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Prime Minister to reveal new oil policy next week

An employee fills the tank of a motorcycle at a Sokimex gas station in Phnom Penh. KT/Mai Vireak

 

With the price of oil in the international market on the rise, Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday announced he will unveil a new policy to deal with the impact of more expensive crude on the 28th of this month.

During a speech yesterday at a title bestowment ceremony at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, Mr Hun Sen said the current hike in the price of crude will not only hurt the country’s industry, but also everyday consumers.

“The price of oil in the international market continues to rise, and this will put upward pressure on retail prices at home,” the premier said. “Whenever OPEC freezes production, the impact in Cambodia is substantial. We need to come up with the right policies to minimise this impact.

“I mark the 28th on my calendar. This day I will announce a number of initiatives to deal with this issue,” he said.

Long Kemvichet, spokesman at the Ministry of Commerce, said his ministry has already submitted a report to Mr Hun Sen based on input collected from local oil firms which details the current situation and proposes a series of recommendations to lessen the impact of rising oil prices.

“We have analysed the situation very carefully to come up with a course of action that will minimise the impact on our people and economy.

“After meeting with big oil companies to hear their side of the story, we have submitted a report to our prime minister,” he said. Mr Kemvichet, however, refused to go into details regarding the contents of the report.

 

A sign shows the prices for the different types of gasoline. KT KT/Mai Vireak

He said the ministry continues to follow the government’s fuel pricing mechanism, a system that recalculates retail fuel price caps every 10 days using a formula that aims to reflect changes in global oil prices. That formula is used to calculate the price of regular gasoline and diesel. Premium, also known as ‘gold’, is excluded.

“When the Prime Minister issues new orders on the 28th, the ministry will follow them,” he added.

Bin Many Mailia, deputy managing director of PTT, a Thai state-owned oil and gas company, told Khmer Times that the hike in the value of petrol is the direct result of US’s withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal and its ongoing trade spat with China. He said prices will continue to rise if these conflicts remain unresolved.

Kaing Monika, deputy secretary general at the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia, said the hike in the price of oil is likely to increase production costs in the textile industry by driving up the price of electricity. At the same time, more expensive oil means more expensive transportation, he added.

“The increase in oil prices will affect local trucking and international shipping costs. However, we are more concerned about the impact it will have on the lives of our workers,” he said.

“Some are concerned about the price of electricity, but fuel-based plants are less common nowadays. More and more energy in Cambodia comes from hydropower dams and coal-fired plants,” he said. According to Mr Monika, energy generated at oil-fired power plants now accounts for less than 10 percent of total energy output in the Kingdom.

“The government has also assured us that the price of electricity used for industrial purposes won’t increase,” Mr Monika said, adding that electricity prices could decrease in the near future due to the recent approval of a project to build a 60-megawatt solar power plant in Kampong Speu province.

According to the Ministry of Commerce, from June 15-21, regular gasoline in Cambodian gas stations sells for 4,200 riel per liter, while diesel retails at 4,000 riel.

 

 

Source: Khmer Times

Thai PTT to buy Engie’s Glow in power deal that could be worth more than $4 billion

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thai energy giant PTT Pcl (PTT.BK) said it will buy domestic power firm Glow Energy Pcl (GLOW.BK), controlled by French giant Engie SA (ENGIE.PA), in a deal that could be worth more than $4 billion as it seeks to play a bigger role in supplying power to the country’s industrial heartlands.

FILE PHOTO: A view of a PTT Pcl energy firm logo is seen during the opening of the firm’s commercial EV (Electric Vehicle) charging station, in Bangkok, Thailand August 15, 2016. REUTERS/Jorge Silva/File Photo

For Engie, the sale marks the latest phase in its two-year plan to sell off some 15 billion euros ($17.4 billion) of non-core assets and re-invest those proceeds away from coal and into areas such as renewable energy, power grids and energy services.

PTT unit Global Power Synergy Pcl (GPSC) (GPSC.BK) said it will first pay 97.56 billion baht ($2.98 billion) for Engie’s 69 percent stake in Glow, before launching a tender offer for the remaining shares. GPSC first proposed the deal earlier this week.

If the same terms were offered to Glow’s other shareholders, the remaining stake would be worth another 43.6 billion baht ($1.33 billion). With its own market value around just $3.3 billion, GPSC also unveiled major fund-raising plans including short-term loans as well as new share and bond issues, sending its stock sharply lower in early Bangkok trading.

The deal will allow state-backed PTT to nearly triple the size of its power generating arm, expanding capacity to 4,835 megawatts (MW) from GPSC’s 1,940 MW.

“This acquisition will enlarge our industrial customer base,” GPSC Chief Executive Toemchai Bunnag said in a statement announcing the deal.

GPSC said it would finance the purchase through short-terms loans of 142.5 billion baht to pay for both the Engie stake and subsequent tender offer. It’s also considering issuing up to 74 billion baht of new shares as well as new bonds of up to 68.5 billion baht, pending shareholder approval.

GPSC SHARES FALL BUT ENGIE SHARES RISE

Shares in GPSC fell 3.9 in Bangkok as investors digested the implications of the fund-raising plan. Shares in Glow were up 1.6 percent, while PTT was also up by a similar amount.

Shares in Engie rose 0.7 percent, making the stock among the best performers on the Paris blue-chip CAC-40 index .FCHI.

PTT.BKSTOCK EXCHANGE OF THAILAND
+0.50(+1.05%)
  • PTT.BK     GLOW.BK    ENGIE.PA     GPSC.BK       .FCHI

Engie CEO Isabelle Kocher, appointed in May 2016, has reinvested part of the proceeds from sales of fossil fuel related assets in a string of smaller renewable energy, power grids and energy services assets.

Engie said the Glow sale was in line with that aim of reducing coal-fired power assets as part of a strategy of reducing carbon emissions. Proceeds will be reinvested in projects with low carbon emissions.

Engie added that the sale would result in net proceeds of 2.6 billion euros for the company, and in a 3.3 billion euros reduction of its net debt.

Analysts said the deal made strategic sense for PTT.

Glow has high-quality assets strategically located in Thailand’s industrial east, CGS-CIMB Securities (Thailand) analyst, Suwat Sinsadok said.

Other PTT subsidiaries are already Glow customers, and as industrial zones grow in line with government policy, so will demand for electricity with power plants difficult to build from scratch in those areas, Suwat said.

Antitrust concerns are not expected because at the new capacity, GPSC would become Thailand’s fourth largest electricity producer after Ratchaburi Electricity Pcl (RATCH.BK), which has an installed capacity of 5,211 MW. The government has a 45 percent stake in Ratchaburi.

Thailand’s largest power producer is the state-owned Electricity Generating Authority (EGAT) with a capacity of just over 16,000 MW.

Reporting by Chayut Setboonsarng; Additional reporting by Geert de Clercq; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell/Sudip Kar-Gupta

 

Source: Reuters

THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY (DOE) IS LOOKING AT JAPANESE GAS FIRMS TO INVEST IN THE GOVERNMENT’S LIQUEFIED NATURAL GAS (LNG) TERMINAL PROJECT

THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY (DOE) IS LOOKING AT JAPANESE GAS FIRMS TO INVEST IN THE GOVERNMENT’S LIQUEFIED NATURAL GAS (LNG) TERMINAL PROJECT.

Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi and other department officials are in Tokyo this week as part of the country’s delegation to the fifth regular meeting of the Philippines-Japan High-Level Committee on Infrastructure and Economic Cooperation.

In anticipation of the Malampaya Gas Field’s depletion, Cusi said that their focus will be to encourage natural gas firms in Japan to invest in the Philippines’ LNG Hub terminal project.

The department is looking towards starting the construction of the country’s LNG hub by mid-2019 in anticipation of the depletion of the Malampaya gas facility in 2024.

The Philippine LNG hub is targeted to become an LNG hub for Asia, complementing those in Japan and Singapore.

“The strategic location of the Philippines, as well as the fair and competitive playing field policy for natgas would entice investors to engage in the LNG terminal project,” Cusi said.

Tokyo Gas is among other major Japanese gas companies who are in serious talks for the project.

“In addition to discussions on LNG investments, our top officials and staff are undergoing extensive training to effectively monitor, regulate and supervise the upcoming Philippine LNG industry,” Cusi said.

Last Monday, energy undersecretary Donato Marcos and two ranking technical staff have began an extensive training program on LNG value chains in Japan. Their expected completion of the course is by the end of the month.

To date, natural gas from the Malampaya gas field provides the fuel requirements of five gas-fired power plants  in Batangas, which has a combined capacity of 3,211 megawatts (MW).

“The construction of strategic natural gas facilities, which includes LNG receiving terminals and distribution pipelines, are necessary to ensure the security and diversity of the energy supply in the Philippines. It also provides the option of expanding the use of natural gas in the Philippines,” Cusi said.

 

Source: Power Philippines

Agrophotovoltaics Goes Global: From Chile to Vietnam

Agrophotovoltaics (APV), a technology which combines the production of solar electricity and crops on the same land, has already been successfully demonstrated in pilot projects in several European countries.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE in cooperation with the Innovation Group “APV-Resola” have proven the feasibility of Agrophotovoltaics with a 194 kWp APV pilot system realized on a farm near Lake Constance in Germany. The project results showed that APV increases the land-use efficiency by 60%.

