Energy Update: May 19, 2020

Energy Update | May 19, 2020
Authors: Shay Wester, Kim Yaeger, Annga Antagia, J-Ren Ong & Minh Vu
 
LOOKING AHEAD
 
 
THE COUNCIL'S TAKE
 
 

More Asian Financial Institutions and Energy Firms are Ending Support for Coal Power Projects

Asian financiers and energy firms are joining the global movement away from coal power projects. In April, Japan's two largest institutional banks, Sumitomo Mistui Financial Group and Mizuho Financial Group, the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, and Ayala Corporation of the Philippines announced the end of financing for new coal-fired power projects, joining nearly 130 globally significant financial institutions who have announced coal exit policies. In Southeast Asia, Ayala Corporation is the fifth institution to exit coal power projects, joining the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and three Singaporean institutions, DBS Bank, OCBC Bank, and United Overseas Bank. Although the number of institutions in Southeast Asia are few compared to the global number, the coal-fired power plants projects in Southeast Asia would nonetheless be at risk as a large number of Japan, South Korea, and China institutions, the major source of financial support, are ending their support.

According to the Global Energy Monitor, the pre-construction coal power pipeline in Southeast Asia is trending downward, falling by 22 percent in 2019. Aside from the reduction of available capital for coal, this decrease is also driven by environmental concerns and the increasing attractiveness of lower-cost domestic renewables. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic also causes a drop in electricity demand in the region. Bloomberg NEF estimated that electricity demand in Vietnam is decreased by 7 percent year-on-year in the first half of April 2020 while the demand in the Philippines and Malaysia is decreased by 23 percent.

Malaysia’s new cabinet restructures The Ministry of Energy Science Technology Environment and Climate Change

The Ministry of Energy Science Technology Environment and Climate Chage (MESTECC) has been restructured and split into three new ministries. The three new Ministries are:

  1. The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI), led by YB Khairy Jamaluddin
  2. The Ministry of Energy & Natural Resources (KeTSA), led by YB. Dato’ Dr. Shamsul Anuar bin Hk Nasarah
  3. The Ministry of Environment and Water, led by YB. Dato’ Tuan Ibrahim bin Tuan Man

Government of Brunei Creates New Regulatory Agency for Oil and Gas Industry

As the global economic shocks of COVID-19 decrease oil and gas demand with international travel and industry slowdowns, Brent Crude Oil—the international benchmark—dipped underneath $20 per barrel on April 21: something that has not happened in 18 years. Brunei's Minister of Economic and Finance II Dr Awang Mohd Amin Liew Abdullah has acknowledged the global oil oversupply but has stated that the Sultanate will continue its oil production because of the confidence in its existing buyers and estimated selling prices in the months ahead. Brunei is also continuing to evaluate the impacts of a 23% production cut in line with OPEC's recent agreement to sustain price levels, as nearly 65% of its GDP relies on the oil and gas sector.

In the context of severely declining oil prices, Brunei's Ministry of Energy recently announced the formation of a new regulatory agency called the Petroleum Authority of Brunei Darussalam (PABD). PABD will be responsible for "regulation and monitoring of operations and infrastructure in the upstream, midstream, and downstream oil and gas sector." It will provide technical resources, manage Brunei's petroleum data, and share information with businesses and potential investors. It also will consolidate the processes and structure of operational regulations. PADB will accordingly take on the regulatory responsibilities previously assigned to state-owned Petroleum Brunei, which now plays a purely commercial role. The separation of regulatory functions from a national oil company (Petroleum Brunei) is generally viewed by private industry as a preferred framework for petroleum industry development.

Vietnam Ministry of Industry and Trade Calls for Private Investment in Power Transmission

Ahead of the Vietnam National Assembly's 9th session which will discuss the new Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Law, the Vietnam Ministry of Industry and Trade has proposed that the Law should have provisions allowing private companies to invest in transmission lines and substations connecting power plants with the national grid. Currently, power transmission in Vietnam is a state monopoly, operated and managed by the National Power Transmission Corporation (NPT) of Electricity of Vietnam (EVN). The NPT has supported the proposal but wants a clear distinction between transmission to and from the national grid.

The call to open this monopoly is due to the increasing energy demand in a growing economy. Although the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted economic activities and hampered Vietnam economic growth, the Prime Minister has set the target for GDP growth rate at above 5 percent for the year 2020, above the IMF's forecast of 2.7 percent. The proposal also comes as Vietnam is prioritizing renewable energy and in need of upgrading its transmission infrastructure. In 2019, Vietnam has 91 solar farms with a total capacity of 4,550 MW, overloading the national grid. In Q1 2020, solar power output increased by 28 times year-on-year, producing 2.3 billion kWh and along with wind power accounted for 4.8 percent of total generation of 57.3 billion kWh.

UPDATES FROM THE U.S. GOVERNMENT
 
 

U.S. Export-Import Bank (EXIM): financing schemes in Indonesia

On May 5, 2020 from 9:00 – 10:00 AM (SGT), The Export-Import Bank of the United States in cooperation with the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta conducted a brief to discuss their financing schemes and ongoing projects in Indonesia.

Key Takeaways from the Briefing are:

  1. EXIM Supports short, medium and long-term financing to Creditworthy international customers, and working capital guarantees to U.S. Exporters.
  2. EXIM financing is a cost-effective source of financing for international customers to purchase U.S.-made technologies & services.
  3. EXIM can finance services and products, including software licenses.

Notes summarizing the EXIM briefing are attached here.

US-ABC Energy Committee Call with briefing from U.S. International Development Finance Corporation

The Council held its 2020 Energy Committee call on May 18 from 9:00 – 10:00 PM (SGT). During the call the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) provided a brief that addressed the challenges and way forward posed by COVID-19 in the energy sector. DFC also shared their financing opportunities and priority countries for the energy sector in Southeast Asia.

Key Takeaways from the Briefing are:

  1. DFC supports the financing of all energy development projects, with the exception of nuclear power.
  2. In addition to debt financing DFC has the ability to make equity investments, with a cap of $60 billion.
  3. DFC finance requirements do not have U.S. content restrictions.
  4. DFC sees major opportunities for development financing post-COVID-19.

Notes summarizing the DFC briefing are attached here.

ADVOCACY UPDATE
 
 

US-ABC Advocacy Tracker

In response to member feedback and in our effort to improve members' ability to plug into our many ongoing advocacy efforts, we have launched a simple Advocacy Tracker on our website. The Advocacy Tracker lists all active Call for Inputs with due dates and contacts for which Council staff to reach out to for more information. The tracker can be found on our website under the Members Only section. You may reach out to Kim Yaeger at kyaeger@usasean.org if you have any questions or feedback regarding the Advocacy Tracker.

