivakumar Ramudu. The briefing, ’Invisible Hazards,’ included various safety drills attended by BSP personnel and completing the offshore vessel inspection database with only five minor observations, reported Vroon.

Brunei ships 4.7MT of hydrogen to Japan Borneo Bulletin Online 21st Feb 2020
A total of 4.7 metric tonnes of hydrogen have been shipped to Japan from Brunei Darussalam’s first pilot hydrogenation plant, which is operated by the Advanced Hydrogen Energy Chain Association for Technology Development (AHEAD). The plant is part of Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organisation (NEDO)’s First Global Hydrogen Supply Chain demonstration project that will run from January to December 2020. A total of 210 metric tonnes of hydrogen would be supplied to Japan throughout the year.

Cambodia

Countries urge Laos to conduct dam impact studies Khmer Times 6th Feb 2020
Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam yesterday reiterated concerns over Laos’ proposed Luang Prabang hydropower dam project and urged the country to conduct more studies on potential environmental and social impacts. The proposed project would be built in Houygno village in the province, approximately 25 kilometres from Luang Prabang town and approximately 2,036 kilometres from the Mekong Delta in Vietnam, according to an MRC statement. The Lao government is aiming for the dam to produce 1,460 megawatts of electricity for export to Thailand and Vietnam. The project is expected to begin next year. Nearly 200 people representing Mekong river countries, civil society organisations, the academic community, the private sector and development partners are currently attending the 9th Regional Stakeholder Forum in Laos and the issue of the proposed dam project was discussed yesterday. Sok Bunheng, a representative of the Cambodian National Mekong Committee, yesterday during the forum said more hydro-meteorological data on social and environmental impacts before the project should continue. Mr Bunheng said these concerns are related to the impact the dam would have on safety and downstream water flow. Representatives of Vietnam said the Lao government should consider halting the project and instead focus on renewable energy to meet power demands.

Thai firm to build plant in Cambodia Eleven Media Group Co., Ltd 1st Feb 2020
To cash in on the high demand in Cambodia Thai-based Precise Electric Manufacturing Co Ltd is planning to build an electric equipment plant in Pursat province. The announcement was made during a meeting between Pursat provincial governor Mao Thornin and the firm’s representatives on Wednesday. The initial phase of the investment project is worth about $2 million, he said, and that the company will increase capital investment to $5 million in the next phase.

Electricity investment exceeds $6B The Phnom Penh Post 19th Feb 2020
The government attracted more than $6 billion in electricity investment between 2006 and the end of last year. This is in response to rising electricity demands and is in line with government goals to reduce its cost for both commercial and residential users. This figure can be broken down into $3.3 billion in 2,756MW of electricity-generating capacity; $1.1 billion in 36 sub-stations, and $1.7 billion in a 34,056km medium-voltage electricity distribution network with 18,462 transformers and a 36,853km low-voltage network comprising more than 2.8 million capacitor bank connections. Foreign direct investment and local investment combined accounted for $4.6 billion, he said, while state investment through credit assistance and its direct budget accounted for $1.5 billion.

Five new solar farms to be connected to the national grid Khmer Times 17th Feb 2020
Solar farms across five provinces are being launched this year, according to the Ministry of Mine and Energy. In its annual report, the ministry stated five solar parks are having their construction works accelerated so they can be connected to the national grid as soon as possibe. Together, the solar projects will boost the nation’s power supply by a total of 160 megawatts (mW) a year. With each province accounting for; Svay Reign (20mW), Pursat (30mW), Kampong Speu (20mW), Battambang (60mW) and Banteay Meanchey (30 mW). Next year, according to the ministry, the country will launch another 60 mW in Kampong Chnang and 60 mW solar farm in Pursat provinces, generating 120 mW when combined.

Gov’t to spend $50M to cut electricity tax for industries The Phnom Penh Post 16th Feb 2020
The government will invest some $50 million to reduce electricity tariffs by $0.01 per kilowatt-hour for the industrial and agricultural sectors from this month, Ministry of Mines and Energy senior official Victor Jona said on Sunday. Cambodia produced a total of 11,261GWh of power last year, up 21 per cent from 2018’s 9,427GWh, a ministry report said. The Kingdom sold about 10,885GWh of electricity to more than 1.1 million consumers last year.

Electricity reaches 75% of households in 2019 Khmer Times 12th Feb 2020
A Mines and Energy Ministry’s report showed on Tuesday during the ministry’s annual conference indicated that some 2.68 million houses, or 75 percent of the country’s 3.57 million houses, had the electricity connected by the end of last year. Speaking at the conference, Minister of Mines and Energy Suy Sem said the government is committed to having all villages in the kingdom connected to electricity by the end of 2020. According to the report, the electricity available for the country last year was 3,382 megawatts, up 28 percent from 2,635 megawatts in 2018.

Cambodia greenlights two coal projects with 965MW capacity Asian Power 11th Feb 2020
The government of Cambodia has approved the construction of two coal-fired power plants totalling 965 MW. The government has approved a 265 MW coal-fired power project worth US$294m developed by the local company Han Seng Coal Mines in the northwest Oddar Meanchey province and is to generate first power in 2022. The government has also approved the construction of a 700 MW coal-fired power project worth US$1.34bn developed by Sinosteel (China) and local company Royal Group in the southwest Koh Kong province scheduled for commissioning in 2024. The thermal power projects are expected meet rising electricity demand and to improve the country's energy supply, especially in the dry season when hydropower plants are running below their capacities.

Indonesia

Indonesia's Pertamina signs crude swap deal with Malaysia's Petronas ETEnergyworld.com 18th Feb 2020
Indonesia's state owned oil and gas company PT Pertamina signed a framework agreement with Malaysia's Petronas to sell and buy crude this year, Pertamina said in a statement on Tuesday. The deal is aimed at cutting logistical costs for each of the companies by transporting their crude oil to refineries closer to the fields. Under the new agreement, Pertamina will also buy around 600,000 barrels per month of gasoline from Petronas worth around $500 million.

Energy and Natural Resources in Indonesia: Beneficial Ownership Disclosure Obligations and Tax Compliance | Lexology Lexology 17th Feb 2020
In an effort to streamline and clarify tax compliance and ownership disclosure obligations in the energy and natural resources sector, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (MEMR) recently issued Regulation No. 23 of 2019 entitled “Confirmation of Taxpayer Status in the Provision of Certain Public Services within the Energy and Mineral Resources Sectors” (Reg 23). Reg 23 seeks to clarify the tax validation process and establishes an online validation procedure. Importantly, it also introduces a tax compliance validation requirement for new business license applicants. The MEMR also passed Decree No. 243 K/08/MEM/2019 entitled “Obligation to Provide Taxpayer Registration Number and a List of Beneficial Owners when Submitting Applications for Licenses or Filing Reports in the Energy and Mineral Resources Sectors” (Decree 243). Before the passage of Decree 243, MEMR policy required license applicants in the mining, oil and gas sectors to disclose their beneficial owners. Notwithstanding the absence of enforceable secondary legislation, this requirement was later extended to include the electricity sector. However, no clarity or consistency existed regarding the number of layers of beneficial ownership or the amount of information required to be disclosed. Decree 243 clarifies this position by requiring applicants in the energy and mineral resources sectors (ie, mining, oil and gas, electricity and geothermal) to disclose all of their shareholders and beneficial owners.