Fraunhofer ISE, together with Fraunhofer Chile, tested three 13 kWp APV systems in the Chilean communities of El Monte, Curacavi and Lampa. The Chilean APV pilot project ended in spring 2018 and was financially supported by the Santiago de Chile Metropolitan Region Government. In the project, investigations were carried out to determine which plants benefit from less radiation exposure, i.e. shading from the APV array. Sensors measured the meteorological data like solar radiation, humidity, soil moisture and ground temperature.

The data was also used to optimize the on-site irrigation system. The operation of the three farms chosen for the project differed greatly: The first APV system was installed on a farm using very professional methods to grow broccoli and cauliflower. The solar electricity was used in the production process to clean, package and cool the produce.

The second APV pilot system was installed on a family-run farm that grows herbs and other crops. The third system was set up in a remote region with a weak infrastructure. Access to the electricity grid is available, but electric service is quite irregular. The APV plant provided electricity for seven families, providing power to an incubator for hatching chicken eggs, among other things.

The three APV systems in Chile are the first of their kind in Latin America. The Fraunhofer Chile supports the scientific parts of the project, and the Fraunhofer Center for Systems Biotechnology CSB analyzes the agricultural aspects. The Fraunhofer Center for Solar Energy Technologies CSET addresses the energy-related and technical questions in close consultation with Fraunhofer ISE.

Investigations involve adapting and optimizing the APV technology according to the specific climatic and economic conditions in Chile. The results of both the crop and solar power production are very positive. As a result, the APV research at Fraunhofer Chile shall be expanded thanks to the support of the local government. The three pilot plants will be monitored for three additional years, operating them as on-field labs. A long term plan involving different type of crops has been coordinated with the farmers, so it will be possible to test the concept with a large variety of products.

In the arid and semi-arid regions in Northern and Central Chile, there is great potential for APV, since a large percentage of the people live from agriculture, which is impacted by the increasing amount of dry periods, desertification and water scarcity due to climate change.

The projects show that the partial shading of crops planted underneath APV can reduce their need for water and also offer livestock shelter from the sun. Also, it is expected that various fruits which normally do not grow well in dry climates with high solar radiation would grow underneath an APV system. At the same time, the generated electricity can be used to operate water pumps or desalination systems. In remote regions, the quality of life is increased immensely just with the electric output of a few solar modules providing improved access to information, education and also better medical care. In sub-Saharan Africa, about 92% of the rural population have no access to electricity. APV offers new sources of income to the local population and at the same time reduces the dependence on fossil fuels, needed, for example, for diesel generators. Besides this, solar power can be used for cooling and processing agricultural crops, making them preservable and also more profitable.

Aquaculture: A new application for APV

In cooperation with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GIZ GmbH Vietnam, Fraunhofer ISE carried out a proof-of-concept study analyzing the possibility of installing Agrophotovoltaics at shrimp farms located in the Vietnamese Mekong Delta. In this region, there is an increasing competition for land between aquaculture and renewable energy.

The current project SHRIMPS “Solar-Aquaculture Habitats as Resource-Efficient and Integrated Multilayer Production Systems” has the potential to solve a series of systemic problems in Vietnam. It would promote the deployment of renewable energy as well as enact measures to counteract climate change, expand shrimp production yet protect water resources, decrease land use and reduce CO2 emissions at the same time. Based on the first analyses, the pilot project in Bac Liêu can save about 15,000 carbon dioxide emissions and reduce the water use by 75% compared to a conventional shrimp farm.

This project can contribute an important part in reducing land use conflicts in this densely populated country while helping to meet the growing energy consumption (10% annually) with renewable energy sources. The aquafarm operators enjoy other advantages from this technology, such as protection against predatory animals, improved working conditions due to shading and a stable, lower water temperature that helps to promote the shrimps’ growth. With respect to the increasing growth of both PV and aquaculture worldwide, this concept becomes relevant for numerous other developing and threshold countries.

 

 

Source: Solar Novus Today

European countries implement climate change projects in Mekong Delta


Coastal erosion in the Mekong Delta

NDO/VNA – The European Union (EU) and European countries have been carrying out a number of climate change adaptation and sustainable development projects in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam.

The biggest partners and donors are the EU, Germany, France, Denmark, Sweden, Hungary and Romania, according to the Foreign Ministry’s information released at the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Conference on Climate Action to Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals – Ways Forward in Can Tho on June 18-20.

Specifically, the EU implemented a project building a sustainable tra fish (pangasius) supply chain from April 2013 to March 2017 with total investment of EUR1.9 million (US$2.2 million) and another conducting scientific studies on climate change and coastal erosion in Quang Nam, Ca Mau, and Tien Giang provinces in 2016-2017 worth EUR1 million (US$1.15 million).

The EU also carried out a EUR108-million Energy Sector Policy Support Programme to increase access to sustainable energy in rural, mountainous, sea and island areas in Bac Lieu, An Giang, and Can Tho.

In Ca Mau, the German and Australian governments co-financed VND68.39 billion (US$2.9 million) in ODA for a project under the Integrated Coastal Management and Climate Change and Coastal Ecosystems Programme (ICM/CCEP) and authorised the German development cooperation agency (GIZ) to implement.

The German government also provided Ca Mau with EUR1 million to implement a project on restoration of mangroves through sustainable shrimp farming and emission reduction.

Ca Mau province is also making preparations to carry out a project combining coastal protection and mangrove forest land restoration using loans of about VND331 billion (US$14.5 million) from the German development bank KfW.

In Soc Trang province, the German government is carrying out the second phase of the project on natural resources management in coastal areas from September 2014 to August 2018.

Germany also provided a non-refundable aid package of EUR5.1 million (US$5.9 million) for Bac Lieu province to conduct two projects on the sustainable management of coastal ecosystems, second phase from 2015 to 2018, and on climate change adaptation through promoting biodiversity.

Meanwhile, the French government offered EUR52.35 million (US$60.6 million) in loans, including EUR1 million in non-refundable aid, for the implementation of a project enhancing climate change resilience for areas prone to extreme climate patterns and rising sea level in Can Tho city along with Ninh Binh northern province and the central province of Ha Tinh.

The Danish government supported Mekong Delta provinces to cope with environmental changes through the national target programme on climate change in 2009-2015.

Denmark has become the biggest donor with around US$40 million in assisting the Mekong Delta, especially Ben Tre province, in piloting measures to prevent saltwater intrusion prevention and climate change adaptation models such as building flood-proof houses, irrigation networks, salt-to-fresh water treatment factories, and automatic rain gauging stations, contributing to the improvement of the natural disaster warning system.

The European country also spent over DKK4.3 million to provide water by renewable energy in 2012-2014 for rural areas in 12 provinces in the Mekong Delta.

From 2011, the Danish government has supported Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to implement a project assisting the agricultural sector, including the improvement of post-harvest services for households in the Mekong Delta, which increased the proportion of dried rice to 31% of total output from 13% in the previous time.

In An Giang province, the Swedish government implemented a project enhancing local capacity and building a scheme for the development of rice husk-fuelled thermal power plants in combination with rice milling plants in 2014-2015 with a budget of nearly EUR345,000, including nearly EUR105,000 in local corresponding capital.

The Romanian government carried out a project piloting the establishment of a biodiversity conservation site for sustainable eco-tourism development in Ba Tri district of Ben Tre province.

 

 

Source: Nhan Dan

Sembcorp wraps up buy of 40-MW solar project in Singapore

Solar array. Author: h080.

June 20 (Renewables Now) – Singaporean energy group Sembcorp Industries Ltd (SGX:U96) has completed the acquisition of a 40-MW under-construction rooftop solar park in Singapore.

The purchase was carried out through Sembcorp Solar Singapore Pte Ltd, which has bought all shares of MSOA Pte Ltd, the company developing the project. The Singaporean firm said in a press release last Thursday that its investment in the scheme, including the acquisition of the project development company and future costs for building the grid-connected plant is seen at around SGD 55 million (USD 40.5m/EUR 35m).

Sembcorp does not expect the deal to have a material effect on its earnings per share (EPS) and net asset value per share in the current fiscal year. It did not provide additional information regarding the acquired project.

The Singaporean company owns 12 GW of gross power generation capacity. According to its website its renewables portfolio consists of over 2 GW plants in operation and under development in Singapore, China, India and the UK.

(SGD 1.0 = USD 0.737/EUR 0.637)

 

 

Source: Renewables Now

SP Group to build 500 charging points for electric cars by 2020

It says its network will be largest one fully accessible to public, with first 30 set up by year end

Energy utilities provider SP Group plans to build 500 charging points for electric vehicles islandwide by 2020.

The points will be placed at housing estates, shopping malls, industrial sites and business parks, the firm announced yesterday.

While others such as Greenlots, Red Dot Power and BlueSG are already in the market, SP Group said its network will be the largest one fully accessible to the public.

More than 100 of the charging points will be of the direct current type with a 50 kilowatt power rating that can fully charge a vehicle in as little as 30 minutes.

SP Group said there are fewer than five direct current charging points here now. Most points use alternating current, and a lower 7.4kw rating, which takes the car about seven times longer to be fully charged.