 
IN THIS UPDATE
 
 

Regional Affairs
+ More Asian banks seen avoiding coal projects

ASEAN
+ Global oil price crash leaves ASEAN economies staring down the barrel | ASEAN Today

Brunei
+ New milestone for hydrogen supply chain
+ Brunei will continue oil production
+ Brunei says it will continue oil production despite global oversupply
+ Green energy projects launched in Temburong
+ Asian LNG prices edge up from record low but demand still stale
+ France's Total sells assets in Brunei, Sierra Leone, Liberia

Cambodia

+ KrisEnergy secures $87 million loan facility for Phase 1 of Apsara oil fields in Cambodia
+ 98 Percent of Total Villages to Be Electrified Before Year End
+ Commercial financing from MIGA for power transmission in Cambodia
+ Cambodia Halts Hydropower Construction on Mekong River Until 2030

Indonesia
+ House approves revised Mining Law amid outcry

+ Demand for photovoltaic panels plummets in Indonesia amid pandemic
+ Refusing to Lower Fuel Prices, Govt: Global Prices Not Stable Yet
+ Indonesia's coal consumption may fall 5 percent as virus spreads: Energy ministry

Malaysia
+ Ministry of Energy Science Technology Environment and Climate Change restructured

+ TNB to deploy big data analytics in Sepang LSS to boost efficiency
+ Petronas may reduce domestic spending
+ Analyst sees RM31 billion lost this year from dip in crude oil prices
+ IDEAS: Malaysia may lose RM31 bil per year if oil prices remain at US$30 per barrel
+ Malaysia says welcomes OPEC+ pact to cut crude oil output
+ Energy consumption reeling from COVID-19, MCO
+ Sabah imposes 5% petroleum product sales tax from March
+ Majuperak to supply solar energy for Perak
+ Petronas makes oil discovery in US Gulf of Mexico
+ Petrol, diesel prices continue to dip amidst Covid-19 pandemic
+ Practise power conservation at home during MCO

Myanmar
+ Kyunchaung gas power plant project to be completed soon
+ PTTEP pledges to continue gas production work in Myanmar
+ Govt extends power bill payment deadline in Yangon
+ Toshiba Wins Order for Power Generation Equipment for Myanmar's Sedawgyi Hydropower Plant Rehabilitation Project
+ Almost all of Yangon set to experience blackout

Philippines
+ AboitizPower terminates wind farm purchase deal in Vietnam
+ First Gen watches 'very low’ LNG prices as PHL prepares to import
+ Most renewable energy plants continue to operate during lockdown
+ Energy efficiency industry bats for inclusion in stimulus program
+ DoE releases draft accreditation guidelines for energy-efficiency firms
+ PIPPA rejects force majeure provision in PSAs with DUs and power co-ops
+ DOE seeks stakeholders’ comments on proposed green energy pricing rules

Singapore
+ NEA launches new $1.76 million fund to help organisations treat and recycle food waste
+ Petrol prices drop to $2 level, a week after crude oil's record lows
+ ExxonMobil investment builds on presence in S'pore

Thailand
+ New power discounts effective immediately
+ Thai Super Energy to invest $457 million in four solar power plants in Vietnam
+ PTTEP unveils new oil find off Mexico
+ EA undeterred by low fossil fuel prices
+ Ministry keen to build LNG stockpile while prices low
+ Thailand Issues Regulations for Procurement of Electricity from Very Small Power Plants
+ Canal service gets new lease on life

Vietnam
+ Ministry calls for allowing private investment in power transmission
+ Wind power plant set to operate in Ninh Thuận
+ Watson Farley & Williams assists Vietnam floating solar project financing
+ Vietnam Set to Make Aquaculture Farming Sustainable with Solar Energy
+ Vietnam's gasoline, gasoil oversupply woes to persist even as government eases movement controls | S&P Global Platts
+ Enercon wins 310MW wind turbine contract in Vietnam
+ Vietnam: Draft Public - Private Partnership (PPP) Law: Impacts on large-scale energy and infrastructure project development and financing
+ MoIT proposes keeping current FiT for wind power projects
+ EVN wants to public list of planned solar power projects in Ninh Thuan
+ GE inks Phuong Mai supply deal in Vietnam
+ PetroVietnam proposes restriction of oil imports due to COVID-19
+ Retail price of electricity to drop 10 per cent in three months
+ Solar power grows 28-fold in Vietnam's energy mix
+ Quang Nam prioritises green FDI projects
+ Solar FIT 2 finally announced in Vietnam but strict timeline remains
+ Policies needed to encourage investment in waste-to-energy
+ Dung Quat Oil Refinery may suspend operation due to COVID-19 pandemic
+ Vietnam's travel restrictions threaten transport fuels
+ Government considers 10 pct power price discount to ease Covid-19 pains

 
ARTICLE CLIPS
 
 

Regional Affairs

More Asian banks seen avoiding coal projects BusinessMirror 5th May 2020
More financial institutions in Asia are likely to end their support for coal power projects after Japan’s two largest institutional banks recently announced that they would stop financing new coal-fired power plants. Japan Bank for International Cooperation and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group and Mizuho Financial Group have joined Singapore’s United Overseas Bank, DBS Bank, and Overseas Chinese Banking Corp. in halting the financing of new coal power projects.

ASEAN

Global oil price crash leaves ASEAN economies staring down the barrel | ASEAN Today ASEAN Today 2nd May 2020
As the price of oil has plummeted to its lowest point since 2002, some of Southeast Asia’s biggest economies are feeling the pressure. A price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia started to drive prices down earlier this year. Then the COVID-19 outbreak sent it spiralling. The pandemic’s spread has seen flights grounded and people urged to stay at home, reducing demand for oil. As a result, prices fell to around US$20 per barrel.

Brunei

New milestone for hydrogen supply chain Borneo Bulletin Online 11th May 2020
The world’s first international hydrogen supply chain between Brunei Darussalam and Japan reached a milestone after successfully extracting H2 from a liquid organic hydrogen carrier (LOHC) shipped from Brunei, the Ministry of Energy said on May 10. The demonstration project is operated by the Advanced Hydrogen Energy Chain Association for Technology Development (AHEAD) led by the Japanese consortium, which includes Japanese conglomerates Mitsubishi, Nippon Yusen, Mitsui and Chiyoda Corp. The project is in line with His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam’s vision for advancing long-term green energy programme of the nation, as delivered in the New Year 2020 titah. The liquefied hydrogen was produced by a hydrogenation plant, operated by the Japanese Consortium at Sungai Liang Industrial Park (SPARK) with the first hydrogen exported from Muara Port to Japan on November 17, 2019. Hydrogen produced in Brunei’s hydrogenation plant is shipped more than 4,000km inside containerised tanks to a dehydrogenation plant in the Japanese city of Kawasaki, where H2 is extracted. The project will run till the end of the fiscal year of 2020. The demonstration project, a subsidized “technology development project to establish hydrogen society/technology development for the utilization of large scale hydrogen energy”, is funded by the National Research and Development Agency (NEDO) and demonstrates “the hydrogen supply chain utilising the organic chemical hydride method”.