Indonesia to Replace Fossil Fuel Plants with Renewable Plants Saur Energy International 7th Feb 2020
With an aim to achieve its target of 23 percent renewable energy share in the energy mix by 2025, Indonesia is planning to replace its old fossil fuel plants with renewable energy, as per the data and analytics company report. The country, which is mainly dominated by thermal power generation, has renewable energy potential of over 400 GW. However, currently, it is utilizing much less for power generation purpose. According to GlobalData report, around 85 percent of the total power mix is contributed by thermal technology. These days, all renewable energy projects in the country are developed under the build, own, operate and transfer (BOOT) scheme where PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) is the sole distributer of the electricity produced. In order to accelerate the renewable energy investments, government has to amend existing regulations on renewable energy and renegotiate the renewable energy electricity prices with developers, added the report. It further said that, the government has also announced to make changes to its existing thermal power fleet to meet the renewable energy target of 2025. It will convert existing fossil-based power plants that produce carbon dioxide emissions with more environment friendly renewable energy plants. As part of replacement mechanism, 2,246 units of diesel power plants aggregating 1.8 GW, 23 units of steam power plants aggregating 5.6 GW and 46 gas-fired power plants aggregating 5.9 GW would be replaced by renewable energy units. Diesel-fired plants, which have been in operation for more than 15 years and, coal and gas- fired plants operating for more than 20 years have been included under the replacement mechanism.

Eight dams to be ready in 2020: Public Works Ministry Antara News 20th Feb 2020
The government has targeted to complete the construction of eight dams under the National Strategic Program in 2020 at several food production centers, the Public Works and Public Housing Ministry stated. Indonesia has high water potential of 2.7 trillion cubic meters annually, of which 691 billion cubic meters are usable yearly, Minister of Public Works and Public Housing Basuki Hadimuljono noted in a statement here on Thursday.

New renewables bill may give Indonesia chance to move away from coal Eco-Business 17th Feb 2020
Indonesia’s parliament has for the first time prioritized passing new legislation on renewable energy, and activists have seized the opportunity to call for a shift away from coal. Indonesia has pledged to cut emissions by 29 percent independently to 2,037 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e) by 2030, or at least 41 percent with international help. It targets an 11 per cent reduction in total CO2 reduction from the energy sector in its nationally determined contribution (NDC), its pledge under the Paris climate agreement. “The bill appears to be part of Indonesia’s efforts to push for renewable energy in order to cut greenhouse gas emission that’s stipulated in the NDC,” said Grita Anindarini, a researcher for environmental pollution control at the Indonesian Center for Environmental Law (ICEL), and NGO, at a recent discussion in Jakarta.

Pertamina to kick off gas, oil exploration in Thousand Islands in March The Jakarta Post 14th Feb 2020
Upstream oil and gas company PT Pertamina Hulu Energi (PHE) Offshore Southeast Sumatra (OSES) plans to start  oil and gas exploration in the Thousand Islands, north of Jakarta’s coast, next month.

Jokowi invites Australia to develop renewable energy Antara News 10th Feb 2020
Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has invited Australia to cooperate in developing renewable energy and work hand-in-hand in conserving the environment. "We must work hand-in-hand to conserve nature, implement sustainable development, reforestation (barren land) and the upper reaches of rivers, prevent land and forest fires, commit ourselves to reduce carbon emissions, and develop renewable energy and other green technology," he said at the Australian Parliament building in Canberra Monday. "On February 2, one platoon of engineers from TNI (the Indonesian military) and personnel from the National Disaster Mitigation Board (BNPB) left Indonesia for New South Wales. They worked hand-in-hand with the Australian people to handle forest fires in Australia while at the same time an Indonesia-Australia team discussed a cooperation agreement to modify the weather," he said. "That is a smart city, smart metropolitan, green technology harmonious with the environment and a part of innovation, knowledge and technology-based economic transformation efforts," he said.

Indonesia to mend contract scheme to boost green energy projects The Jakarta Post 6th Feb 2020
Renewable energy players are warmly welcoming two proposed changes in a regulation heralded as game changers for the green energy sector: the introduction of a feed-in-tariff (FIT) pricing policy and the decompulsorization of the build-own-operate-transfer (BOOT) contract scheme. The ministry’s proposed FIT scheme guarantees a “two-stage” fixed rate for smaller renewable power plants. The first stage rate would last for 12 years. The second, lower-rate stage would last until the company’s power purchase agreement (PPA) with PLN expires. Larger plants would undergo rate negotiations on a business-to-business basis. Meanwhile, the proposed decompulsorization of the BOOT scheme would revoke ministerial regulation No. 53/2018, which requires investors to transfer their renewable projects to PLN at the end of their PPAs. The scheme has discouraged creditors from financing projects because they cannot accept the projects as collateral for loans.

Rekind Completed Phase One of Muara Laboh PLTP Project Yahoo Finance 5th Feb 2020
The National EPCC (Engineering, Procurement, Construction, Commissioning) company has completed the Muara Laboh Phase One Geothermal Power Project (PLTP) located in Solok Selatan Regency, West Sumatra. This was marked by the announcement of the commercial operation of the 85 Megawatt (MW) net power plant by PT Supreme Energy Muara Laboh (SEML), which is a joint venture between PT Supreme Energy, ENGIE and Sumitomo Corporation, Tuesday (16/12).This electricity will be supplied to the Sumatra electricity network owned by PT PLN (Persero), which can be distributed to approximately 340,000 households.

Indonesia eyeing cost recovery contract scheme for geothermal exploration Think GeoEnergy 2nd Feb 2020
The government is trying to attract investors to invest in the New Renewable Energy (EBT) sector. The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) is preparing a formula to attract investors, including developing a cost recovery contract scheme for the development of the geothermal sector. Arifin said that development in the geothermal sector has a higher risk than development in other EBT sectors. Therefore, according to him, incentives are needed to encourage investment in the sector.

Indonesia to boost use of renewable energy The Star Online 31st Jan 2020
Indonesia has set a higher composition of renewable energy in the country's energy consumption as the government aims at reducing reliance on fossil fuels and safeguarding energy security. The policy was supported by abundant sources of renewable energy which can be used to generate power and a huge amount of crude palm oil outputs as raw materials for biofuel. Indonesian Minister for Energy and Mineral Resources Arifin Tasrif said the government increase the target of renewable energy usage to 13.4 percent this year from 12.5 percent in the previous year, media reported Friday (Jan 31).

Indonesia to set cheaper coal prices for future gasification plants -minister | Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide Hellenic Shipping News 31st Jan 2020
Indonesia plans to set cheaper prices for coal to be sold to future gasification facilities as part of incentives for investors, Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Arifin Tasrif told reporters. The government is promoting the development of the coal gasification industry to take advantage of Indonesia’s large coal output and is offering incentives to attract investments. Tasrif said the government will “direct” coal prices to $20 to $21 per tonne for future plants that will process coal into gas.

Laos

Laos to Build World's Largest Floating Solar Power Project at Nam Ngum 1 Laotian Times 20th Feb 2020
A signing ceremony was held yesterday for the development of a floating solar power plant on the surface of the Nam Ngum 1 dam reservoir. The Floating Solar Power Project at Nam Ngum 1 will be a public-private partnership, with the Government of Laos holding a 20% share, while the private sector will hold 80% over a 25-year concession. The Project Development Agreement (PDA) was signed between Ms. Khamchan Vonseneboun, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment, and Mr. Sinava Souphaouvong, Deputy Minister of Energy and Mines, and Mr. Chanthanome Vongsomchith, Head of The Xaysomboun Provincial Office of Planning and Investment, and the President of China’s Hangzhou Safefound Technology, along with Sengthongphachan Sivongxay, Director of Lao PPA Accounting Consultancy. The solar project at Nam Ngum 1 is to have an installed capacity of 1,200 MW, covering an area of over 1,500 hectares, making it potentially the world’s largest project upon completion. Floating solar, or photovoltaic floating (PVF), is a solar array that floats on a body of water. The solar panels are mounted on a buoyant frame to hold them above the surface of the water and are typically situated on relatively calmer water bodies such as rivers, lakes and human-made reservoirs.