An app will allow motorists to pay for charging electronically while also getting updates on the availability of charging points.

GETTING MORE ON BOARD

There is a chicken-and-egg conundrum when it comes to electric vehicle adoption… Many prospective drivers are concerned about the lack of a pervasive charging network.

” MR GOH CHEE KIONG, head of strategic development at SP Group.

Details on pricing will be disclosed closer to the end of the year, when SP Group sets up its first 30 charging points. These will be a mix of the alternating current and direct current types.

There were 592 electric and plug-in hybrid cars on the road here as at the end of last month, about 0.1 per cent of the total car population of 613,383. There are also 31 electric-powered goods and commercial vehicles.

“There is a chicken-and-egg conundrum when it comes to electric vehicle adoption… Many prospective drivers are concerned about the lack of a pervasive charging network,” said Mr Goh Chee Kiong, head of strategic development at SP Group. He added that some have “range anxiety” – the fear that the electric vehicle will run out of battery in the middle of a journey.

Owners tend to install their own charging points if they live in landed properties or get their condominium management to have stations set up, said Mr Terence Siew, president of the Electric Vehicle Association of Singapore. There are 30 condos with charging points.

There will be more public choices available down the road.

Charging infrastructure specialist Greenlots operates 16 publicly accessible charging stations, with aims to lift that to 50 by the end of this year.

Electricity retailer Red Dot Power announced a partnership in February with PlugIT, a Finnish charging technology specialist, to install at least 50 charging stations by the end of next year.

BlueSG, which runs an electric vehicle-sharing programme, aims to build 2,000 charging points by 2020, and make 400 of them available to the public.

While electric vehicles are generally more costly than a comparable combustion engine car, Mr Siew said this will change as battery prices drop over the next few years due to mass production and economies of scale. “Electric vehicles will be cost competitive with normal cars,” he added.

Dr Sanjay Kuttan, programme director of Nanyang Technological University’s Energy Research Institute, said the SP Group’s initiative should help to spur the adoption of electric vehicles, but the charging points must be well distributed and accessible.

While there will be a combined 1,000 public charging points by 2020 – which could support between 2,000 and 10,000 vehicles – there must also be “one common consolidated payment system, across all infrastructure” regardless of which firm owns the points, Dr Kuttan added.

 

 

Source: The straits Times

Summer power peak demand exceeds forecast at 10,561 MW

BW FILE PHOTO

PRIVATELY-OWNED National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) said on Tuesday that no major power transmission-related issues had been reported during the past summer season when electricity demand reached its peak.

In a statement on Tuesday, NGCP said it recorded this year’s peak load demand at 10,876 megawatts (MW) at 1:53 p.m. on May 28 in the Luzon grid, breaching the demand forecast of 10,561 MW set by the Department of Energy’s power development plan.

“We are pleased to report that despite the load for the Luzon grid steadily increasing year on year, NGCP has always been one step ahead of the trend,” the company said.

“Our grid operations and maintenance plan, along with our blackout drill and generator’s conference, are important tools in our preparedness for the peak load months not only for Luzon, but also for Visayas and Mindanao during the year’s end,” it added.

NGCP attributed the successful management of power transmission services to its timely implementation of transmission projects and major improvements in the Luzon grid.

The upgrades include the Santiago-Tuguegarao 230-kilovolt (kV) transmission line, the relocation of towers of the San Esteban-Laoag 230 kV line, the eastern Albay 69-kV line, and various substation upgrading projects.

NGCP said the grid operator would “continue to provide reliable power transmission services through the proper execution of its mandate to excellently operate, efficiently maintain, and continuously expand the country’s transmission network.”

It said critical projects, such as the Mindanao-Visayas interconnection project, the Cebu-Negros-Panay interconnection project, and various 500-kV transmission line projects in Luzon are key factors in the improvement of the country’s transmission highway.

“Every year, we see an aggressive rise in load growth, which means our country is developing in such a fast pace,” the company said.

“The continuous support of energy stakeholders, local government units, and the public is the most crucial aspect of the planning and execution of all our activities, and with combined efforts, we will be able to fulfill our mandate and ultimately bridge power and the progress of the nation,” it added.

NGCP is in charge of operating, maintaining, and developing the country’s power grid. — Victor V. Saulon

 

Source: BusinessWorld

Asian market hit by biggest foreign investor exodus since 2008

Overseas funds are pulling out of six major Asian emerging equity markets at a pace unseen since the global financial crisis of 2008 withdrawing $19 billion from India, Indonesia, the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand so far this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

 

While emerging markets shone in the first quarter, suggesting resilience to Federal Reserve tightening, that image has shattered over the past two months. With American money market funds now offering yields around 2 per cent where 10-year Treasuries were just last September and prospects for more Fed hikes, the bar for heading into riskier assets has been raised. Headlines on trade disputes that could hit Asian exporters haven’t helped.

 

“It’s not a great set-up for emerging markets,” James Sullivan, head of Asia ex-Japan equities research at JPMorgan Chase & Co., told Bloomberg TV from Singapore. “We’ve still only priced in about two thirds of the U.S. rate increases we expect to see over the next 12 months. So the Fed is continuing to get more hawkish, but the market still hasn’t caught up.”

 

While many emerging-market investors and analysts have praised Asian economic fundamentals, pointing to world-leading growth rates and political stability, some are starting to raise red flags as global liquidity starts to shrink. The Bloomberg JPMorgan Asia Dollar Index sank to a 2018 low last Monday, extending two weeks of declines after the Fed and European Central Bank both took steps toward policy normalisation.

 

Yet some still remain optimistic. Bank of America Merrill Lynch expects some of the regional currencies including the baht and the Philippine peso to appreciate slightly by the end of the year, a research note sent Monday showed. Six of 10 best-performing emerging currencies so far this year are in Asia, led by the ringgit’s 1.2 per cent advance and the Chinese yuan’s 1.1 per cent gain.

 

Developing nations including Turkey, Indonesia, India and Argentina have raised rates, while Brazil’s central bank has sold extra foreign-exchange swap contracts in an effort to stabilize their markets.

 

In Asia this week, the Philippine central bank, which raised its key rate in May for the first time since 2014, is expected to lift the benchmark again by 25 basis points to 3.5 per cent, a Bloomberg survey shows.

 

The Bank of Thailand will keep its benchmark unchanged at 1.5 per cent the same day, according to a separate Bloomberg survey, though JPMorgan for one sees an increase coming next quarter. The baht has tumbled 4.6 percent against the dollar this quarter, despite Thailand having a current-account surplus in excess of a whopping 9 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). Thailand is also in the midst of the longest stretch of 3.5 per cent plus GDP growth since the early 2000s, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

 

 

Thai Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong, for his part, said Monday he’s not concerned about capital outflows, and the country’s central bank need not follow the Fed in raising rates. Meantime, the baht hit its 2018 low in Monday trading, and the main Thai stock index was down 1.2 per cent as of in Bangkok.

 

 

Source: New Telegraph

Nuclear sector offers potential for cooperation

The building of a nuclear power station nears completion in Fangchenggang, the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, on May 23. (Photo provided to China Daily)

As China and Central and Eastern European countries see substantial potential for cooperation in nuclear power technology, China General Nuclear Power Corp, China’s largest nuclear operator, is eyeing the region as a potential destination.

“CGN has always focused on the markets in Central and Eastern Europe,” Huang Xiaofei, a spokesman for CGN.

“As we are bringing the Hualong One third-generation reactor technology to the UK, we are confident the technology could be applied in Central and Eastern European markets in the future,” Huang said.

The United Kingdom’s approval of CGN’s technology will open the door to other European countries as the UK’s appraisal regime is considered to be the strictest in the world, he said.

The company has been active in the Central and Eastern European nuclear markets considering the growing share of clean energy in the region.

It has signed memorandums of understanding with Czech and Romanian engineering companies for nuclear energy cooperation, and is in talks to build Poland’s first nuclear power station.

The company is working to introduce the domestically developed Hualong One technology to more destinations, especially in Central and Eastern Europe, Africa and Southeast Asia, Huang said.

CGN’s international business portfolio extends to more than 20 countries, with overseas assets accounting for 16 percent of the company’s total and revenue from overseas markets accounting for 20 percent.

Countries including Thailand, Indonesia, Kenya, South Africa, Turkey, Kazakhstan and the Czech Republic have all shown interest in the technology, the company said.

According to Xu Xiaodong, deputy head of the China Electric Power Planning & Engineering Institute, the Central and Eastern European region is an important Belt and Road Initiative partner for China and the nuclear sector offers massive potential for cooperation due to China’s nuclear power technology capability.

After some 30 years of learning and innovation, China has mastered the independent design and manufacturing of third-generation nuclear power facilities, and has shifted from being a novice to a pioneer in the nuclear sector worldwide.

Chinese nuclear companies are initiating new projects across the world and have the potential to become the next major nuclear technology suppliers on the global stage together with well-tested technologies from Canada, France, Russia, South Korea and the United States, according to analysts.

Joseph Jacobelli, a senior analyst of Asian utilities at Bloomberg, said cooperation with Central and Eastern European countries will help find new markets for Chinese expertise and offer new earning sources.