Brunei will continue oil production Borneo Bulletin Online 22nd Apr 2020
There are four major benchmarks for crude oil globally – West Texas Intermediate (WTI), Brent Blend, Dubai Crude and Tapis Crude-, in which WTI recently announced that the United States’ (US) oil prices fell as low as USD37.63 per barrel. Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah explained on April 21 during a press conference that there is obviously an oversupply situation following a question on whether the recent Brent Blend crude oil prices have affected Brunei. The minister added that trading for May cargo will be continued and trading for the June cargo to begin today, noting that the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting demand especially in the US, which will have implications on other benchmarks. “Production will be continued in Brunei and I’ve had a discussion with Brunei Shell Petroleum Co Sdn Bhd (BSP) on this matter as well, and this is the time when you really need to make sure that you always have a diversified portfolio of buyers,” said the minister. The selling of cargo, said the minister, can be done first, but will depend on a determined price set during that month. For example if the cargo is traded for the month of June, the prices will be whatever is set during that month.

Brunei says it will continue oil production despite global oversupply The Star Online 22nd Apr 2020
BRUNEI, April 22 (Borneo Bulletin/ANN) - Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah said yesterday during a press conference that there is obviously an oversupply situation following a question on whether the recent plunge in Brent Blend crude oil prices have affected Brunei.

Green energy projects launched in Temburong Borneo Bulletin Online 18th Apr 2020
The Ministry of Energy (ME) through its Sustainable Energy Division recently introduced two sustainable energy related-projects, 8kW solar photovoltaic rooftop installation project and energy auditing program in the Temburong District. The projects will support the Temburong District Development Authority (AKDT) initiatives and project masterplan. The projects aim to encourage the deployment of the renewable energy technologies and to ensure energy saving opportunities are prudently optimized in the Temburong District. The installation of 8kW solar rooftop project on a three-floor shop house at Bumiputra Commercial Building once completed will be the first government-led solar project in the Temburong District, advocating the “green concept”. This is part of the ministry’s ongoing effort to integrate renewable energy into the national power generation mix in realizing Brunei Vision 2035, the ME stated. The project construction by a local contractor began early this month and is expected to be completed by late April 2020. It is estimated that the solar PV system will produce approximately 10,500 kWh per year. This is equivalent to a reduction of carbon emission of about 2,838 kg of carbon dioxide per year and the reduction of diesel consumption of 4,200 liters per year. Meanwhile the ministry launched an energy auditing programme on government buildings in the Temburong District last February. The energy audits are conducted by the ministry’s certified Energy Manager and Energy Auditor from the ASEAN Energy Manager Training and Certification Program under ASEAN-Japan Energy Efficiency Partnership (AJEEP) scheme. Government office buildings in the Temburong District are expected to meet the mandated Energy Efficiency Index (EEI) of 175 kilowatt-hours per square meter per year as part of the requirement under Brunei Accredited Green Unified Seal (BAGUS) produced by the Ministry of Development (MoD) to be awarded with the Building Energy Label (BEL) Recognition Certificate.

Asian LNG prices edge up from record low but demand still stale Asian LNG prices edge up from record low but demand still stale 9th Apr 2020
Asian spot liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices edged up the week of April 6 from record lows in the previous week as Chinese buyers re-entered the market, but stale demand elsewhere capped the rise in prices. The average LNG price for May delivery into northeast Asia rose by 10 cents to an estimated $2.40 per million British thermal units (mmBtu) this week, several traders said. Brunei LNG sold two cargoes for delivery in May at about $2.40 to $2.60 per mmBtu, while Australia's Ichthys LNG sold an April-loading cargo at similar price levels on a delivered basis, traders said.

France's Total sells assets in Brunei, Sierra Leone, Liberia Reuters 7th Apr 2020
Total said on April 7 that it had sold assets in Brunei, Sierra Leone and Liberia, which the French energy group said represented a total value of more than $400 million. In Brunei, Total said it had closed the sale of its wholly owned subsidiary Total E&P Deep Offshore Borneo BV to Shell, while it also signed a deal to sell its marketing and services businesses in Liberia and Sierra Leone to Conex Oil & Gas Holdings Ltd. “In the current context of low oil prices, these transactions support the action plan announced to weather the crisis,” Total Chief Financial Officer Jean-Pierre Sbraire said.

Cambodia

KrisEnergy secures $87 million loan facility for Phase 1 of Apsara oil fields in Cambodia Khmer Times 1st May 2020
KrisEnergy (Apsara) Company Ltd, the concession holder for Cambodia’s Block 1 offshore oil field has secured a credit facility agreement of $87 million. The credit facility agreement was signed with Kepinvest Singapore Pte and constitutes project financing for the funding of the funding of the development of the Group’s near-term development project at Cambodia Block A, an offshore development oil and gas asset located in the Khmer Basin of the Gulf of Thailand with approximately 3,083 sq. km of gross acreage.

98 Percent of Total Villages to Be Electrified Before Year End https://www.akp.gov.kh 21st Apr 2020
Ministry of Mines and Energy has confirmed that at least 98 percent of the total villages nationwide will be electrified by the end of 2020. The information was shared at a press conference on the work progress of the Ministry of Mines and Energy held on April 21 at the Office of the Council of Ministers. H.E. Victor Jona, Director-General of Energy and Spokesperson at the Ministry of Mines and Energy, said that currently the ministry and Electricité du Cambodge (EDC) are working to build electricity transmission lines in the area where there is no electricity network built.

Commercial financing from MIGA for power transmission in Cambodia ESI-Africa.com 9th Apr 2020
MIGA, a member of the World Bank Group, has issued guarantees that will support the refinancing of existing power transmission infrastructure in Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh, and its surroundings. The move paves the way for commercial funding to replace financing previously offered by the Export-Import Bank of Malaysia Berhad (Malaysia EXIM).

Cambodia Halts Hydropower Construction on Mekong River Until 2030 Voice of America 9th Apr 2020
Experts in Cambodia have welcomed the government's recent halt on hydropower development on the Mekong River until 2030, but called on the government to focus on renewable energies. The spokesman for the Ministry of Mines and Energy's General Department, Victor Jona, told VOA on Tuesday that no further hydropower dams were needed on the Mekong River main stream for the next 10 years to meet energy demand.

Indonesia

House approves revised Mining Law amid outcry The Jakarta Post 12th May 2020
As the country grapples with the COVID-19 crisis, lawmakers have approved a controversial revision of the 2009 Coal and Mineral Mining Law, despite outcry from civil society organizations. The new law, aimed at developing Indonesia’s downstream mining industry and increasing economic growth, will allow miners to extend permits through a simpler and centralized bureaucratic process. After months of deliberation, eight of the nine parties at the House of Representatives (DPR) agreed on Tuesday to pass the bill, with the Democratic Party being the only one to oppose it. The bill revises 82 percent of 175 articles in the original Mining Law and adds two new chapters. Civil society groups have criticized the changes as sidelining regional autonomy, environmental protection and local communities. The revisions provide good incentives to industry and guarantee the extension of contacts. These revisions, have also been designed to harmonize with mining rules under the omnibus law on job creation, another game-changing piece of new legislation. Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Arifin Tasrif, speaking on Tuesday, said the bill aimed to stimulate downstream value-added industries while also providing legal certainty for investment in such industries.