Laos consults Mekong nations on proposed Luang Prabang dam/power plant The Star Online 10th Feb 2020
The Mekong River Commission (MRC) held a forum last week for Lao authorities to hold talks with other Mekong nations before going ahead with construction of the Luang Prabang hydropower project. Laos last year submitted the hydropower scheme – another dam in the lower Mekong basin – for the Prior Consultation process as required by the 1995 Mekong Agreement. The consultation process will continue until April. At the 9th Mekong River Regional Stakeholder Forum, which was held from February 5 to 6 in Luang Prabang, the Lao government presented details of the hydropower plant to representatives of Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand, civil society, academics, the private sector, and development partners, for comment.

Lao electricity exports increase 145% within 2016-2020 The Star Online 5th Feb 2020
From 2016 to 2020, Laos expanded electricity capacity to 6,457 MW for export markets, which represents an increase of 145 percent over the previous five-year period. Lao Ministry of Energy and Mines earned more than 130 billion Lao kip (over 14 million U.S. dollars), up 35 percent compared to 2011-2015. On the back of these results, the ministry is looking to implement its energy development strategy to meet increasing domestic supply and export demand.

Malaysia

EV market slows on low awareness, limited charging stations The Malaysian Reserve 19th Feb 2020
UMW Toyota Motor Sdn Bhd (UMWT) president K Ravindran, said market awareness on the benefits of hybrid and EV cars is still low, while owners of such vehicles are facing inconveniences as charging facilities are not yet common in Malaysia. “The hybrid and EV car sales are limited in Malaysia at this moment of time. Nevertheless, we foresee the situation will be getting better in the near future with wider awareness and complete facilities as expected, to be aligned with the new National Automotive Policy (NAP) which will be announced soon,” Ravindran told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR) in an email recently. Hybrid vehicles saw declining sales last year, falling to 13,049 units from 20,744 units sold in 2018, according to data from the Malaysian Automotive Association. EVs saw an improvement from two units sold in 2018 to 32 last year, but the number is still a far cry from the volume in advanced markets.

B20 biodiesel to be sold in 3,400 petrol stations by mid-2021 Free Malaysia Today 20th Feb 2020
The Malaysin government will be rolling out its B20 biodiesel program in stages to cover 3,400 petrol stations nationwide in a push towards greener energy and increasing palm oil production. The primary industries ministry said on February 20 that the B20 biodiesel program is expected to be fully implemented by the middle of next year. It will be held in collaboration with petroleum companies like Petronas, Shell, Petron, Chevron and BHP. The initiative kicked off in Langkawi and Labuan last month and will be expanded to Sarawak (April), Sabah (August) and Peninsular Malaysia (June 2021). Malaysia introduced the B10 and B7 biodiesel programs in the transportation and industrial sector last year. In total, these two programs will use 1.3 million tons of palm oil and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 3.8 tonnes a year.

Malaysia's banks are bucking global finance decarbonisation trend by funding coal, study finds Eco-Business 20th Feb 2020
Malaysia’s major banks are bucking a global trend towards the decarbonisation of the finance industry by continuing to finance new coal-fired power projects in Southeast Asia, a new report has found. Maybank, Malaysia’s largest bank by assets and Southeast Asia’s fourth largest, CIMB and RHB Bank, Southeast Asia’s fifth and thirteenth biggest banks, respectively, have provided US$4.9 billion to coal projects in the region through loans and bonds over the last decade, data from finance-focused non-government organisation (NGO) Market Forces has shown. CIMB is Malaysia’s biggest coal funder, pumping more than US$2.6 billion into coal projects between 1 January 2010 to 31 December 2019, while Maybank provided US$1.8 billion and RHB, US$435 million over the same time period, figures from Market Forces’ report, titled Malaysian Banks’ dirty habit, show.

Kenanga IB, Petronas ink MoU on scheme for oil & gas players keen on doing IPO www.thesundaily.my 18th Feb 2020
Kenanga Investment Bank Bhd and Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to collaborate in the implementation of the Petronas Lestari: Road to Bursa Programme for the oil & gas services and equipment (OGSE) sector. In a Bursa Malaysia filing, Kenanga said the programme aims to build resilience, improve governance and sustainability of OGSE vendors through initial public offerings. “The programme is meant for the vendors who have indicated interest to undertake an IPO exercise, so the collaboration between Kenanga IB and Petronas serves to ease IPO candidates’ journey for an eventual listing on the equity market,” it said.

Petronas-Petros partnership can help increase S'wak participation in oil and gas value chain Borneo Post Online 12th Feb 2020
Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) has partnered with the Sarawak Economic Planning Unit on the development of the Sarawak Petrochemicals Masterplan Study, says Petronas president and group chief executive officer Tan Sri Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin. He said the scope of study includes gas monetisation options as part of efforts promote gas as a cleaner source of energy. In addition, it will explore the viability of a petrochemical hub and its related utilities infrastructure as well as human capital development.

Malaysia not ready for nuclear energy — Dr Mahathir The Edge Markets 10th Feb 2020
After holding a dialogue with the French business community in Malaysia on February 10, Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Malaysia will not build nuclear power plants until there is a safe way to dispose of the radioactive waste generated. He pointed out that Malaysia did not have adequate knowledge in that field. "If you have a nuclear power plant, you will accumulate nuclear waste which is radioactive and until now they do not know how to reverse the process. That is why we cannot use nuclear material because it stays on for millions of years. "We don't want this country to be full of such waste thrown all over the place and affecting people," he told reporters. Dr Mahathir during the dialogue was asked about Malaysia's vision on renewable energy sources, after a pledge by Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin to have Malaysia increase its renewable energy use to 20 per cent by 2025. Stressing the need for non-polluting renewable energy sources, he said Malaysia was working on reducing the usage of traditional energy sources such as oil, gas and coal to lessen the amount of pollution in the air.

Dr M: World needs non-polluting renewable energy, Malaysia not ready for nuclear power | Malay Mail Malay Mail 10th Feb 2020
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today spoke of the inherent need for a more non-polluting renewable energy source for the world, but rejected nuclear energy source, over the fear of the radioactive level in its waste. Dr Mahathir pointed out that Malaysia does not have enough expertise in science that is needed to manage nuclear power. He also expressed worry about the long-term effects of radioactive waste. Dr Mahathir was asked about Malaysia’s vision on renewable energy source, after a pledge by Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin, to have Malaysia increase its renewable energy use to 20 per cent, by 2025. In September, Yeo said that this will be accomplished via the Malaysia Energy Supply Industry 2.0 (MESI 2.0) plan.

RON95, diesel drop below capped price Free Malaysia Today 7th Feb 2020
Malaysian Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng today announced that prices of the RON95 and diesel fuel will drop below the capped price. RON95 is currently capped at RM2.08 per liter while diesel at RM2.18 sen per liter. Lim said RON95 will drop by 4 sen and diesel by 10 sen. He attributed this to a slump in global oil prices, lower than the cap under the Automatic Price Mechanism. Lim said the drop would have positive and negative effects, as the government would see a reduction in income but also would spend less on fuel subsidies. RON97, meanwhile will drop by 7 sen to RM2.34 per liter. The new prices will take effect from midnight till Feb 14. Lim went on to say that even if the global oil prices were to increase, the price for RON95 and diesel would still be capped at RM2.08 and RM2.18 per liter respectively. Meanwhile, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said the fuel prices would continue to be based on the Automatic Pricing Mechanism (APM) for now. “This is until we develop the targeted fuel subsidy mechanism.”