“There is a lot of interest from some Eastern European countries in building nuclear facilities and China could be one of the countries that bids for nuclear projects,” he said.

 

Source: ECNS

Distributed Solar-Storage is Going Great Guns in the Philippines

Investment in and deployment of distributed solar photovoltaic (PV) energy-battery energy storage systems is soaring in the Philippines amid efforts to electrify the countryside, eradicate poverty, boost grass-roots socioeconomic development and realize the nation’s climate change and sustainable development goals.

Among those leading the charge is Solar Philippines, the nation’s first vertically integrated solar energy enterprise. Having recently completed the largest solar PV-battery energy storage microgrid project in Southeast Asia, Solar Philippines expects to flip the switch and turn on 24×7, solar PV-battery energy storage microgrids in the towns of Calayan, Cagayan and Claveria, Masbate this month.

“Our goal is to put solar panels on every single rooftop in the Philippines,” company president Leandro Leviste was quoted while attending the 2018 Asia Clean Energy Forum, which took place in Manila earlier this month. Solar Philippines intends to build solar-storage microgrids in rural towns across the country this year. “Under this plan, over the next few months, we will complete microgrids in over a dozen towns… benefiting 500,000 people, without a single dollar of grants, and perhaps an order of magnitude larger than the next largest microgrid portfolio in history,” Leviste reportedly said.

Solar Radiation Map: Global Horizontal Irradiation Map of the Philippines, SolarGIS. | Source: Wikimedia Commons

Solar rises to the forefront of the political agenda in the Philippines

Solar energy-energy storage systems projects have captured the attention, and support, of rural residents across the Philippines. A growing roster of successful installations is providing cleaner, more reliable energy to rural communities, and far cheaper than local utilities have been able to. That’s helped drive solar power to the forefront of the national energy and socioeconomic development agenda.

Equipped with back-up diesel generation, Solar Philippines’ solar-storage microgridsin Calayan and Claveria will supply electricity 24×7, create jobs and significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and environmental pollution, according to Solar Philippines Power Project Holdings. Moreover, the towns’ electricity bills will be cut in half.

Upon completion of the two projects, the 100,000 or so residents of the two rural towns will have access to electricity 24 hours a day, seven days a week for the first time, according to Solar Philippines. All told, the company is working to complete similar solar-storage microgrid projects in 10 rural towns by the end of the third quarter.

A 2 MW-2 MWh (megawatt-hour) solar-storage microgrid with 2 MW of diesel back-up generation capacity Solar Philippines completed in Paluan, in the province of Occidental Mindoro this past March set the stage for similar projects in the company’s project pipeline. Notably, the project was the first to incorporate Tesla’s Powerpack lithium-ion battery-based energy storage system.

The project’s completion also marked the launch of what Leviste has dubbed “Solar Para Sa Bayan,” an initiative via which Solar Philippines intends to bring cheaper, more reliable and environmentally friendly energy and sustainable, socioeconomic development to rural areas throughout the Philippines.

“No more brownouts”

The estimated 16,000 or so residents of Paluan gathered and raised a banner saying “No more brownouts” at the project site upon its completion. Mindoro is known as the “brownout capital” of the Philippines.

Credit: Philstar

In addition to delivering environmentally friendly power 24×7, the Paluan Solar-Battery Storage Microgrid is delivering electrical energy to the town at half the cost the local electric co-op Napocor had been charging, according to a news report. Furthermore, it will save the amount NEA subsidizes rural electric co-ops by more than Php30 million (USD 564,706) per year. That’s what Napocor has been receiving in subsidies to supply electricity to the town. The Paluan Solar-Energy Storage Microgrid reportedly operates subsidy-free.

It’s estimated that 10 percent of Filippinos lack access to modern sources of electricity. As many as 30 percent either live in areas without grid access or subject to daily brownouts, scheduled or unscheduled. Brownouts are a weekly occurrence for the 70 percent of Filippinos that live in areas served by electric co-ops.

Liberalization and decentralization of energy markets, along with much more in the way of local, emissions-free, renewable energy resources, are mainstays of Pres. Duterte and administration’s strategic sustainable energy, socioeconomic development and climate change mitigation and adaptation plans.

The Philippines’ National Electrification Administration (NEA) says it will likely complete a competitive, public tender this month that is to see 40,500 home solar energy systems installed in off-grid communities on the southern island of Mindanao, the second largest in the Philippines’ archipelago. The initiative is part and parcel of the Philippines’ PV Mainstreaming program. Initiated by the US Dept. of Energy and funded by the European Union (EU) Access to Sustainable Energy Program (EU-ASEP), NEA, which supervises Philippines’ electric co-operatives nationwide, is carrying out the program.

Solar-fueled rural electrification

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Local, off-grid solar and battery-based energy storage is a keystone of a growing number of national rural electrification programs across the developing world, a trend that Solar Magazine has been keen to follow. Globally, off-grid solar energy investment totaled USD98 million in 2015, according to Mercom Capital.

That rose to USD143 million of capital raised in 2016 and soared to USD238 million in 2017. As of the end of 2018’s first quarter off-grid solar companies had raised USD245 million, according to Mercom’s Global Solar Funding Tracker.

Marking Solar Philippines’ fourth anniversary, Leviste last September announced the company will devote half of its resources to deliver affordable, reliable and environmentally friendly energy systems in rural areas across the country in a bid to help realize President Rodrigo Duterte’s goal of eliminating energy poverty by 2022 and reducing national greenhouse gas emissions 70 percent by 2030. The company recently submitted proposals to electric utilities to replace aging coal power plants with 5,000 megawatts (MW) of solar power capacity at a cost as low as Php2.99 (USD0.056) per kilowatt-hour.

That’s the lowest rate for electricity from any new power plant in Philippines’ history. Solar Philippines estimates savings would total more than Php200 billion (USD3.76 billion) per year and lower electricity rates 30 percent, or an average of Php1,000 (USD18.82) per family per month, according to a news report.

Furthermore, the company is now capable of manufacturing 800 MW worth of silicon solar PV panels from its recently completed factory in Batangas, the first in the Philippines. Reportedly equipped with state-of-the-art German technology, the solar PV manufacturing plant is producing high-efficiency solar panels.

An emerging solar powerhouse

Leviste and Solar Philippine’s backers believe the Philippines can emerge as a solar manufacturing powerhouse. Leviste said that more than 6,000 direct and 20,000 indirect jobs will be created as Solar Philippines’ manufacturing plant expands to a planned 2 GW of capacity.

“Inspired by President Duterte’s mission to improve the lives of Filipinos, we will do our utmost to end energy poverty in the Philippines by 2022,” Leviste was quoted as saying during the manufacturing plant’s official opening. Pres. Duterte attended the opening ceremony and toured the facility.

Credit: Solar Philippines

Solar Philippines isn’t alone. One of the Philippines’ largest power producers, AboitIzPower has been a large and active presence in the island nation’s power market for more than 80 years. Management in April announced it was entering the Philippines’ distributed, retail solar energy market.

Aboitiz entered the Philippines’ utility-scale solar market in 2016 upon completion of the 59 MW San Carlos Sun project in San Carlos City. All told, the company’s clean power capacity totals 1,272 MW and spans solar, geothermal, run-of-river hydroelectric and large hydroelectric power facilities.

Via Aboitiz Power Distributed Energy, the company now intends to install rooftop solar energy systems for residential, commercial and industrial businesses and municipalities across the Philippines. The company is in the midst of carrying out projects on the main island of Luzon and on Visayas that it expects to be completed this year, according to an industry news report.

 

 

Source: Solar Magazine

Itron to install advanced metering infrastructure in Thailand resort city

 Thailand’s Provincial Electricity Authority chose ALT Telecom Public Co. and Itron to deploy the utility’s first Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) using Itron’s OpenWay Riva solution, including 116,000 OpenWay Riva enabled smart meters.

The solution, which will be deployed in the city of Pattaya, will help PEA transform its operations and improve distribution system efficiency, reliability and safety.

As one of the largest utilities in southeast Asia, PEA provides electricity to more than 18 million customers. This deployment will help meet PEA’s goal to better understand the benefits of AMI and prepare to roll out AMI nationwide.

With the OpenWay Riva solution, PEA will benefit from secure, resilient and multi-application network infrastructure and technology platform that features distributed computing power at every level of the network, including in every electric meter.

This enables real-time analysis of data and secured peer-to-peer communication among meters and intelligent devices within the network to manage rapidly changing electric grid conditions. In addition, the solution’s adaptive communications technology dynamically determines the best network path, including radio frequency, cellular or power line carrier, to optimize communications.

PEA will also use of Itron’s meter data management solution, Itron Enterprise Edition (IEE). The solution will provide consistent, meaningful data to upstream utility applications, easing IT integration of AMI and facilitating the distribution of meter data across the utility.

Source: Electric Light & Power

Renewable energy: Cebu’s lone solar power plant

This is an aerial view of the 73-hectare First Toledo Solar Energy Corp.’s solar power plant in Barangay Talavera, Toledo City. CDN DRONE file PHOTO

 

(SECOND OF FOUR PARTS)

In Toledo City, southwest of Cebu, a solar power plant stands on a 73-hectare property in Barangay Talavera.

The First Toledo Solar Energy Corp. (FTSEC) was constructed in October 2015 by Citicore Power Inc. (CPI) at a cost of P4 billion.