Demand for photovoltaic panels plummets in Indonesia amid pandemic The Jakarta Post 4th May 2020
Indonesia’s photovoltaic (PV) providers face a bleak business outlook at least in the next six months as the government and individual users cut back spending on anything deemed nonessential amid the pandemic, including solar panels. Demand for commercial PV panels was down up to 70 percent in the March-April period from a year earlier as businesses aborted installation plans and as, most critically, the government cut back electrification project plans, according to a recent survey conducted by energy think tank Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR). Meanwhile, demand for residential PV systems dropped by up to 100 percent during the same period as consumers reallocated funding to groceries, bills and savings.

Refusing to Lower Fuel Prices, Govt: Global Prices Not Stable Yet Tempo 4th May 2020
Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) Minister Arifin Tasrif confirmed that the government had not yet reduced fuel prices due to various considerations, including fluctuating prices of global crude oil lately. “The government still maintains the prices because global oil prices and the exchange rates are still unstable and may drop,” said Arifin during a meeting with the House of Representatives (DPR) Commission VII on Monday, May 4. Arifin underlined that his side was monitoring the oil price crash. Although the prices often drop during a crisis, he added, it will return to normal within three months.

Indonesia’s coal consumption may fall 5 percent as virus spreads: Energy ministry The Jakarta Post 13th Apr 2020
The government expects domestic coal consumption to fall as much as 5 percent this year due to lower coal-fired power plant activity in the virus-ridden economy. The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry said on Thursday that consumption was projected to reach around 147.25 million tons this year “if the COVID-19 pandemic continues,” down from an initial Domestic Market Obligation (DMO) expectation of 155 million tons.

Malaysia

TNB to deploy big data analytics in Sepang LSS to boost efficiency NST Online 6th May 2020
Tenaga Nasional Bhd's (TNB) is deploying big data analytics applications in its large scale solar (LSS) farm in Sepang to improve energy productivity and operational efficiency. TNB said its wholly-owned TNB Renewables Sdn Bhd had appointed Envision Digital International Pte Ltd to do the task. TNB said the 50 megawatts (MW) solar farm is one of the largest in Malaysia with 238,140 solar panels generating more than 110,000 megawatt-hour (MWh) of energy in its first year of operation in 2019. TNB Renewables managing director Mohd Yusrizal said the company was constantly seeking for innovative technology solutions that will help accelerate its growth in the renewable energy sector. "The solar farm in Sepang is our first LSS project in Malaysia. By adopting cloud- based solutions, we can monitor and analyse the solar farm's performance remotely and achieve better returns on investment. The project with Singapore-based Envision Digital will involve the deployment of its cloud-based digital analytics applications, including EnlightTM Solar, EnsightTM Solar, and Forecaster. Since the beginning of this project in March 2019, both organizations begins to collaborate on multiple initiatives revolving around new energy and digital transformation. Eventually, TNB Renewables will build a digital renewable energy platform leveraging Envision's EnOS AloT Operating System, to connect various renewables assets and applications, such as biogas, biomass and mini hydro. The platform will not only provide asset operation and performance visibility to the company, but also allow the integration and synergized operation among various renewables energies.

Petronas may reduce domestic spending NST Online 22nd Apr 2020
Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) may reduce its domestic capital expenditure (capex) this year if oil prices drop further, analysts said. Hong Leong Investment Bank Bhd said Petronas’ commitment to maintaining its domestic capex could be jeopardized by the Brent crude oil movement in tandem with US’ crude West Texas Intermediate (WTI). Petronas previously said it would continue with its planned domestic capex of RM26 billion to RM28 billion this year, despite the recent downturn in the oil market. However, the national oil company said it would reassess its plans and budget amid the challenging environment. On April 22, Brent crude oil prices fell below US$16 a barrel for the first time in 20 years, as storage runs out in the face of a supply glut. At press time, the benchmark crude rebounded slightly to US$16.40 a barrel for the June contract. WTI, meanwhile, hovered at US$10 a barrel. On April 20, WTI futures contracts for May fell into the negative territory for the first time in history at -US$37.63 a barrel fromUS$55.90 a barrel last Friday. For now, the firm kept its oil price assumption of US$47 per barrel for 2020. This was on the premise of some recovery in demand in the second half of 2020 against the backdrop of production cuts.

Analyst sees RM31 billion lost this year from dip in crude oil prices Free Malaysia Today 22nd Apr 2020
An analyst in the oil and gas sector warns that Malaysia may lose some RM31 billion in revenue this year due to the low price of crude oil, which continues to be buffeted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Renato Lima de Olivera, an assistant professor at the Asia School of Business, said the complicating factor for Malaysia is its mature basin and higher production costs compared with producers in the Middle East. “While most Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) can still profitably extract oil at US$20 per barrel, many other countries will see their exploration activity come to a halt,” he told FMT. Olivera attributed the low oil prices to the drop in demand for the commodity in the transport sector due to Covid-19 travel restrictions. “About 60% of global oil consumption is in the transportation sector but now, mobility has been restricted as countries adopt lockdown measures.” And because production has continued at a time when there is little demand, Olivera said the cost of storing oil had increased.

IDEAS: Malaysia may lose RM31 bil per year if oil prices remain at US$30 per barrel The Edge Markets 16th Apr 2020
The Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) said that Malaysia may lose RM30.9 billion in fiscal revenues per annum if oil prices remain low, which would further strain the nation’s finances. It said this issue was discussed in a webinar organized by the Centre of Market Education (CME) and supported by IDEAS titled ‘Oil Economics in Times of Crisis and Energy Transition’ today, by CME board member Professor Renato Lima de Oliveira, who is also IDEAS senior fellow and assistant professor at the Asia Business School. According to Prof Renato, a field-by-field study showed that if crude oil prices stay around the US$30 per barrel mark from today till 2030, the world can expect a decrease of US$170 billion in capital investments in new production capacity and US$616 billion in government revenues on average, per year, compared with a scenario of prices at US$60 per barrel. Malaysia is also expected to lose per annum US$1.7 billion in new capital investment as well as US$7.1 billion (RM30.9 billion) in fiscal revenue from the oil and gas (O&G) segment, which would put further pressure on the country’s finances.

Malaysia says welcomes OPEC+ pact to cut crude oil output The Edge Markets 15th Apr 2020
Malaysia has agreed to cut its crude oil production by 136,000 bpd for May and June despite being a small producer and net importer of oil, its minister in charge of economic affairs said on April 15. It said it welcomes the supply reduction agreement between OPEC members and allies, as it would stabilize the global oil market and ensure supply security for consumers. OPEC and allies led by Russia, a group known as OPEC+, agreed on April 12 to a record cut in output to prop up oil prices amid the coronavirus pandemic in an unprecedented deal with fellow oil nations, including the United States, that could curb global oil supply by up to 20%. Mustapa said despite the cuts, it was critical for Malaysia to preserve a favorable investment climate since its upstream sector is a liberalized market with participation of more than 20 Petroleum Arrangement Contract (PAC) operators.