Malaysia’s LSS2 solar auction project reaches commercial operation Power Engineering International 6th Feb 2020
BayWa r.e. with the assistance of local partner HD Earth has delivered a 39 MW plant in Gebeng, Pahang, which will generate enough electricity to power 12,000 homes. BayWa r.e. and HD Earth won the project in the second solar tender held by Suruhanjaya Tenaga, Malaysia’s Energy Commission in 2017. This is the first solar farm to reach commercial operation out of all the winning bidders, connected to the 132 kV national transmission network. Construction on the complex project, which comprises almost 120,000 solar panels and more than 830 inverters, began in late 2018 and was completed on schedule at the end of 2019.

High Court sets Feb 11 for decision on Petronas' stay application The Star Online 5th Feb 2020
KUCHING: The High Court here has fixed Feb 11 to decide on Petronas' application for a stay of proceedings in the Sarawak government's lawsuit to recover unpaid state sales tax from the national oil corporation.

Myanmar

Posco International discovers new gas field in Myanmar The Korea Herald 17th Feb 2020
Posco International said Monday that it had discovered a new offshore gas reservoir near Myanmar, raising hopes for a new cash cow for the company. According to the Korean company, it began exploratory undersea drilling on Jan. 12 for its Mahar gas project. The company drilled 2,598 meters into the seabed, more than 1,000 meters below the water, and carried out drill stem testing to discover the gas reservoir, which could yield about 38 million cubic feet of natural gas per day. The company said it plans to carry out assessment drilling there from 2021, analyze the data for two years and come up with detailed plans to develop the new gas field for commercialization. The company is also to carry out exploratory drilling for another project in Aung Myin, some 24 kilometers southeast of Mahar.

Chinese State Firm, HK’s VPower to Implement Three Electricity Projects in Myanmar The Irrawaddy 13th Feb 2020
Amid the government’s efforts to avoid power shortages across the country, a Hong Kong company has announced that its joint venture with Chinese state-owned CNTIC will invest in three power plant projects in Myanmar with a total capacity of 900 megawatts (MW) and an estimated value of over US$800 million (1.2 trillion kyats). Hong Kong-listed VPower Group International Holdings Limited, one of the largest investors in Myanmar’s electricity sector, this week said it had set up a joint venture with Chinese state-owned China National Technical Import and Export Corporation (CNTIC) to provide power in Myanmar. VPower said each company held a 50 percent share in the investment, development and operations of the planned projects.

Thai developer invests $1bn to put Myanmar industry on global map Nikkei Asian Review 3rd Feb 2020
Thai industrial estate developer Amata Corp. plans to build an industrial complex with an investment of $1 billion in Yangon, Myanmar's biggest city. The complex will provide important industrial infrastructure in a nation with few global-standard industrial zones suitable for foreign companies. Amata recently signed a land lease agreement and joint venture agreement with the Myanmar Ministry of Construction in the country's capital of Naypyitaw, securing the right to use 800 hectares of land in the northeastern part of Yangon for 70 years. Amata's investment will include construction of 600 megawatt power plant. Amata estimates that tenant companies' long-term investments in the new industrial zone will eventually reach $3.7 billion.

Myanmar to increase renewable energy sources The Star Online 13th Feb 2020
Myanmar is trying to increase the content of renewable energy sources by tapping all available energy sources to generate electricity, said Union Minister for Electricity and Energy Win Khaing. As the country is blessed with solar energy, wind power and other renewable energy sources, a 40-megawatt solar power plant has been built in Minbu and the plant is distributing electricity through the national grid. The minister stressed the need to increase employing energy sources that have little impact on the environment.

Wärtsilä to deliver equipment for two LNG-fuelled power plants in Myanmar LNG Industry 6th Feb 2020
Wärtsilä has announced that it will deliver the equipment for two LNG-fuelled power plants being urgently installed in Myanmar on a fast-track basis. During summer last year, Wärtsilä claims that the Yangon area of Myanmar saw power cuts of up to six hours a day. In order to avoid this situation happening again, the Myanmar government has ordered additional generating capacity to be installed and operational within a few months. Each plant will feature eight Wärtsilä 50SG pure gas engines delivering a combined output of 146 MW. They will contribute more than 5% of the country’s grid capacity. The order with Wärtsilä was placed in 4Q19, and the equipment is scheduled for delivery before the end of February 2020. According to the statement, the projects will be owned by a consortium consisting of China National Technical Import and Export Corp. (CNTIC) and VPower Group – Myanmar’s largest gas-fired engine power plant owner and operator. The two plants will operate on LNG fuel.

Proposal to purchase power from China to be studied The Myanmar Times 4th Feb 2020
The Ministry of Electricity and Energy (MOEE) says a feasibility study will be conducted as soon as possible on a proposal for Myanmar to purchase electricity from China. An agreement to conduct a study for a China-Myanmar cross-border power transmission line project was signed during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Myanmar in January, U Soe Myint said. It is proposed that during the initial phase of the project, Myanmar will purchase power from China for domestic consumption and sell back power to China at a later time if Myanmar has surplus power, he added. To fill the country’s power needs, 1,000 MW would be bought from China before 2021, said senior officers from Ministry of Electricity and Energy officially in May 2019.

Myanmar generates about 3,200 megawatts of electricity now Eleven Media Group Co., Ltd 31st Jan 2020
Myanmar is generating about 3,200 megawatts of electricity at the present, according to figures from the Ministry of Electricity and Energy. The maximum electricity production is 3,199 megawatts of electricity on January 29 and it only produced 3,649 megawatts of electricity on November 19 last year. It is less than 450 megawatts compared with the highest electricity production within two months. Myanmar will need about 5,000 megawatts in the coming summer and it is implementing seven power projects to generate over 1,000 megawatts of electricity to meet the demand, said Deputy Minister Khin Maung Win of Electricity and Energy.

Philippines

GE to upgrade 218 MW Philippines hydro plant Power Engineering International 14th Feb 2020
GE Renewable Energy has won a contract with Angat Hydropower to rehabilitate the 218 MW Angat hydro plant in the Philippines. This 53-year-old facility is some 58 km northeast of Manila in Norzagaray, Bulacan, on the Angat River. It supplies more than 90 per cent of Metro Manila’s potable water needs and provides for the irrigation needs of 25,000 hectares of farmlands in Bulacan and Pampanga. This contract is the first major rehabilitation program since the facility was commissioned in 1967. The Angat plant contains four 50 MW turbine-generator units and uses five auxiliary units. GE Renewable Energy’s hydro teams in Europe and the Americas will be responsible for the supply of two new 50 MW Francis turbines, four new 50 MW generators and three new upgraded auxiliary turbines and generators. They will be in charge of the assessment of the penstock and the powerhouse, and a new control system will also be provided.

Baguio eyes WTE plants on Pinsao lot Business World 20th Feb 2020
The Baguio City government is looking at a five-hectare property in Pinsao village as potential site for waste-to-energy (WTE) plants. In a statement, Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong said he already had an initial discussion with the “claimant of the property,” which covers a total of 8.5 hectares, and appropriate documentation is currently being processed. “The city’s priority development projects that will be established in the property will be the bio-mass waste to energy plant, the residual waste to energy plant..” the local government official said. Baguio City has signed an agreement with PNOC Renewables Corp., the renewable energy arm of state-run Philippine National Oil Co., for the development of a WTE facility, which can also be possibly used by neighboring towns in Benguet.