The facility, which began to dispatch power to the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) in June 2016, is located just 800 meters from NGCP’s Calung-Calung substation.

It remains the only operating solar power plant in Cebu although there had been efforts in the past by investors to set up similar power facilities in the province.

Edwin Josef, Citicore Power Inc. vice president for operations, explains how the solar power plant in Barangay Talavera, Toledo City, operates during a CDN tour of the facility in February this year. This power substation will link the solar power from the plant to the Visayas grid.

In 2016, the Department of Energy (DOE) issued a service contract to Menlo Renewable Energy Corp. for the development of a 60-megawatt (MW) solar power plant amid plans by MRC Allied Inc., Menlo’s listed parent company, to establish a solar power plant in a 160-hectare industrial estate in the southern city of Naga.

Including FTSEC, Menlo was then the fourth solar plant project awarded by DOE in Cebu.

The two others were the proposed 25-MW CeKo Solar Farm Systems Corp. in Barangays Tominjao and Pajo in Daanbantayan town and the 15-MW Bogo solar power project by Sun Premier Philippine Corp. in Bogo City, both located in northern Cebu.

DOE later issued a termination letter to CeKo for non-compliance of the Milestone Approach and the Renewable Energy Safety, Health and Environment Rules and Regulations.

In June 2017, Menlo released a statement saying that their 60-MW proposed solar power project in Naga City was at the pre-development stage and disclosed that they were investing P3 billion for the project.

FTSEC

On the part of FTSEC, the company decided to invest in solar power in Cebu due to the island’s growing power demand, said CPI vice president for operations Edwin Josef in a talk with Cebu Daily News.

“Cebu is where most of the load is located in Visayas. There are a lot of solar power plants being constructed in Negros. But there is no demand there. The load is here in Cebu where there are increasing investments and industries,” he said.

Although the FTSEC’s rated capacity is 60 MW on typical days, it has a dependable capacity of only 48 MW which could go as low as 17 MW on cloudy and rainy days.

But among the several types of renewable energy sources, solar power is the fastest to establish, Josef said.

“Solar power plants are very easy, as long as your materials are ready and prepared. As fast as six months, you can already finish constructing a solar power plant,” he explained.

Solar power plants are built on huge, relatively flat spaces at approximately one hectare for every one megawatt of solar power, said Josef.

The area should also be one where solar panels are exposed to the path of the sunlight from sunrise to sunset and where there are no obstructions.

The Philippines which is near the equator is very conducive for solar power projects, said Josef, an electrical engineering graduate of the University of the Philippines in Diliman.

“It’s a fact that climate change is causing catastrophic incidents around the world. By doing renewable energy, we are helping to stop that,” he said.
CPI is a sister company of Megawide Construction Corp. — the Filipino engineering firm behind the construction of the newly inaugurated P17.5-billion Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) Terminal 2.

Advantages

While CPI has yet to earn a significant return of investment from its solar power plant in Cebu, the company remains optimistic that renewables are the way to go.

Among the advantages of solar, according to Josef, is the minimal amount of effort involved in its maintenance.

With solar power plants, there are no moving parts that need to be lubricated and checked unlike diesel and hydropower plants that have motor parts and turbines which require regular check-ups to prevent wear and tear.

They only need to be sprayed with water four times a year to remove dust and other debris that may settle on the panels; or even lesser with frequent rains.

On apprehensions that solar power is expensive, Josef said that the price of materials have been going down on a global scale especially in recent years.

Almost half of the total cost of solar power plants goes to the purchase of solar panels. On average, solar panels can last more than 25 years.
FTSEC has a total of 193,440 panels.

The cost of electricity generated by solar power is also getting cheaper, according to Josef, with prices now down to P3.50 per kilowatt hour (kWh) from P5 per kWh years before.

Electricity produced by coal, which is the most common source of power, is at P3 per kWh.

“Solar also doesn’t produce hazardous wastes. Burning of fossil fuels produces carbon monoxide. Aside from air pollution, there is also noise pollution. With solar, there is hardly any sound. There is just a low humming that can be heard in the transformers,” Josef said.

CPI is now looking into other forms of renewable energy products for Cebu and the rest of the Visayas.

Among the sources that they are eyeing are biomass and hydropower, said Josef.

(To be continued)

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Source: CEBU Daily News

B.Grimm and Xuan Cau to develop Southeast Asia’s largest solar project

Signing ceremony between B.Grimm Power and Xuan Cau for the development of the largest solar power project in ASEAN region. Credit: B.Grimm

 

Thailand’s B.Grimm Power has signed a cooperation agreement with Vietnam’s Xuan Cau to develop the largest solar PV project in Southeast Asia, standing at 420MW capacity in Tay Ninh, southwest Vietnam.

The project is scheduled to be commissioned in June next year.

The signing ceremony was witnessed by Thai prime minister general Prayut Chan-o-cha and Vietnamese prime minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

Sunseap International, a subsidiary of Singapore-based Sunseap Group, recently started construction of its 186MW, US$150 million solar farm in Vietnam, which was claimed to be the largest PV project in the ASEAN region, but its commissioning date is also set for June 2019.

In February, B.Grimm secured a loan of US$235 million from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to develop renewable energy projects in Southeast Asia, including utility-scale solar, wind, biomass, waste-to-energy, gas-fired power, energy storage and distributed generation across Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Vietnam.

 

 

Source: PV-Tech

500 car chargers planned for Singapore

Singaporean energy provider SP Group has announced plans to open 500 electric vehicle (EV) charging points by 2020, filling a “critical gap in scaling up EV adoption”. 

Singapore’s attitude to EVs was in the news this month after Tesla CEO Elon Musk criticisedthe city-state’s lack of infrastructure. 

SP Group said that its network would be the largest that is fully accessible to the public and include more than 100 fast-charging points, which use direct current. A 50-kilowatt DC cable can fully charge a vehicle in around 30 minutes.

SP Group said Singapore currently had around five DC chargers. Alternating current offers lower power at about 7.4kW and takes about 3-4 hours to charge. 

SP Group’s strategy chief Goh Chee Kiong told media that drivers feared running “out of juice” and a proper charging network was crucial for “peace of mind”. 

SP Group invited offers for the contracts to provide the AC and DC power points. 

Drivers would be able to pay electronically and check the availability of charging points with an app which would give alerts when the charging was completed, the firm said. 

The first 30 charging points are due to be set up at the end of the year, according to the firm. 

In May, Singapore was reported to have more than 350 EVs.

“Singapore is regarded as an ideal environment for EVs as it is highly urbanised and compact,” SP said. 

“This pervasive charging network will plug a critical gap in scaling up EV adoption in Singapore by reducing range anxiety in EV drivers,” the firm added.

Power provider Red Dot Power earlier this year announced a partnership with PlugIT, a Finnish charging firm, to install at least 50 charging stations in Singapore by the end of next year.

Musk 

Elon said Singapore was not supportive to EV adoption after an opinion piece in the Straits Times criticised his social-media post.

“Singapore is a very prosperous city and yet has very few electric cars,” Musk tweeted in response to an open letter from the newspaper’s transport correspondent under the headline, “Please get off your high horse”. 

Musk started the row when he told a Singaporean who wanted to buy a Tesla that the firm faced official obstacles. 

“We tried, but Singapore govt is not supportive of electric vehicles,” Musk tweeted. 

The Paypal founder also said Singapore had the potential to generate most of its electricity through solar energy. “No more need to import fossil fuels for electricity, which is a strategic vulnerability,” the Tesla chief tweeted. 

 

 

Source: ASEAN Economist

Bt40 bn readied for pilot smart city

THE government will spend Bt40 billion to develop a smart city in the Phahon Yothin district of Bangkok that will serve as a pilot project for 76 other such cities to be established across the country within five years.

 

In support of this programme, the government has joined with JETRO Thailand on a seminar entitled Towards Asean Smart City Network Development. The seminar is the product of collaboration between Thailand and Japan and envisages the development of smart cities in Thailand and elsewhere in the Asean region.

Deputy Prime Minister Prajin Juntong said that the government this year would develop seven smart cities – in Bangkok, Phuket, Chon Buri, Chiang Mai, Rayong, Chachoengsao and Khon Kaen provinces.

For the smart city in Phahon Yothin, the project would be completed within three years.

The government has appointed the Project Management Committee (ICT) and the National Smart City Committee to drive the smart city initiatives, which it says, must correspond to local contexts. The projects will incorporate smart living as part of smart communities, smart environment, smart mobility, smart energy, smart economy and smart governance in order to enhance the efficiency of city management and services. The projects will also help to enable cost savings and the better use of resources.

The smart city in Bangkok will focus on smart mobility. For Chiang Mai and Phuket, the focus will be on smart tourism, smart safety, smart environment and smart economy. The project in Khon Kaen province will focus on smart health as part of a plan to set up a medical hub designed for the needs of the elderly.

Prajin said that the government’s Bt40 billion budget for the pilot smart city in Bangkok would cover measures to facilitate transport, logistics and business opportunities.

Under the programme, the government will develop 10 other smart cities next year. The government will develop 30 other smart cities in as many provinces over the next three years on the path to covering 77 provinces in five years.