Energy consumption reeling from COVID-19, MCO The Edge Markets 15th Apr 2020
The fallout from COVID-19 has resulted in a significant impact on various sectors across the board, especially energy consumption, as the economy is operating at only about 45 per cent capacity amid the Movement Control Order (MCO) that grips the country. The International Energy Agency estimated that electricity demand in countries with partial and full lockdown has declined by around 15 per cent in markets where strong confinement has been adopted. State-owned utility provider Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) has reported that electricity demand may drop due to COVID-19 but expects its earnings to be largely unaffected as the group is shielded by the regulated asset base structure for power transmission and distribution, as well as the power purchase agreement schemes for electricity generations. Hong Leong Investment Bank Bhd noted that TNB will be compensated in the upcoming imbalance cost pass-through review to address the shortfall of earnings due to lower than assumed power demand. In light of COVID-19, TNB's 51 per cent-owned subsidiary Southern Power Generation Sdn Bhd (SPG) has made a force majeure declaration due to the MCO and restrictions in countries where the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) specialists supporting the project reside. Force majeure refers to unforesseable circumstances that prevent a party from fulfilling a contract.

Sabah imposes 5% petroleum product sales tax from March The Edge Markets 7th Apr 2020
The Sabah government has implemented a five per cent sales tax on all petroleum products in the state with effect from March, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal. He said the implementation of the tax was discussed with the Federal Government under the leadership of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. “Naturally, with the Covid-19 we are facing, we need more funds, of course Petronas is impacted too. When I talk to its companies, they accepted it as long as they were told early, it requires careful planning because we do not carry it out and then retract, ”he said. Last month, the Kuching High Court ruled that Sabah and Sarawak had the right under the Federal Constitution to impose sales tax on petroleum products.

Majuperak to supply solar energy for Perak NST Online 6th Apr 2020
On April 6, Majuperak Holdings Bhd signed a joint venture (JV) agreement with United Solar Energy (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd (USEM) to market and propose solar photovoltaic generating system (SPS). The JV was to provide a supply of renewable energy for buildings in Perak through SPS which will utilise the net energy metering scheme, said Majuperak in a statement today. The agreement was inked by Majuperak Power Resouces Sdn Bhd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of MHB. Majuperak chief executive officer Nizran Noordin said the JV agreement was an opportunity for the company to tap into the growing prospects of the renewable energy sector, particularly as the solar energy segment holds vast potential. “The annual cost savings of about 5.0 per cent to 15 per cent from the SPS will also be channelled back to the people of Perak and to the state government,” he added. USEM will also obtain the necessary approvals and licenses from the Sustainable Energy Development Authority and other relevant local authorities to commence with the SPS project.

Petronas makes oil discovery in US Gulf of Mexico The Edge Markets 6th Apr 2020
Petronas’ subsidiary, Progress Resources USA Ltd (PRUL), together with its partners have announced an oil discovery in the Monument exploration well, located offshore of the United States (US) Gulf of Mexico. The new discovery marks a significant milestone for Petronas in strengthening and developing its ventures in the Americas, as it diversifies and expands its oil and gas (O&G) business portfolio in the US and offshore US Gulf of Mexico, Petronas said in a statement today. With the discovery, further appraisal works are required to determine the full potential of the oil accumulation, it said. The Monument exploration well is located in the central US Gulf of Mexico, operated by Equinor Gulf of Mexico LLC which has a 50 per cent working interest, while PRUL holds 30 per cent and Repsol E&P USA Inc. holds the remaining 20 per cent.

Petrol, diesel prices continue to dip amidst Covid-19 pandemic NST Online 3rd Apr 2020
The pump prices for petrol and diesel continue to slide following uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Motorists who want to fill up their tank with RON97 petrol will be paying eight sen less per litre for it, starting April 4. The Finance Ministry said the new pump price for RON97 would be cheaper from RM1.68 per litre to RM1.60 for the period of April 4 to 10. The retail price for RON95 petrol would also be less by eight sen from RM1.38 to RM1.30. Diesel will be cheaper by 10 sen from RM1.68 to RM1.58 per liter. The ministry, in a statement on Friday, said, the lower retail price of petroleum products was due to the continued decline in global crude oil prices following the global economic uncertainty caused by Covid-19.

Practise power conservation at home during MCO NST Online 1st Apr 2020
National energy provider Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) has urged users to be mindful when using electricity during the Movement Control Order (MCO). This is to ensure they can optimise the tiered rebate for electricity bills introduced to lessen the burden of the people in facing the onslaught of Covid-19 infection.

Myanmar

Kyunchaung gas power plant project to be completed soon Global New Light Of Myanmar 3rd May 2020
The 20.54MW gas power plant project in Kyunchaung is going to be finished soon. As the current running gas turbine has been used for many years, its capacity reduces to only 4MW, said U Myo Thiha, chief engineer of Kyunchaung power plant. The electricity produced by Kyunchaung gas power plant is supplying to the national grid.

PTTEP pledges to continue gas production work in Myanmar The Myanmar Times 27th Apr 2020
Thai oil and gas company PTT Exploration and Production (PTTEP) will continue to execute its 2020 Economic Plan, which includes work in Myanmar. PTTEP is the operator of the Zawtika natural gas project, which includes the development of the Zawtika, Kakonna and Gawthaka gas fields located in blocks M9 and M11 of the Gulf of Martaban, offshore of Myanmar. PTTEP owns an 80 percent interest in the project, with Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE) holds the remaining 20pc.

Govt extends power bill payment deadline in Yangon The Myanmar Times 20th Apr 2020
The Yangon Electricity Supply Corporation (YESC) has announced it has extended its March electricity bill payment deadline to until May 20; this is to avoid unnecessary mass gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, there will also be no late fees collected as well as no power cuts for those who don’t pay after the original deadline, which is between April 20 and 28.

Toshiba Wins Order for Power Generation Equipment for Myanmar's Sedawgyi Hydropower Plant Rehabilitation Project Oil & Gas 360 14th Apr 2020
Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corporation announced today that it received an order for two units of an approximately 14 MW hydro turbines and a control system from the Toyota Tsusho Corporation, the main contractor in a project to rehabilitate the Sedawgyi Hydropower Plant being undertaken by the Myanmar Ministry of Electricity and Energy-affiliated Electric Power Generation Enterprise. The hydro turbines will be rehabilitated using the existing parts and newly supplied ones such as runners, and the control system will be replaced incorporating the latest technology.

Almost all of Yangon set to experience blackout The Myanmar Times 1st Apr 2020
Most areas in Yangon will experience blackouts from 9am to noon on April 2, the Yangon Electricity Supply Corporation (YESC) said. “We haven’t had any blackouts yet, until yesterday when the lights went out in the afternoon until the evening. If we knew about these power cuts in advance we could make preparations,” said Daw Nilar from North Okkalapa township. The townships in the list include North Okkalapa, North Dagon, Thingangyun, South Dagon, Botahtaung, South Okkalapa, Yankin, Dawbon, Dagon Port, Tamwe, Kyauktada, Ahlone, Sanchaung, Lanmadaw, Kamaryut, Insein and Hlaing Tharyar.