NEA to Luzon, Visayas power co-ops: Prepare summer contingency plans BusinessMirror 18th Feb 2020
THE National Electrification Administration (NEA) has called on all electric cooperatives (ECs) in Luzon and Visayas to prepare their respective contingency plans to mitigate the impact of power-supply deficiency during summer months. The agency said ECs must implement demand-side management programs and maximizing embedded power plants to reduce, if not eliminate, rotating brownouts during peak hours.  Embedded power plants are those that are not directly connected to the power grid, but still supply power to a specific area. In Luzon, five ECs—Ilocos Norte Electric Cooperative Inc., Isabela I Electric Cooperative Inc., Isabela II Electric Cooperative, Zambales II Electric Cooperative Inc. and Sorsogon II Electric Cooperative Inc.—have embedded power plants with a combined capacity of 11.696 megawatts (MW).

Auctions could bring in $20-B RE investment to PHL, study shows BusinessMirror 18th Feb 2020
A WHOPPING $20-billion investment in renewable energy (RE) could be raised by the Philippines over the next decade via auctions in and beyond the Green Energy Tariff Program proposed by the Department of Energy (DOE), a recent study has revealed. Titled “Paying Less for More-How Auctions Can Transform the Philippines Power Sector,” the latest report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) came out as the DOE headed from President Duterte’s call for more low-cost RE through its tarrification proposal that would establish pricing for solar, wind and other RE sources. Such program seeks to push for competition and draw more investments in the green energy sector. “This leadership by the Department of Energy will enable lower pricing for consumers and industry, while ensuring a more secure supply of domestic renewable power,” said Sara Jane Ahmed, author of the report and financial analyst at IEEFA.

Gas prices up; diesel, kerosene to decline BusinessMirror 18th Feb 2020
OIL companies will increase the price of gasoline and reduce diesel and kerosene prices. In separate advisories, the oil firms said a P0.35-per-liter price hike will be implemented on gasoline products. Diesel and kerosene prices, on the other hand, will go down by P0.10 per liter each.  The price adjustment of Seaoil Philippines, PetroGazz, Phoenix Petroleum, Total Philippines, Pilipinas Shell and PTT Philippines takes effect at 6 a.m., Tuesday, February 18. Other oil companies are expected to announce soon a similar price adjustment. The price adjustment reflects movements in the world oil market.  This is the sixth consecutive week of price rollback for diesel and kerosene. 

Power co-ops advised on shortages in April, May Business World 17th Feb 2020
THE National Electrification Administration (NEA) told electric cooperatives (ECs) to prepare for possible rotational brownouts in April and May when the power supply deficiency is projected to reach up to 821 megawatts (MW) in Luzon. “DoE (Department of Energy) estimates that red alerts may be issued from April 18 to 21 and May 20 to 22, and that an additional capacity of 256 MW to 821 MW is needed in the Luzon power grid to avoid the yellow or red alert in the region,” said NEA Administrator Edgardo R. Masongsong in a briefing on Monday at the agency’s head office in Quezon City

PH could attract $20-B renewable energy investment Manila Bulletin News 13th Feb 2020
The Philippines could attract US$20 billion of renewable energy investment over the next decade through the use of auctions under the Department of Energy’s (DOE) proposed Green Energy Tariff Program, according to a new report released on Thursday. The report, titled “Paying Less for More – How Auctions Can Transform the Philippines Power Sector,” was conducted by the United States-based Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA). The report provides the means to improve the auctions process to enable global capital uptake of 20 gigawatts of new power with a potential investment value of US$20 billion.

‘Murang Kuryente’ measure hurdles bicam; ratification seen next week Business World 11th Feb 2020
The Philippine Senate and House of Representatives are set to ratify next week the proposed “Murang Kuryente Act" (Cheap Electricity Act), which could end up taking effect in September. The legislation is known as House Bill 8869 and Senate Bill 1950 in the respective chambers. It proposes to lower power rates by, among other measures, the transfer of billions of pesos worth of Malampaya funds to help pay down debts incurred by the National Power Corp., according to the House version. Senator Gatchalian said once signed by President Rodrigo R. Duterte, the law is expected to be implemented “around September.” Funds from the government’s share of Malampaya revenue payment will cover NAPOCOR’s Stranded Contract Cost (SCC) and Stranded Debts (SD). The SCC and SD are currently passed on to power consumers through the Universal Charge.

GE Renewable Energy to support the clean energy growth in the Philippines POWER Magazine 10th Feb 2020
GE Renewable Energy booked a contract with Angat Hydropower Corporation to rehabilitate the 218 MW Angat hydropower plant located in the Philippines. This 53-year-old Angat hydropower facility supplies more than 90% of Metro Manila’s potable water needs and supports the irrigation of 25,000 hectares of farmlands in Bulacan and Pampanga. This contract is the first major rehabilitation program since the facility was commissioned in 1967. GE Renewable Energy’s hydro teams in Europe and the Americas will be responsible for the supply of two new 50 MW Francis turbines, four new 50 MW generators as well as three new upgraded auxiliary turbines and generators. They will be in charge of the assessment of the penstock, the powerhouse and a new control system will also be provided.

ERC rejects DOE price scheme for renewable-energy auction | Lenie Lectura BusinessMirror 10th Feb 2020
The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) does not agree with the Department of Energy (DOE) that there should be a preapproved rate for renewable energy (RE), which will be the cap for the planned auction of 2,000 megawatts (MW). According to ERC Financial and Administrative Service Head Sharon Montañer, the regulator prefers to conduct its own study on how best to arrive at appropriate rates.

NGCP claims to have thwarted 100 cyberattacks on grid system Business World 10th Feb 2020
The National Grid Corp. of the Philippines’ (NGCP) transparency regarding its operations has become an issue after reports that it has detected 100 cyberattacks, officials said. NGCP President Anthony L. Almeda disclosed the detection of cyberattacks “a hundred times,” in the past few weeks. On top of this, National Transmission Corporation (TransCo) said the NGCP uses the NARI Transmission Control Operational Platform System, which allows remote access to the grid. Such controls are remotely accessible. Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi pressed the NGCP to subject its operations to audit to ensure that security measures are in place to counter attacks. NGCP Spokesperson Cynthia P. Alabanza said the detections are proof that its cybersecurity efforts are effective.

As Cusi revives plan to consider nuclear energy philstar.com 7th Feb 2020
It is time for the Philippines to consider utilizing nuclear power, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said yesterday. “For the past several years, the DOE, through our Nuclear Energy Program Implementing Organization, has been working under the close guidance of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to assess the feasibility of safely and responsibly harnessing nuclear energy in the Philippines. In a survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) commissioned by the DOE to gauge national public perception on nuclear energy , respondents said nuclear energy possess both benefits and risks. “An approval rating of 79 percent on the possible use and rehabilitation of the Bataan nuclear plant and a 65 percent approval rating on building a new nuclear plant are positive indicators on the acceptability of nuclear energy,” Cusi said.

Fitch flags Philippines lack of focus on clean energy philstar.com 7th Feb 2020
Fitch Solutions Macro Research has flagged the country’s lack of focus on clean energy development in its long-term energy plan, particularly in the development of natural gas, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and renewables, as “worrying.” The Philippines needs to import more LNG amid declining output from Malampaya, Fitch said. Based on its outlook for the Philippines LNG imports, Fitch said the country lacks emphasis on natural gas, LNG and renewables in the Philippines’ Energy Plan (PEP) 2017-2040 and  this remains a source of potential concern.

Natural gas import projects slow out of the gate — Fitch Solutions Business World 5th Feb 2020
Declining Production from the Malampaya deepwater gas project has left the Philippines needing to import liquefied natural gas (LNG), but projects to allow the fuel to come in are facing delays, Fitch Solutions Macro Research said. The lack of emphasis on natural gas, LNG and renewables in the Philippines’ Energy Plan covering 2017-2040 is also a source of concern, added the research unit of UK company Fitch Solutions Group Ltd. It said the Malampaya field’s output is widely expected to be depleted by 2027 at the latest, based on the projection of the Department of Energy (DoE). The country’s only gas production site accounts for 15% of its electricity. It powers 20% of Luzon island.