Prajin said the smart cities will foster collaboration between the government and private and state enterprises as part of efforts to encourage public-private partnerships (PPP). The goal is to produce sustainable outcomes and improved quality of life for people in diverse communities over the long term.

Prajin said that, regarding the Asean smart city seminar, the 10 members of the regional bloc had agreed to establish Smart Cities Network (ASCN) “in order to enhance experience, knowledge, technology and to cooperate on smart city development in 26 cities among Asean members”. Among other cities in Asean that are destined to become smart cities are Singapore, Hanoi, Manila, Bandar Seri Begawan, Siem Reap, Vientiane, Jakarta, Naypyitaw, and Kuala Lumpur.

Tsuyoshi Fujita, director of the Social Environment Systems Research Centre under the National Institute for Environment Studies, said that Japan started to develop smart cities in 2008. The government has since developed 23 cities as eco-model cities with the aim of reducing carbon emissions.

The country’s Ministry of Environment aims to reduce carbon emissions by 80 per cent by 2050. Fujita said the model applied for the smart cities in Japan could be used in Thailand, covering areas such as energy management system, eco-industrial innovation, government service innovations and smart city innovations.

 

Source: The Nation

Asean and Japan strengthen their partnership

REUTERS/Toru Hanai

Asean and Japan’s senior officials participating in the 33rd Asean-Japan Forum in Tokyo last week reaffirmed the importance of the Asean-Japan Strategic Partnership and renewed the commitment to further strengthen their close ties. The officials also discussed regional and international issues of common interest and concern and agreed to work together to address emerging challenges and promote peace and stability.

Acknowledging the good progress in advancing Asean-Japan cooperation over the past year, which includes the positive outcomes of the Asean-Japan Summit last November, both sides also agreed to work closely to ensure the effective implementation of the revised work plan of the Vision Statement on Asean-Japan Friendship and Cooperation.

Japan has always been a key trade and investment partner of Asean and cooperation has also been strong and vibrant in other fields. Japan is a leading partner in enhancing regional connectivity with a list of flagship projects to support the implementation of the Master Plan for Asean Connectivity 2025. Japan has also been actively working with Asean in addressing climate change and natural disasters through financial and technical support to strengthen the Asean Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre). A large number of projects and activities have also been implemented under the Japan-Asean Integration Fund to foster closer cultural ties and people-to-people contacts.

Welcoming the initiatives to commemorate the 45th Anniversary of Asean-Japan Dialogue Relations this year, both sides also stressed the need to explore new areas and identify future targets to enhance cooperation and maintain the dynamism of the partnership.

A joint statement is expected to be issued at the Asean-Japan Commemorative Summit in forthcoming November to renew priorities of both sides in advancing the relationship. The meeting also welcomed Japan’s support for priorities of Asean to strengthen resilience and innovation, including the Asean Smart Cities Network initiative to be established later this year.

Strengthening the economic partnership is a priority as both sides agreed to intensify efforts to achieve the targets of the Asean-Japan 10-Year Strategic Economic Cooperation Roadmap (2012-2022) to double trade and investment flows by 2022, including through the signing of the Protocol to Amend the Asean-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership (AJCEP) Agreement expected this year, as well as enhancing cooperation on emerging areas such as e-commerce and MSMEs, etc.

Asean and Japan also shared the importance of upholding the rules-based multilateral trading systems, and the need to make progress in the negotiations for a quality Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). Asean also noted Japan’s initiatives aimed at promoting prosperity in the region, such as its plan to provide $50 billion over the next three years under the Expanded Partnership for Quality Infrastructure initiative to finance high quality infrastructure projects in Asia with Asean as one of the priority regions.

The meeting had a candid exchange of views on regional and international issues of common interest and concern. Both sides welcomed the recent developments in the Korean peninsula including the outcomes of the United States-Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Summit held on June 12 in Singapore as a significant step towards denuclearisation and permanent peace in the Korean peninsula.

Both sides also emphasised the importance of maintaining peace, stability, freedom and safety of navigation in and over-flight above the South China Sea. Japan reiterated its support for Asean’s ongoing efforts to realise full and effective implementation of the declaration of the conduct of parties (with regard to the South China Sea) and early conclusion of the code of coduct.

Asean also noted Japan’s “Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy” through which Japan aims to promote peace, stability and prosperity across the region through upholding the rule of law, enhancing connectivity and fostering economic partnership in the Indo-Pacific. Both sides also agreed to strengthen cooperation in addressing non-traditional security challenges, particularly transnational crimes including terrorism and cybercrime.

 

 

Link: Khmer Times

Vietnam’s renewable energy yet to get wind in its sails

Vietnam’s wind energy industry is still slow to take off.

The target of 800 and 6,000 megawatts of wind power by 2020 and 2030 looks beyond reach.

Vietnam is far away from realizing its short and medium term wind power goals, with no ready solution in sight to several impediments, experts say.

They said at a recent conference on wind energy development in Vietnam that high interest rates, low selling prices and inadequate power purchase agreements from the investors’ point of view were major stumbling blocks to realizing set targets.

Vietnam plans to produce 800 megawatts of wind energy by 2020 and 6,000 megawatts by 2030.

However, the country has just 7 functioning wind energy projects with a total capacity of 190 megawatts, noted Nguyen Van Thanh from the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

Tran Vinh Thong, technical officer for wind energy firm Thuan Binh, which is currently investing in the Phu Lac wind energy project in southern Binh Thuan Province, said the project’s initial cost was VND1.1 trillion ($49 million) and it generated an annual revenue of about VND100 billion, of which VND70-80 billion goes for just interest payments.

“We only have VND20-30 billion left each year to pay our employees’ salaries and meet maintenance costs,” he said.

Low electricity selling prices are also an issue, Thong added.

Currently, electricity derived from wind energy costs about 7.8 cents per kilowatt per hour. At this price, the Phu Lac wind energy project would need 14 years to recoup its initial cost, while a typical wind energy project only lasts 20 years before it is replaced as maintenance costs soar, he said.

Meanwhile, the buying price for wind power is 20 cents in Thailand, 29 cents in the Philippines and 30 cents in Japan.

However, disadvantageous power purchase agreements remain the biggest obstacle to grow Vietnam’s wind energy industry, said Bui Vinh Thang, business development officer for Irish sustainable energy firm Mainstream.

Currently, businesses in Vietnam who want to produce electricity can only sell their output to national distributor Vietnam Electricity Corporation (EVN), which has a monopoly on the service. Worse still, EVN can cancel the power purchase agreement at any time, regardless of the time agreed upon in the contract.

“That is too much of a risk,” Thang said.

Moreover, EVN unilaterally gets to temporarily suspend electricity distribution for energy grid maintenance should it deems necessary to do so.

“During the time electricity distribution is temporarily suspended, we don’t make any money. And EVN doesn’t have to reimburse us at all,” Thang said.

Last year, the Ministry of Industry and Trade proposed an increase in selling prices for wind energy. Land and sea projects would have their selling prices increased to 8.77 and 9.95 cents per kilowatt per hour, respectively.

Vietnam is trying to generate enough energy to sustain the country’s growth and connect those who still do not have access to power, while gradually shifting towards clean and low-carbon energy.

It aims to produce 10.7 percent of its total electricity through renewable energy by 2030, mainly through solar and wind sources.

 

 

Link: VNExpress

SK E&C Inks LOI with the Philippines on Coal-fired Power Plants

From left, Seohee Construction vice president Ryu Byung-sun, SK E&C vice president Joo Yang-gyu, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Philippine Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, pose for a photo during a business forum held in Seoul on June 5.

South Korean construction firm SK Engineering & Construction Co. announced on June 17 that it has signed a letter of intent (LOI) with the Philippine government to build environmentally friendly coal-fired power plants worth about 2.2 trillion won (US$2 billion).

SK E&C proposed an independent power project (IPP) plan to the Philippine government during a business forum in Seoul on June 5 that was attended by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. According to the plan, a consortium led by SK E&C will build and operate two 600-megawatt power plants on the Luzon Island in Quezon province of the Philippines.

The power plants will use ultra-supercritical technology, the latest coal technology that can enhance generation efficiency by 15 percent and dramatically reduce the use of coal.

If SK E&C becomes the first business operator using the ultra-supercritical technology in the Philippines, its project will be recognized as a separate business by the Philippine Board of Investments and be exempted from corporation income tax for up to six years.

SK E&C said the latest project is meaningful in that it is a large IPP that can be directly invested by Korean institutions such as the Korea Development Bank and KDB Infra Fund.

Link: BusinessKorea

S Korea to build electric cable factory in Indonesia

Indonesian Ambassador to South Korea, Umar Hadi (third right), LSCS’s CEO Roe-Hyun Myung ((third left) and a top executive of Artha Graha Network, Panji Yudha Winata (second right), were at a meeting between the delegations of Indonesia and South Korea in Seoul on Monday (June 18) before the signing of a cooperation agreement between South Korean company LS Cable & System and Indonesian company PT Artha Metal Sinergi to build an electric cable factory in West Karawang, West Java, Indonesia. (Photo KBRI Korea Selatan)

Jakarta  (ANTARA News) – Indonesian Ambassador to South Korea, Umar Hadi, welcomed the cooperation agreement between South Korean company LS Cable & System and Indonesian company PT Artha Metal Sinergi to build an electric cable factory in West Karawang, West Java, Indonesia.