Philippines

AboitizPower terminates wind farm purchase deal in Vietnam Vietnam Investment Review - VIR 3rd Apr 2020
Aboitiz Power Corporation from the Philippines has announced a decision to terminate its planned acquisition of Vietnam’s Mekong Wind due to a condition precedent being unmet by the agreed longstop date. The power firm said that it decided to exercise its right to terminate the transaction that involves a 100 per cent acquisition by subsidiary Aboitiz Power International Pte., Ltd. of Mekong Wind Pte., Ltd. from Armstrong Southeast Asia Clean Energy Fund Pte., Ltd. (AAM), according to newswire Businessmirror. According to AboitizPower president Emmanuel Rubio, the corporation cannot disclose details as the parties are still bound by the confidentiality agreement. The corporation is still in discussions with AAM to revisit the acquisition at a future date.

First Gen watches ‘very low’ LNG prices as PHL prepares to import Business World 7th May 2020
THE current low prices of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the world market are favorable for the Philippines as a future buyer of the imported fuel, an official of Lopez-led First Gen Corp. said. “International LNG and oil prices are now at very low levels which bodes well for the Philippines as a potential new importer of LNG which can initially complement, and eventually replace, natural gas from the Malampaya field,” First Gen Executive Vice President Jonathan C. Russell told BusinessWorld. Economic shutdowns caused by the global coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic have lowered demand for oil and gas, causing an oversupply, along with a steep decline in prices.

Most renewable energy plants continue to operate during lockdown Business World 6th May 2020
Renewable energy power plants are still running with no impact from the disruptions caused by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) emergency, the industry’s regulator said. As of March 31, there are 127 eligible renewable power plants with a total capacity of 2,221.15 megawatts which are potential sources of clean power resources. Eligible generators include facilities using biomass, waste-to-energy, wind energy, solar energy, run-of-river hydroelectric power systems, impounding hydroelectric power systems, ocean energy, geothermal energy, hybrid systems as defined by the Renewable Energy Act, and other renewable energy technologies that may be later identified by the DoE.

Energy efficiency industry bats for inclusion in stimulus program Business World 29th Apr 2020
The energy efficiency industry is seeking a share of stimulus incentives to encourage investment in power conservation, which it touted as an opportunity to emerge from the public health emergency with greener power infrastructure. The Philippine Energy Efficiency (PE2) Alliance said energy efficiency adoption by both the public sector and small businesses will also create jobs and support investment needed to emerge from the economic stagnation caused by COVID-19. The PE2 proposed that the PERA bill, to the House stimulus legislation, can potentially include another (“Build, Build, Build”) component intended to accelerate public spending in the next [three] years to bridge a P30-billion portion of a P66-billion capital gap for energy efficiency improvements in public facilities, especially government buildings used by national government agencies, government-owned and controlled corporations, state universities and colleges and the multitude of local government units across the countryside.

DoE releases draft accreditation guidelines for energy-efficiency firms Business World 22nd Apr 2020
The Department of Energy (DoE) released the draft rules for the accreditation of energy service companies (ESCOs), which will help bring about greater efficiency and conservation in the energy industry. The guidelines comply with a provision in the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of Republic Act No. 11285, or the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act. Among other provisions, the law instructs the DoE to strengthen the current ESCO certification system. The IRR, issued in November, ordered the department to draft guidelines for the certification requirements, review and evaluation process, and classification of ESCOs.

PIPPA rejects force majeure provision in PSAs with DUs and power co-ops BusinessMirror 16th Apr 2020
The Philippine Independent Power Producers Association Inc. (PIPPA) has turned down a proposal for power-generation companies (gencos) to accept a force majeure (FM) provision of their power- supply agreements (PSAs) with distribution utilities (DUs) and electric cooperatives (ECs). “Mandating generation companies to FM claims by DUs/ECs not only disrupts the power supply chain. It is also tantamount to one sector taking advantage of the other,” said PIPPA. Laban Konsyumer Inc. (LKI) President Victorio Mario Dimagiba, in a letter earlier sent to PIPPA President and Executive Director Anne-Estorco-Montelibano, wants gencos to accept the FM claim of DUs, such as Manila Electric Co. (Meralco), and other ECs. LKI reasoned out that electricity consumers in Luzon should be spared from paying fixed charges for generation capacity that was not consumed.

DOE seeks stakeholders’ comments on proposed green energy pricing rules BusinessMirror 1st Apr 2020
The Department of Energy (DOE) is soliciting comments from industry stakeholders on the proposed rules governing the Green Energy Pricing Program (GEPP), which seeks to promote the utilization of renewable energy (RE) in the country. In a notice posted on its web site, “the DOE, through the Renewable Energy Management Bureau, solicits comments and inputs on the draft Department Circular entitled, “Promulgating the Rules and Guidelines Governing the Green Energy Auction Program [GEAP] in the Philippines.”

Singapore

NEA launches new $1.76 million fund to help organisations treat and recycle food waste The Straits Times 7th May 2020
The National Environment Agency (NEA) has committed $1.76 million to a new fund that will help alleviate the problem of food wastage in Singapore. NEA said that the fund is in line with efforts to secure Singapore's climate resilient future and help companies transition towards a zero-waste economy amid the current challenging economic conditions. The fund is capped at $100,000 per applicant and covers the capital cost of food waste treatment systems, accompanying equipment such as bin lifters and infrastructural improvements.

Petrol prices drop to $2 level, a week after crude oil's record lows The Straits Times 1st May 2020
Pump prices here have fallen by up to six cents a litre, a week after crude oil plunged to record lows. Latest updates by fuel price tracker Fuel Kaki - managed by the Consumers Association of Singapore - showed that the price of 95-octane petrol, the most popular grade here, was $2.04 across all brands by yesterday afternoon. Pump operators began making reductions on Wednesday, with newcomer Sinopec following yesterday morning. Caltex, which made smaller cuts on Wednesday, matched its rivals by around 1.30pm yesterday.

ExxonMobil investment builds on presence in S'pore The Straits Times 1st Apr 2020
ExxonMobil held a virtual foundation-laying ceremony yesterday for its multibillion-dollar expansion of its Jurong Island integrated refining and petrochemical complex to increase its production capacity for higher-value products and cleaner fuels. This investment, which the international energy company announced in April last year, will create 135 new jobs. It will also have significant spin-offs for the rest of the economy in areas such as logistics, process construction and maintenance, said Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean, who participated in the ceremony. In lieu of a physical foundation-laying ceremony, ExxonMobil held a video conference from two locations in Singapore and one in Dallas, Texas.

Thailand

New power discounts effective immediately Bangkok Post 8th May 2020
Energy authorities are rushing to assuage public concern about electric bills, saying the new discounts should go into effect next week for Bangkok and start today for other provinces, after an outpouring of complaints regarding April's power bill. The cabinet previously approved additional relief measures for electricity users, promising discounts of 30-100% depending on power usage, after many households complained about steep power bills as a result of people staying home during the lockdown.