FDC Utilities to build 26-MW hydro plant in Philippines Renewablesnow.com 4th Feb 2020
FDC Utilities Inc plans to build a 26-MW run-of-river hydropower plant in the Philippine municipalities of Santa Fe in Nueva Vizcaya and San Nicolas in Pangasinan. The Pampang project, which was developed by FDC Utilities’ subsidiary FDC Renewables Corp, got a certificate of confirmation of commerciality from the energy department in January. The firm expects to conclude the permitting process and enter the construction phase by the end of 2020. Commercial operation is scheduled for 2024.

Philippines steps up security to shield power grid from foreign control Reuters 3rd Feb 2020
The Philippines is beefing up security protocols to protect its energy sector from foreign interference, its national security adviser said, following concerns raised by some of the country's politicians about China's access to the country's power grid. China's State Grid Corporation owns a 40% share in a consortium called the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines, which in 2008 won a 25-year-franchise.

Singapore

Singapore’s clean energy firm Sunseap raises $72m from Thailand’s Banpu Group DealStreetAsia 14th Feb 2020
Singapore-based renewable energy solutions Sunseap Group on Friday announced it has raised S$100 million ($71.8 million) from Thailand’s listed energy company Banpu Group to support its regional expansion. The latest financing forms the fourth tranche of the firm’s Series D round. In January, the company had secured S$50 million ($36.8 million) from Singapore’s state investor Temasek Holdings and Asia-focused impact investing private equity fund ABC World Asia. Banpu Group is an integrated energy solutions company and an existing Sunseap investor.

Incentives likely to encourage electric vehicle adoption in Singapore, but questions remain, say analysts CNA 19th Feb 2020
Newly announced measures aimed at incentivising the use of electric vehicles (EVs) are likely to encourage their adoption, say observers, though there are still questions about their implementation.   Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat announced that Singapore aimed to phase out the use of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles here by 2040, and outlined a slew of measures aimed at incentivising the use of more environmentally friendly alternatives, such as EVs.  Among them is the EV Early Adoption Incentive (EEAI), where those who buy fully electric cars and taxis will receive a rebate of up to 45 per cent on the Addition Registration Fee (ARF), capped at S$20,000. Mr Heng, who is also the Finance Minister, also announced plans to expand Singapore’s charging infrastructure, from 1,600 charging points currently to 28,000 in the future.  He also said the road tax methodology for cars will be revised, leading to an “across-the-board” reduction in road tax for EVs and some hybrids.

Budget 2020: Steering towards adoption of electric vehicles a shift in Govt focus, say experts TODAYonline 19th Feb 2020
Transport and energy analysts support the new subsidies announced by the Government to encourage Singaporean drivers to switch to electric vehicles (EVs), but said that the availability of charging points is crucial to get more drivers on board. On Tuesday (Feb 18), Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat announced a variety of measures during his Budget speech to encourage Singaporeans to switch to cleaner, greener cars as part of the nation’s fight against climate change. Among these are a rebate of up to 45 per cent on the additional registration fee for buyers of EVs, and the expansion of public charging infrastructure for EVs from 1,600 today to about 28,000 by 2030. Read more at https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/steering-towards-adoption-electric...

Sembcorp to build Singapore's largest floating solar farm covering 45 football fields The Straits Times 10th Feb 2020
One of the world's largest floating systems to convert solar energy into electricity - covering about 45 football fields - will be constructed here by Sembcorp Solar Singapore. In a move announced by national water agency PUB on Monday (Feb 10), Sembcorp was appointed to construct the solar farm at Tengeh Reservoir in Tuas which, when completed in 2021, could generate enough energy to power about 16,000 four-room Housing Board flats. It is also expected to reduce carbon emissions here by around 32 kilotonnes per year, the equivalent of removing 7,000 cars off Singapore's roads. PUB said Sembcorp's proposal, which beat those by three other local and overseas companies, uses "highly efficient" panels and has a layout that maximises energy generation.

People in Singapore support use of clean energy, want 'more ambitious climate action': NCCS study CNA 8th Feb 2020
People in Singapore strongly support the use of clean energy to power homes, vehicles and industries, and want "more ambitious climate action", the National Climate Change Secretariat (NCCS) has found. These were among the findings from a public consultation exercise conducted by the NCCS which focused on Singapore’s long-term low emissions development strategy (LEDS). The exercise saw about 2,000 submissions from businesses, community groups, and individuals. It was held from Jul 16 to Sep 30 last year, and the findings released on Friday (Feb 7).

Future of solar panels bright as sales hot up The Straits Times 5th Feb 2020
Solar panels are becoming a hot item in Singapore, with the number of installations more than doubling in the last three years. According to the latest statistics released by the Energy Market Authority, there were 3,504 solar installations as of the third quarter of last year - 40 per cent higher than in the third quarter of 2018, and 113 per cent higher than in 2016. Property owners have been able to harness enough energy to sell back the excess to the power grid. Leading utilities provider SP Group said the number of customers who have set up accounts to sell electricity back stood at 2,976 as of Dec 31 last year. Of these, 2,298 were residential and 678 were non-residential.

Thailand

New oil pipeline in northern Thailand may worsen flooding China Dialogue 14th Feb 2020
A pipeline stretching from central to north-east Thailand promises to “promote Thailand as an energy hub in the region” and “increase energy security”, according to the Ministry of Energy. Construction began in mid-2019, despite local communities objecting that the largely Chinese-financed project could worsen flooding and contaminate water. The 342km pipeline will run two metres underground and link Thailand’s north-eastern province of Khon Kaen to an existing pipeline in the central province of Saraburi. Energy Minister Sonthirat Sonthijirawong attended a ceremony on 5 February to lay the foundation of a 140 million litre oil tank in Khon Kaen’s Ban Phai district at the end of the pipeline. Altogether, it will pass through 70 towns in five provinces including Lopburi, Nakhon Ratchasima and Chaiyaphum. The route was agreed in August 2016, when the energy ministry signed a deal with the project investor, Thai Pipeline Network (TPN). The ministry has promoted the pipeline as a more efficient means of transporting oil to the north-east, claiming it will lower oil prices and cut down on accidents involving road tankers. TPN director Panu Seetisarn said the pipeline will avoid 88,000 road tanker journeys each year. The THB9.2 billion (US$300 million) project is largely funded by a loan from the Chinese government, which stipulates that at least 35% of the equipment used must come from China. The precise details of the deal have not been made public. However, Panu revealed that TPN and undisclosed investors are investing about THB1 billion each. The project has been progressing quickly since January last year when the government approved the environmental impact assessment (EIA) report.

Envision Digital to develop first AIoT smart grid for PTT in Thailand Renewable Energy World 13th Feb 2020
Envision Digital International Pte Ltd (Envision Digital), a global digital AIoT technology company headquartered in Singapore, has been appointed to develop the first smart grid for Thailand’s major energy company, PTT Public Company Ltd (PTT). By integrating floating solar panels, rooftop solar panels, energy storage systems, and electric charging stations in the campus with Envision’s EnlightTM and EnsightTM digital analytics software, the smart grid project will help PTT to achieve its 2020 strategic objective: Zero increase of absolute emission growth rate. The contract follows a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between Envision Digital and PTT in April 2019 to collaborate on multiple initiatives revolving around new energy and digital transformation.