The decision to set up a 64 thousand-square-meter plant, worth US$50 million, in an industrial area of Artha Hill is right, Hadi stated, as he witnessed the signing of a cooperation agreement between LS Cable & System and PT Artha Metal Synergy at the Indonesian Embassy in Seoul, on Monday.

In a statement received by Antara here on Monday, the ambassador hoped that the plan to build a cable factory could meet the government`s target to distribute sufficient electricity throughout the archipelago, and the target was expected to be easily realized.

“I call Indonesia in the formula 3 + 2. The three main things that make Indonesia the best place are the size of the existing market, access and availability of raw materials, and the abundance of labor force. In addition, the two driving elements are the pro-business government and the safety in Indonesia,” Hadi noted, while quoting this week`s release by Gallup Report, Switzerland-based international polling agency, which places Indonesia as the world`s top 10 safest countries.

The plant will be ready for operation by the end of 2019, with a target of generating sales worth $100 million in 2025.

Signing the joint venture agreement are President Director of PT. Artha Metal Synergy Felix Efendi, Artha Graha Network Panji Yudha Winata and his Korean partner CEO and CSO LS Cable & System Ltd. Myun Roe-Hyun and Ju Wan-Soeb. Also witnessing the signing was the Director of Indonesia Investment Promotion Center in Seoul, Imam Soejoedi.

Meanwhile, CEO of LS C & S CEO, Roe-Hyun Myung, remarked “Indonesia is one of the fastest growing countries in the world that has become an attractive market that has gained momentum during the visit of South Korean President Moon Jae-in to Indonesia last November.”

In response to this deal, AMS CEO Felix Effendi explained that the joint venture is aimed at strengthening the two-sided cooperation. “Our joint venture not only signifies the collaboration of both companies but also the strengthening of the bond between the two countries,” he noted, explaining that the joint venture will utilize the expertise and experience of each party and provide a significant technological transfer process from one of the best power cable manufacturers in the world.

LS C & S was established since 1962. In the last 56 years, LS C & S has grown to become one of the largest power cable manufacturers in the world by utilizing innovative technology in its products. With the establishment of this plant in Indonesia, LS C & S will have seven production companies in Asia, including in China, India, Myanmar, and Vietnam.

On the other hand, AGN`s business space spans many sectors throughout Indonesia, such as property, finance, agriculture, and hotels. Indonesia itself is the largest consumer of electrical cable in ASEAN, with growth of more than eight percent per year. This is driven by the government policy in massive infrastructure development, especially in the fields of electrical energy and construction.

Editor: Bambang Purwanto

COPYRIGHT © ANTARA 2018

Link: ANTARA News

Singapore non-oil exports stage surprise 15.5% jump in May

Analysts polled by Bloomberg had tipped Nodx to rise by a modest 3 per cent last month.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE – Singapore’s exports logged another month of strong growth in May as non-oil domestic exports (Nodx) beat forecasts to jump 15.5 per cent over the same month a year ago thanks largely to non-electronic shipments.

May’s surge followed from April’s 11.8 per cent rise. The increase came as non-electronic exports outweighed sliding electronics shipments according to Enterprise Singapore data out on Monday (June 18).

The export jump last month blew past the 3 per cent rise tipped by analysts in a Bloomberg poll.

Shipments of electronic products declined by 7.8 per cent, following the 6.9 per cent decrease in the previous month. The fall was led by integrated circuits, parts of PCs as well as diodes and transistors.

Meanwhile, non-electronic Nodx surged by 26.2 per cent in May 2018, after a 19.6 per cent increase in the previous month. Civil engineering equipment parts, food preparations and pharmaceuticals contributed the most to the growth.

Shipments to five of Singapore’s top 10 Nodx markets – South Korea, China, Malaysia, Taiwan and Thailand – decreased compared with the same month a year earlier. The top contributors to Nodx growth were the European Union, the United States and Japan.

Non-oil re-exports – which are seen as a proxy for the wholesale trade sector – rose 4 per cent in May after a 8.2 per cent rise in April, due to growth in both electronic and non-electronic re-exports.

Singapore LNG inks storage and reloading deal with energy trader Trafigura

The agreement grants Trafigura access to 160,000 cubic m of firm LNG storage on a segregated basis for the next 24 months. PHOTO: REUTERS PUBLISHED

SINGAPORE- Singapore LNG has signed an agreement with independent energy trader Trafigura for storage and reloading services at the SLNG Terminal on Jurong Island.

The agreement signed on May 30 grants Trafigura access to 160,000 cubic m of firm LNG storage on a segregated basis for the next 24 months.

Trafigura had responded to a call for proposals from Singapore LNG that was launched in April, following the commissioning of SLNG Terminal’s fourth tank in March.

This is the second storage and reloading agreement signed between Singapore LNG and Trafigura after the first two-year deal between the two parties ended in 2017.

Singapore LNG has another ongoing storage and reloading agreement with Temasek-backed Pavilion Energy.

Link : The Straits Times 

Singapore’s concerted efforts to reduce emissions

We thank Mr Alan Kiat-Leng Lee for his views on Singapore’s climate change efforts (Go further in push to develop clean energy; June 7).

Reducing vehicular emissions and increasing renewable energy deployment are critical to helping us achieve our climate change pledge under the Paris Agreement.

To reduce vehicular emissions, we take a multi-pronged approach by promoting green mobility options such as public transport, walking and cycling; managing the growth and use of private vehicles; and encouraging fuel and carbon efficiency.

For the latter, we have been facilitating the adoption of greener vehicles. The Land Transport Authority will be trialling 50 diesel hybrid buses by the end of this year and 60 electric buses by next year to better understand the operational challenges of deploying such buses on a full-scale basis.

The private sector is also closely involved in piloting green vehicles. Since September 2016, HDT Singapore Taxi has been conducting an all-electric taxi trial involving 100 taxis.

As for renewable energy deployment, we aim to raise Singapore’s solar power adoption to 350MWp by 2020, and 1GWp thereafter. The public sector has initiated a programme named SolarNova to drive demand for solar deployment across public-sector buildings and spaces.

Last November, different government agencies came together to launch the largest solar leasing tender by the public sector to date. PUB has initiated a pilot to test floating solar photovoltaic systems on reservoirs. JTC Corporation has also launched a programme called SolarLand to install solar panels on vacant land as an interim use.

Notwithstanding these efforts, we can do more as an economy and society. Singapore has designated 2018 as the Year of Climate Action. We encourage all Singaporeans and companies to contribute ideas and take concrete steps to fight against climate change.

Teo Eng Dih

Senior Director (Climate Change)

National Climate Change Secretariat

Strategy Group Prime Minister’s Office

 

แหล่งที่มา : The Straits Times

Japan to help Thailand build smart cities

Biz / Tech
Japanese officials say they will help Thailand introduce cutting-edge IT to create eco-friendly, energy-efficient communities known as “smart cities.”

The Japan External Trade Organization, or JETRO, and Thailand’s Ministry of Digital Economy and Society jointly held a seminar in Bangkok on Monday.

About 250 people attended, including government and corporate officials.

Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister Prajin Juntong talked up the tie-up with Japan. He said his government wants to enhance the quality of people’s lives by improving urban environments and ensuring safety.

At the seminar, Japanese electronics makers showcased technologies on renewable energy sources and the smart grid, an energy-efficient, next-generation power supply system.

Hiroki Mitsumata, President of JETRO Bangkok says “ASEAN cities are saddled with urban challenges. There are business opportunities overseas for Japanese companies that can solve these challenges.”

JETRO says Japan can help Southeast Asian countries tackle urban congestion and pollution, things Japan has managed to overcome.

แหล่งที่มา : NHK World-Japan

BCPG makes first investment in Thai wind power

BCPG Plc recently acquired 100 per cent of shares in Lom Ligor Co Ltd, with wind power facilities in Nakhon Si Thammarat capable of producing 10 megawatts of electricity.

President and CEO Bundit Sapianchai said the company on June 15 purchased the entire equity of Lom Ligor, operator of the project in Pak Panang, with the investment including share acquisition and construction not exceeding Bt825 million. The project is under construction but expected to start commercial operations by the end of 2018.
The acquisition was in line with BCPG’s commitment in expand into other technologies of renewable energy in Thailand in addition to solar. This was the first time the company had invested in wind energy in Thailand following its investment last year in PetroWind Energy Inc, which runs a 50MW project in the Philippines. “I’m positive that the investment in this project will generate satisfactory returns, with electricity sales at approximately Bt7 per unit for 10 years,” Bundit said. “While this is a good opportunity for BCPG to expand our renewable energy base in Thailand, it is also a great way to enhance our employees’ expertise in wind power business. “Electricity produced in Pak Panang, a location with frequent and sustained winds, will help respond to the increasing electricity demand in southern Thailand. This investment has been conducted taking into account all stakeholders, returns to shareholders, community care, and the ecosystem and environment, in line with the company’s sustainable-development policy,” he said. “In addition to business expansion in renewable power plants, the company is now entering the retail business, using blockchain to enable peer-to-peer renewable-energy trading of the electricity generated from solar rooftops, providing consumers with more access to renewable energy, for long term and sustainable growth for the company.”