Thai Super Energy to invest $457 million in four solar power plants in Vietnam Vietnam Investment Review - VIR 15th Apr 2020
Thai-listed energy firm Super Energy Corporation has recently announced that it would invest in four solar power plants in Binh Phuoc province, Vietnam with the total capacity of 750MW. Accordingly, Super Energy Corporation would pay approximately $73 million to purchase controlling stakes of 70-100 per cent of the four Loc Ninh 1-4 solar plants through a subsidiary in Vietnam. The total transaction value would be no more than $457 million, cited from its regulatory filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission of Thailand. After the investment in the solar plants, the $384 million is set to be poured into the construction which is already underway and will be finished by the end of this year.

PTTEP unveils new oil find off Mexico Bangkok Post 6th May 2020
PTT Exploration and Production Plc (PTTEP), the oil and gas drilling arm of national oil and gas conglomerate PTT Plc, has announced a new oil discovery off the shore of Mexico. PTTEP and its joint venture partners made two successful deep-water oil discoveries in Block 29 in offshore Mexico, with good quality reservoirs. The commercial potential of the new discoveries will be assessed in the next phase. Phongsthorn Thavisin, president and chief executive of PTTEP, said the firm operates in Mexico through its wholly owned PTTEP Mexico E&P Co. Its consortium made the discoveries in the Salina Basin.

EA undeterred by low fossil fuel prices Bangkok Post 5th May 2020
SET-listed Energy Absolute is adamant it will not delay the kick-off of the first phase of its 100-billion-baht lithium-ion battery production plant at the end of this year, despite tumbling oil prices putting the viability of electric vehicles (EV) at risk. "Yes, there is a theory that low oil prices are not good for EV demand, but I believe the massive shift to EVs in the short term won't be stopped," said electricity billionaire Somphote Ahunai, founder and chief executive of Energy Absolute. He ranks 18th on Thailand's 50 Richest list on Forbes, with an estimated net worth of US$2 billion.

Ministry keen to build LNG stockpile while prices low Bangkok Post 28th Apr 2020
The Energy Ministry has thrown full support behind a plan by state-owned energy firms to import additional liquefied natural gas (LNG) from spot markets, where LNG has hit record low prices, in order to lower energy costs. The move aims to help businesses and homeowners struggling from the lockdown, and save the government money as it is expected to spend some 70 billion baht on electricity bill relief measures. National oil and gas conglomerate PTT and state-run Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) reported they are purchasing LNG from spot markets, with six shipments at a total volume of 370,000 tonnes, arriving sometime this year.

Thailand Issues Regulations for Procurement of Electricity from Very Small Power Plants Tilleke & Gibbins 15th Apr 2020
Thailand has issued a new regulation setting out criteria and conditions for power purchase agreements (PPAs) for very small power producers (VSPPs) under the Community Power Plants for the Local Economy project—part of the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand’s (EGAT) Energy Policy for the Local Economy. The Regulation Re: Procurement of Electricity from Very Small Power Producers was issued on April 2, 2020, by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) and published in the Government Gazette on April 10, 2020.

Canal service gets new lease on life Bangkok Post 13th Apr 2020
Covid-19 may have brought most social activities and businesses to a halt, but the government's march to develop Thailand's transport infrastructure pushes on. For example, the Ministry of Transport decided to take advantage of the absence of passengers to upgrade Bangkok's Don Mueang airport, so it could better serve travellers once the outbreak subsides. But most recently, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) on March 30 approved a plan to purchase electric boats to serve commuters along Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem in Bangkok's Old Town.

Vietnam

Ministry calls for allowing private investment in power transmission VnExpress International 5th May 2020
The Ministry of Industry and Trade wants private investments allowed in power transmission, now a state monopoly, as demand surges in a booming economy. It has proposed that the new Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Bill should have provisions allowing private companies to invest in transmission lines and substations connecting power plants with the national grid. The National Power Transmission Corp has supported the proposal, but wants a clear distinction between transmission to and from the national grid.

Wind power plant set to operate in Ninh Thuận vietnamnews.vn 3rd May 2020
Technical operation for 16 wind turbines began at a wind-power farm in the south-central province of Ninh Thuận on Saturday. The turbines will supply 179 million kilowatts per hour (kWh) of electricity per year from the second half of this year. A source from Trung Nam Group told Việt Nam News that the 16 wind turbines, which were built at the solar-wind power farm complex in the province from early this year, were technically qualified in a trial operation on Saturday.

Watson Farley & Williams assists Vietnam floating solar project financing Vantage Asia 30th Apr 2020
Watson Farley & Williams (WFW) instructed lender Asian Development Bank (ADB), in financing the US$37 million installation of floating solar photovoltaic power generation panels. The 47.5MW facility is on the man-made reservoir that houses Da Mi hydro power plant, in Vietnam’s Binh Thuan province. It is the first large-scale installation of floating solar PV panels in the country, and the largest of its kind in Southeast Asia.

Vietnam Set to Make Aquaculture Farming Sustainable with Solar Energy Mercom India 29th Apr 2020
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and the German research institute, Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE), have signed an agreement together with other partners from the private and public sector to implement a new project of combining aquaculture farming with solar photovoltaics in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta. Within the ‘Solar-Aquaculture Habitats as Resource-Efficient and Integrated Multilayer Production Systems’ (SHRIMPS) project, solar modules will be installed on the roofs of shrimp greenhouses under a pilot project in Bac Lieu province.

Vietnam's gasoline, gasoil oversupply woes to persist even as government eases movement controls | S&P Global Platts S&P Global 29th Apr 2020
Vietnam's successful control of the spread of the coronavirus within the country has spurred its government to gradually ease domestic travel restrictions, but the country's refiners are not out of the woods yet, with the pick up in driving activity expected to be slow, while inventories and run rates remain high. COVID-19 has caused domestic oil demand in Q1 to drop by an estimated 30% year on year, Platts reported previously.

Enercon wins 310MW wind turbine contract in Vietnam Power Technology 27th Apr 2020
Wind power company Enercon has further strengthened its presence in Vietnam by securing a new wind turbine supply contract. The contract covers six wind power facilities in the country that have a combined capacity of 310MW. As per the terms of the agreement, Enercon will deliver 74 E-138 EP3 E2/4.2MW WECs wind turbines to the country by the end of next year.

Vietnam: Draft Public - Private Partnership (PPP) Law: Impacts on large-scale energy and infrastructure project development and financing Baker McKenzie 21st Apr 2020
The government of Vietnam recently submitted to the National Assembly a new draft of the proposed Law on Public - Private Partnership (PPP) investment ("Draft PPP Law"), together with its report of reviews of comments.1 Compared to the previous draft version, the new Draft PPP Law provides for some improvements, but leaves a number of critical risk allocation and bankability issues unresolved. These issues include the removal of government guarantees and undertakings for obligations of state-owned enterprises (e.g., in the power and energy sector, EVN's energy payment guarantees under PPAs notwithstanding electricity market reforms). The Draft PPP Law is proposed to be applicable to numerous ongoing or newly proposed power, energy and infrastructure projects in Vietnam, with its effect proposed from 1 January 2021.