LNG hub comes together quickly Bangkok Post 10th Feb 2020
Since late last year, the Energy Ministry has been announcing efforts to push forward a plan to promote Thailand as a free-trade hub for liquefied natural gas (LNG). This move means every state agency and company will have greater access to the LNG market -- both import and export -- under the third-party access (TPA) concept, which came into play in 2016. The Energy Ministry has been pushing for a free-trade hub for LNG since 2016, but the policy has yet to be enacted because LNG use is a new segment and Thailand also has natural gas resources in the Gulf of Thailand for the country's consumption. With this low response from energy companies, the government decided to grant the LNG shipper licence to the state-run Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) in 2018. Egat has a lease agreement with PTT for the receiving terminal and gas pipeline, with a plan to feed the natural gas to its power generation.

Egat to run solar power trade test Bangkok Post 10th Feb 2020
The state-run Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) has initiated a test of peer-to-peer power trade from solar rooftops, planning to enter the prosumer trade in the coming years. Governor Viboon Rerksirathai said Egat installed solar panels on top of its headquarters in Nonthaburi to conduct the test and collect power trade data. The power trade business is limited under an enhanced single buyer (ESB) concept. Egat is the sole power buyer from private power producers for power generation projects of over 10 megawatts. Two state-run agencies -- the Metropolitan Electricity Authority and the Provincial Electricity Authority -- oversee the purchase of electricity from projects of less than 10MW.

Smart-grid plan aims to make Thailand the electricity hub of Asean The Star Online 8th Feb 2020
The Energy Policy and Planning Office (EPPO) is continuing with the phased smart-grid plan from 2017-21, aiming to make Thailand the electricity hub of Asean and creating new business for energy producers. “The mega-project is divided into four phases: preparation [2015-16], short-term projects [2017-21], medium-term projects [2022-31] and long-term projects [2032-36], ” he said. “The short-term projects will include the development of pilot projects to test technical suitability and investment feasibility of each technology.” Anirut explained that projects in this phase will largely cover expansion of alternative power grids and energy system management, such as the smart-grid initiative in Pattaya that aims to change 116,308 old meters into smart meters within this year, and the microgrid pilot project that aims to create an independent energy ecosystem with built-in energy storage system [ESS] that does not rely on main power lines.

UOB launches U-Solar programme in Thailand to support local solar industry ecosystem Bangkok Post 7th Feb 2020
United Overseas Bank Thai (UOB) today launched U-Solar, Asia’s first solar industry ecosystem , in Thailand to lead the take-up of renewable energy nationwide. Through the U-Solar programme, the bank connects businesses and consumers across the solar industry value chain and helps their transition to a low-carbon economy. The programme is also available in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. In supporting the growth of the solar power industry, UOB provides solar project developers with solutions in green financing, project loans and portfolio financing, as well as cash management services. For Engineering, Procurement Construction (EPC) contractors, UOB offers end-to-end contract-based financing solutions, from bid bonds and letters of credit issuance to performance guarantees and working capital facilities.

Egat eyes digital tech in operations Bangkok Post 6th Feb 2020
The state-run Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) plans to adopt technology to increase operation and maintenance efficiency at 32 power plants nationwide. Nutthavutthi Chamchang, deputy governor for generation, said the tech adoption is meant to transition Egat's power generation to the digital age over the next decade. In related news, Egat signed agreements with two Japanese bodies -- the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization and Marubeni Corporation -- for a demonstration project on power generation improvement using digital technologies.

Thailand’s Constant Energy raises $15m as loan from GCPF DealStreetAsia 6th Feb 2020
Thailand’s independent power producer (IPP) Constant Energy has raised $15 million as a long-term senior secured loan from Switzerland-based investment firm Global Climate Partnership Fund (GCPF), according to a statement. Constant Energy develops, builds and owns solar rooftop and ground-mounted projects focused on delivering energy solutions to commercial and industrial (C&I) customers. Following the long-term debt, the company will grow its pipeline of solar energy projects for industrial clients in Thailand and Southeast Asia.

Panel suggests easing rules for LNG trade Bangkok Post 5th Feb 2020
The National Energy Reform Committee has proposed relevant agencies and companies ease conditions to allow free trade of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and peer-to-peer power trading in the country. Kawin Thangsupanich, the committee's secretary-general, said the government allows third parties access to the LNG import business. Eligible LNG shippers must hold gas sale agreements with off-takers - highlighting a condition initiated in 2015 to keep up with the rapid changes of the global petroleum market. The new version of reform aims for open and free private participation in the energy sector and deregulation of all aspects over the next two decades, as policymakers deal with disruptive technology.

Electric vehicles to be levied lower registration tax in Thailand The Star Online 2nd Feb 2020
The Department of Land Transport is joining the campaign for cleaner air by offering incentives to those who use clean energy vehicles. The department wants to encourage the use of alternative energy instead of fuel by reducing the annual vehicle tax on electric vehicles. The tax for a passenger electric car with not more than seven seats will be calculated according to the weight of the car at the same rate as a fossil-fuel passenger car for more than seven people.

Egat mulls more LNG imports amid low prices Bangkok Post 31st Jan 2020
The state-run Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) is studying the feasibility of a third importation of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in order to take advantage of the baht's appreciation and low gas prices in the global market. Tawatchai Jakpaisal, Egat's deputy governor for fuel, said the third shipment for LNG is planned at roughly 1 million tonnes for three of Egat's gas-fired power plants: South Bangkok in Samut Prakan, Bang Pakong in Chachoengsao and Wang Noi in Ayutthaya.

Vietnam

Vietnam's draft decision on the pilot program on corporate synthetic (financial/virtual) direct PPA mechanisms provides new opportunities for renewable energy developers and private power consumers Lexology 5th Feb 2020
The Ministry of Industry and Trade of Vietnam ("MOIT") recently submitted Proposal No. 544 to the Prime Minister along with a new draft Decision on approval of the pilot program on direct power purchase agreement ("DPPA") mechanisms between renewable energy developers/power generation companies and private power buyers/consumers ("Draft DPPA Decision").1 DPPA mechanisms (also known as corporate PPAs) are surging around the world as a new driver and catalyst for renewable energy projects. Following years of studying these mechanisms, MOIT officially submitted Proposal No. 544 and the Draft DPPA Decision to the Prime Minister to propose synthetic DPPA mechanisms (also known as financial, virtual direct or corporate PPAs) for off-site renewable energy projects in Vietnam with a proposed pilot program at a scale ranging from 400MW to 1,000MW. The DPPA mechanism refers to a power purchase agreement arrangement in which the power purchasers (off-takers) are private power consumers. This represents a growing global trend whereby instead of buying electricity directly from the State utility off-taker, private businesses purchase electricity directly from independent power developers (generators) under long-term contracts.

Vietnam encourages private investment in energy: Politburo SGGP English Edition 20th Feb 2020
The Politburo will encourage all economic sectors, especially private businesses, to invest in energy projects, Party General Secretary, President Nguyen Phu Trong has said. He approved a resolution which sets the direction for national energy development over the next 15 years last week. In the resolution, Trong asked for creating a transparent environment and removing all barriers to attract and encourage the private sector to invest in domestic and foreign energy projects.

Made in Vietnam Energy Plan 2.0 to debut next week Vietnam Investment Review - VIR 19th Feb 2020
The Vietnam Business Forum will roll out next week the second edition of the Made in Vietnam Energy Plan (MVEP 2.0), a business case for the primary use of Vietnam’s domestic resources to stimulate investment in clean, secure and affordable energy generation. The MVEP 2.0, based on the groundbreaking 2016 edition – MVEP 1.0, will be released on February 27. The report has been developed during a time of fast-paced transition towards renewable energy and increasing use of natural gas in electricity production in Vietnam. The report recommends Vietnam to prioritise renewable energy in national power planning; increase use of natural gas as the current best-fit baseload for renewable energy; construct a regulatory and permitting environment that attracts private sector and smaller scale off-grid investment in clean energy generation and energy efficiency; invest in grid infrastructure to improve stability and capacity; and halt any new approvals for coal.

Vietnam looks to more than double power generation capacity by 2030 U.S. 19th Feb 2020
Vietnam will more than double its power generation capacity over the next decade to support a fast-growing economy, new guidelines for a national energy development strategy show. The Southeast Asian nation aims to boost capacity to 125-130 gigawatts (GW) by 2030, from about 54 GW now, the Communist Party’s powerful decision-making politburo said in a document this month. It will raise the proportion of renewable energy to 15% to 20% by 2030, while trying to cut reliance on coal for electricity production, the strategy document showed. Coal now accounts for about 38% of capacity.

Ministry reverts to old proposal on fixing solar power tariffs VnExpress International 19th Feb 2020
The Ministry of Industry and Trade is arguing against using a bidding mechanism for deciding solar power tariffs, saying it could have negative impacts. In its latest report to the government Tuesday, the MoIT has suggested that solar power projects approved before November 23, 2019 that begin operating before January 1, 2021 should enjoy fixed feed-in-tariffs (FIT) of 7.09 cents a kWh for plants on land and 7.69 cents for floating plants. The suggestion is reversing its stand on a proposal it had submitted just last week, under which investors of projects coming online after 2020 would have to bid on solar power prices, and the cheapest one would be chosen.

Vietnam to use more coal, oil in 2020 to power growth: government Hellenic Shipping News 18th Feb 2020
Vietnam will generate more electricity from coal and oil this year to compensate for an expected drop in output from hydropower plants because of a lack of rain, the government said on Friday. The Southeast Asian country, which has one of the fastest-growing economies in Asia, is increasingly reliant on climate-warming fossil fuels to support its growth. Output from hydropower plants is estimated to be 2.67 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) below target this year, the government said in a statement on its website.

HCM City scales up smart city development project to all districts VietnamPlus 17th Feb 2020
The Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee has urged all districts to conduct programmes on smart city development, with specific targets, roadmaps and implementation measures suited to the characteristics of individual locality. In the first phase of its smart city development, the city selected districts 1 and 12 to pilot the project, and there have been some accomplishments after more than two years, Chairman of the committee Nguyen Thanh Phong said. They include application of cutting-edge technologies in administration, and are a crucial foundation for scaling up the project to the remaining 22 districts, he told a recent meeting.

New World Bank strategy to help Vietnam scale up solar power Vietnam Investment Review - VIR 13th Feb 2020
The deployment of new solar generation will be a critical factor for the government of Vietnam to meet its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) emissions reduction target and reduce its need for new coal generation. According to the new World Bank Vietnam Solar Competitive Bidding Strategy and Framework report, supported by the Global Infrastructure Facility (GIF) and the World Bank’s Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP), Vietnam’s solar generation capacity has the potential to improve from the current 4.5GW to the tens of GW range within ten years, while creating thousands of new jobs. The report recommends two new deployment schemes for projects: competitive bidding for solar parks, and "substation-based bidding" – competitive bidding based on available capacity at electrical substations. These approaches would address the curtailment issue as well as improve risk allocation between public and private investors.

Deputy PM hosts investors interested in LNG power development in Vietnam Vietnam Investment Review - VIR 12th Feb 2020
Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung on February 11 received a group of investors from the US and the Republic of Korea who are interested in liquefied natural gas (LNG) power development in Vietnam. At the reception in Hanoi, the Deputy PM acknowledged the serious intention of the investors, and affirmed that the Vietnamese Government always encourages and facilitates the participation of domestic and foreign firms in power projects in Vietnam. He informed the guests that the demand for electricity in Vietnam is growing at an average 10 percent a year. Vietnam is diversifying its sources of power in the direction of reducing coal-fired power and raising the share of gas-fuelled power and renewable energy, Dung said, adding that gas-fired power is slated to account for 12 percent of total electricity generation, equivalent to 17,000 MW, by 2030.

Quang Tri aims to become regional energy centre by 2025 VietnamPlus 11th Feb 2020
The central province of Quang Tri is working to attract investment to realize its target of becoming an energy centre of the central region by 2025. Vice chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Quan Chinh said Quang Tri is giving priority to investment in wind, power, gas and thermal power. The province looks to increase the total electricity generation capacity of local power plants of all kinds to 5,000 MW in 2025, including 3,200 MW of wind power, and around 1,500 MW of solar power. During 2021-2025, Quang Tri will have to build more 500 kV transformers for the transmission of nearly 2,000 MW more of electricity from wind power plants.

Massive investment in wind power plants could overload grid: experts VietnamPlus 9th Feb 2020
The rush to invest in wind energy to take advantage of the Government's pricing incentives could lead to overloading of the national grid in a repeat of the solar scenario, experts warn. A well-known renewable energy expert, who did not want to be named, said investing in wind power to enjoy pricing incentives is risky. The preferential rate for wind power only applies to grid-connected plants beginning commercial operations before November 1, 2021, and many investors are racing against time to start operations, but a wind power plant cannot be built as quickly as a solar power plant, he explained.Citing the example of solar farms, he warned that if many wind power plants are built in any place before November 2021, the grid there would surely be overloaded and they would have to operate below capacity.

Citibank, ING to arrange funds for LNG-fired power units in Vietnam U.S. 7th Feb 2020
HANOI (Reuters) - PetroVietnam Power Corp has signed a deal to allow a consortium of Citibank and ING Bank [INGBK.UL] to arrange funds for its project to expand a gas-fired power complex in southern Vietnam with two new units, the company said. The funds will be used for the construction of the 1,500-megawatt (MW) total capacity Nhon Trach 3 and 4 plants in Dong Nai province, PetroVietnam Power said in a statement following the signing of the deal earlier this week. The plants - to cost about $1.4 billion - are scheduled to start commercial operations from the fourth quarter of 2022, and will be fired by imported liquefied natural gas (LNG), according to PetroVietnam Power.

Vietnam working on corporate PPA platform with 1-GW target Renewablesnow.com 7th Feb 2020
Vietnam is preparing to launch a pilot programme that will facilitate the signing of synthetic power purchase agreements (PPAs) between private power buyers and renewable energy producers, targeting contracts for up to 1 GW in 2020-2022. The size of the direct PPA programme, to be available nationwide, is envisaged in the range of 400 MW to 1,000 MW, under a proposal submitted by the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Vietnam (MOIT). The plan is subject to public comments and approval by the Prime Minister.

Vietnam seeks greater cooperation with US in infrastructure, energy hanoitimes.vn 6th Feb 2020
Vietnam is looking to step up cooperation with the US in infrastructure finance and energy, which are in line with agreements between the two countries and of huge potential, according to Nguyen Van Binh, Politburo member and head of the Party Central Committee’s Economic Commission. The move is particularly important as the domestic resources are limited, Binh said in a meeting with Acting Assistant Secretary at the US Department of the Treasury Mitchell Silk on February 5. Binh said the Vietnamese government encourages greater participation of the private sector in the capital market, infrastructure development and energy, which are part of the vision of the Communist Party of Vietnam to transform private economy into a major driving force of the economy.

Vietnam Goes Big on Solar Power Voice of America 5th Feb 2020
Solar power is making a strong showing in Vietnam after years of shuttling from one extreme to the other, with the nation looking sometimes like it would revert to coal, and other times like it would invest in renewable energy. By the end of last year Vietnam had surpassed Malaysia and Thailand to reach the largest installed capacity of solar power in Southeast Asia, with 44% of the total capacity, according to figures from Wood Mackenzie, a firm that sells consulting services in the energy industry. Solar supporters were encouraged to see the government offer a high feed in tariff (FIT). This helped push Vietnam to reach 5.5 gigawatts of solar capacity last year.