MoIT proposes keeping current FiT for wind power projects Vietnam Investment Review - VIR 19th Apr 2020
Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) proposed the government to maintain the feed-in tariff (FiT) mechanism for wind power until December 2023, and then conduct bids and auctions to select investors for new projects. According to the MoIT, Decision No.39/2018/QD-TTg adjusting support mechanisms for the development of wind power projects in Vietnam created the motivation for wind power development in Vietnam. Numerous projects were proposed to add to the power planning and begin construction.

EVN wants to public list of planned solar power projects in Ninh Thuan Vietnam Investment Review - VIR 18th Apr 2020
Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) has required the Ministry of Industry and Trade to publish the list of grid-connected solar power projects which were added to the power planning with the total cumulative capacity of not more than 2,000MW in the southern province of Ninh Thuan. In addition, Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) proposed the MoIT to issue detailed guidance about which projects need to use MWac or MWp. Previously, the government officially approved a new feed-in-tariff (FiT) mechanism to encourage the development of solar power in Vietnam.

GE inks Phuong Mai supply deal in Vietnam reNEWS - Renewable Energy News 15th Apr 2020
GE has signed a contract to supply turbines for a wind project in Vietnam. The US company will provide 11 2.4MW-116 units for the Phuong Mai 1 wind farm in Binh Dinh province. The wind farm is slated to begin producing power by the first half of 2021. Special purpose company Phuong Mai Wind Power is developing the project. GE will also provide technical advisory services.

PetroVietnam proposes restriction of oil imports due to COVID-19 Vietnam Investment Review - VIR 14th Apr 2020
PetroVietnam has proposed restricting or temporarily halting the import of petroleum as aviation and transport are frozen due to the prolonged coronavirus outbreak. State-run Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PertroVietnam) has just filed a document to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) and the Ministry of Finance (MoF) about domestic oil consumption. Accordingly, in the first quarter of 2020, the total demand for gasoline across the country is estimated to have dropped by 30 per cent and the plunge will last because tourism, aviation, and logistics are in hot water during the health crisis. Furthermore, the oil stockpiles at Dung Quat Oil Refinery and Nghi Son Oil Refinery have also been rather high.

Retail price of electricity to drop 10 per cent in three months Vietnam Investment Review - VIR 13th Apr 2020
The government has approved the proposal of the Ministry of Industry and Trade to decrease the retail price of electricity by 10 per cent over the course of three months, in April, May, and June. The 10 per cent discount policy was approved for the retail price of electricity for households from rate 1 to rate 4, as well as businesses and manufacturing companies. The price for service businesses, including hospitality and accommodation, will be adjusted to the rate of manufacturing industries.

Solar power grows 28-fold in Vietnam's energy mix Vietnam Investment Review - VIR 13th Apr 2020
In the first three months of this year, Electricity of Vietnam mobilised 2.76 billion kWh of renewable energy, including 2.31 billion kWh of solar power, signifying a 28-fold increase on-year. According to statistics published by Electricity of Vietnam (EVN), in the first quarter of this year, the group mobilised a total of 57.29 billion kWh of power, up 6.3 per cent on year, including local supply sources and imported power. The supply of thermal and hydropower both reported declines. Notably hydropower plants generated 8.93 billion kWh while gas provided 9.46 billion kWh, down 30.4 and 15.9 per cent, respectively.

Quang Nam prioritises green FDI projects Vietnam Investment Review - VIR 12th Apr 2020
The central province of Quang Nam expects to welcome more FDI projects promoting green growth, according to Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Le Tri Thanh. He expressed his appreciation of all FDI projects in the province that have significantly contributed to local socio-economic development. He cited the fact that FDI firms have contributed about 89.34 million USD to the provincial budget, exported 751.24 million USD worth of goods, and employed over 55,000 local workers. The province plans to pursue green growth in the long term, he went on, so it is giving priority to investment in three industries - manufacturing and processing, electronics and telecommunications, and renewable energy - and will ensure the most suitable conditions possible are provided to investors.

Solar FIT 2 finally announced in Vietnam but strict timeline remains Duane Morris Vietnam 7th Apr 2020
Vietnam’s Prime Minister has finally issued a decision on new FITs for solar power projects. The Decision formalizes amounts many had been expecting based on previously circulated draft information but comes nearly a year after the previous FIT rate expired (June 2019) and will leave many wondering why the decision couldn’t have been made much sooner. Decision 13/2020/QD-TTg dated 6 April 2020 confirms that the new FITs will only be available – for now at least – for projects that COD prior to 31 December 2020. This is a ridiculously short time line considering the long lead in time for delivery of inverters and, for many projects, completing land acquisition procedures.

Policies needed to encourage investment in waste-to-energy VietnamPlus 5th Apr 2020
Vietnam needed to develop policies to encourage investments in waste-to-energy, also called bioenergy, which would significantly contribute to protecting the environment, experts have said. Tran Viet Ngai, President of the Vietnam Energy Association, said the huge volume of waste produced each day was a burden. If the trash that would otherwise go to a landfill was burned to churn out electricity, it would bring a number of benefits. Generating energy from waste was another source of clean energy at a reasonable cost and would contribute to protecting the environment, Ngai said.

Dung Quat Oil Refinery may suspend operation due to COVID-19 pandemic Vietnam Investment Review - VIR 3rd Apr 2020
In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, Binh Son Refining and Petrochemical Co., Ltd. (BSR) is considering suspending the operation of Dung Quat Oil Refinery due to overloaded stores until the market recovers. Since early February 2020, the pandemic has sent demand for transport and logistics into a plummet, leading to a 30-40 per cent decrease in petroleum sales compared to the same period last year. The situation also impacted the operation and business of refineries and petroleum trading facilities. As of now, Dung Quat Oil Refinery has been forced to operate at a reduced capacity. In addition, petroleum importers have to either reduce or suspend product imports.

Vietnam's travel restrictions threaten transport fuels Argus 2nd Apr 2020
Vietnam's latest measures to curb its coronavirus outbreak are dealing another blow to Asia-Pacific's stuttering oil products demand. Vietnam's gasoil and gasoline import demand already fell sharply in first-half March, although lower gasoline prices lent some support to domestic demand. Vietnam's state-owned Petrolimex cut gasoline prices against weaker market fundamentals on 29 March leading to a surge in demand, which prompted Vietnam's ministry of industry and trade to confirm gasoline supplies are sufficient as people rush to buy and store gasoline. The 92R gasoline price on 29 March was at 11.95dong/litre compared with D18.34dong/l on 29 February.

Government considers 10 pct power price discount to ease Covid-19 pains VnExpress International 2nd Apr 2020
The trade ministry has proposed a 10 percent discount on electricity rates to relieve financial pressures caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The total value of the discount is estimated at VND11 trillion ($466 million) and will benefit both households and businesses between April and June, according to a proposal submitted to the government by the Ministry of Industry and Trade. Households that consume less than 300 kWh per month will be eligible to avail of the discount. This means a 300 kWh bill will be charged VND563,040 ($23.86) a reduction of VND62,560 ($2.65) from the existing rate. About 87 percent of households consume less than 300 kWh a month.