Link : The Nation

ASEAN to Grow as China Boosts Imports

ASEAN to Grow as China Boosts Imports

China has reassured the world that its stance on encouraging imports will not change, a major development strategy that will not only help domestic industrial upgrades but also stimulate global economic growth.

A slew of incentives will be taken to further boost imports, the State Council, China’s cabinet, decided at an executive meeting last week chaired by Premier Li Keqiang.

In response to domestic consumption upgrades and an economic shift to quality, China supports the imports of daily consumer goods, medicine, and equipment for rehabilitation and old-age care, according to the meeting. More measures are in the pipelines to lower tariffs, optimize import customs clearance, and clear up unreasonable management measures and fees.

The move represents China’s latest efforts to further open up its economy, as the country embraces the 40th anniversary of the reform and open-up drive, the first and foremost factor behind its economic success story.

The government has announced multiple new policies to further liberalize domestic sectors and bring in more foreign products since the beginning of the year.

Effective on July 1, the average tariff rate for clothing, shoes and hats, kitchenware, and sports and fitness supplies will be reduced from 15.9 percent to 7.1 percent, and that for home appliances such as washing machines and refrigerators from 20.5 percent to 8 percent. The tariff rates for other products including aquatic products, processed food, detergents, cosmetics, and some medicine will also be reduced substantially.

Import taxes on vehicles and auto parts will also see marked reduction on the same day to upgrade the auto industry.

“Our initiative to boost imports demonstrates China’s commitment to a new round of high-standard opening up, to economic restructuring, and to economic transformation and high-quality development,” Li said.

China has been striving to reduce tariffs. More than 8,000 types of imported goods now enjoy duty-free policies, based on free trade agreements with 23 countries and regions.

Analysts believe the intensive pro-imports measures will help China meet increasing domestic demand, achieve balanced trade, and share development dividends with rest of the world.

Widened access for foreign goods will allow Chinese consumers to enjoy more quality products and prompt domestic companies to improve their competitiveness, said Zhang Jianping, researcher at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation under the Ministry of Commerce.

Given steady economic expansion, China has been vigorous in foreign trade over the past years, overtaking the United States as the world’s largest goods trading nation in 2017.

In breakdown, the country has been the world’s largest exporter and second largest importer of goods for nine consecutive years, and is now the world’s largest importer of energy resources. China contributed 10.2 percent to global imports last year.

From automobiles and crude oil to soy beans and medicine, Chinese buyers are driving growth in a range of different sectors around the world. China boasts the world’s largest middle-income group who have a bigger appetite and higher requirements for products from daily necessities to electronic equipment, creating huge opportunities for foreign businesses.

“Expanding imports is an important way to achieve mutual benefit,” said Li Dawei, researcher with the Chinese Academy of Macroeconomic Research.

Analysts said these measures signal that China wishes to not only improve itself, but to inclusively share the benefits derived from its development model.

Thanks to the favorable policies and enormous demand, the imports boom will likely continue.

Chinese authorities expect the country to import goods worth 24 trillion U.S. dollars in the next 15 years, along with attracting 2 trillion dollars of foreign investment.

China’s goods imports jumped 15.6 percent year on year to 1.19 trillion yuan (around 185 billion U.S. dollars) in May, leading to a 43.1-percent decline in trade surplus. Exports only grew 3.2 percent.

แหล่งที่มา : Live Trading News

Aboitiz, Nueva Ecija co-op ink renewable energy agreement

ABOITIZ Power Corp. has inked a contract with Nueva Ecija II Electric Cooperative Inc. (Neeco II) to supply the latter with 33 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy (RE).

Cleanergy, AboitizPower’s brand for clean and RE, will be delivered to Neeco II-Area 1, which includes the towns of Talavera, Lupao, Carranglan, Aliaga, Quezon, Licab, Santo Domingo, Muñoz, Guimba and Talugtug.

The 33 MW represents 80 percent of the peak demand of Neeco II’s service area.

Neeco II-Area 1 Board President Reynaldo V. Villanueva said the decision to shift to RE is a key milestone for the cooperative, which was established in 1975 and has since sourced its energy requirements from nonrenewables.

“We consider our Cleanergy partnership with AboitizPower as a major accomplishment because we have been using nonrenewable energy since we started operations 40 years ago,” Villanueva said.

“But we wanted to explore other energy options to maximize benefit to our customers, and at the same time, minimize impact on the environment,” he added. “So we looked at several power companies and in terms of track record, capacity and customer service, AboitizPower emerged as our power partner of choice.”

Neeco II-Area 1 is the third electric cooperative in Luzon to use Cleanergy for its customers. However, AboitizPower has been providing clean and RE for 40 years now from its portfolio of hydro, geothermal and solar-power plants, which are strategically located all over the Philippines.

AboitizPower and its partners produce more than 1,200 MW of clean and RE  from 30 power plants.

Early this year, eight electric cooperatives in Mindanao have also contracted a total of 45 MW of Cleanergy, adding to AboitizPower. The company added that the fast-growing Cleanergy clientele also includes some of the most sustainable organizations in the country.

Luis Miguel Aboitiz, EVP and COO of AboitizPower Corporate Business Group, said the company “continuously strives to address the increasing demand for RE.”

“The Cleanergy brand is our solution to the growing demand for RE in the country,” he was quoted in a statement as saying.

แหล่งที่มา : BusinessMirror

Proton Vendors Must Produce Parts For Electrical & Green Cars

Pic: Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR: As Proton vendors upgrade to 4S centres, they must focus on new technologies and manufacturing parts for electrical and green cars, prominent economist Dr Yeah Kim Leng said today.

This will be in line with Proton’s foreign strategic partner, Geely’s quest to position itself to be the number one electric car manufacturer in China.

“If they (Geely) are able to transfer some of the technology, it would augur well for Malaysia more so if they make Malaysia the production hub to penetrate ASEAN,” he said.

The Proton-Geely tie-up was also strategic given that the car industry was currently very highly competitive, he said in an interview.

Besides deep financial capabilities, the renowned China car manufacturer also has important technological capabilities,” he said in a statement containing excerpts of the interview.

Dr Yeah said only the global players could survive in what is surely an increasingly competitive market.

In contrast, “niche and small players, as well as national car players, would find it increasingly very difficult because they do not have the economies of scale.”

More importantly, they do not have the research and development capacity and the deep financial pockets to continuously invest in research and development and, improve car designs, he said.

“Of course moving towards new technologies, electric vehicles in the future and hybrids from internal combustion engines is very important,” Dr Yeah said.

As far as vendors and car makers are concerned, unless they adapt and improve upon the technologies, especially in line with the changing trends towards green vehicles, “the future can be considered pessimistic,” he said, adding that the way forward was to switch now to electrical and energy-efficient cars.

Such trends towards electrical vehicles were clearly evident in Europe and it was a matter of time before the trend catches up in China, said Dr Yeah pointing out to the fact that China was already going towards manufacturing electric cars in a big way.

For Malaysia and Proton, Dr Yeah said: “The quicker we follow this trend, the greater will be the potential for the country to emerge as a regional manufacturing hub for global companies.

One of the critical success factors is that they (vendors) must have a very strong distribution network not just in terms of selling, but also in terms of servicing and ensuring all their warranties are fulfilled so that their so-called customer satisfaction is number one in the car industry”.

For the resale value to be maintained, such as support services and a strong network are crucial.

“Proton is doing right by strengthening that kind of distribution network, elevating it to become the so-called showroom of choice for potential car buyers.

“Important pre-requisites are reliability, lower production costs and competitive prices to attract car buyers.

“We understand that the cost of production, especially for a Chinese car model, is actually one-third lower in terms of production cost besides having advanced features,” he added.

Proton would have a very good future if it can absorb some of these production techniques and technological advantages to lower their costs and offer very cost effective incentives.

With all these winning attributes, “we would likely see Proton regaining some of its past glory sooner than later including rising demand from the middle class and using Malaysia as a base to penetrate the ASEAN market,” Dr Yeah added.

– Bernama

แหล่งที่มา : http://malaysiandigest.com/news/742816-proton-vendors-must-produce-parts-for-electrical-green-cars.html

Senoko Energy Launches First Solar Energy Project

Friday, 15 June 2018

Singapore’s Senoko Energy has launched its first solar energy project – a rooftop installation for mobility technology company Continental Automotive Singapore Pte Ltd.

The solar panels are installed on three office buildings of Continental Automotive Singapore, with the capacity to create more than 500 MWh of electricity a year.

In a turn-key project, Senoko Energy designed, financed, constructed and operates the solar panels, while Continental Automotive Singapore purchases the electricity generated by the solar panels.

This new source of solar energy is expected to help Continental Automotive Singapore save significantly on energy costs and reduce its carbon footprint.

This project is the first of its kind for Senoko Energy, which is part of the company’s strategy to provide innovative and environmentally friendly solutions to meet the changing needs of customers.

Senoko Energy’s New Energy Solutions Acting Head Richard Weller said, “As Singapore looks to increase its energy security and efficiency, demand for renewable energy is growing, with the private sector doubling its solar installations since 2015.

“In response, we are growing our new energy solutions portfolio to help better meet customers’ evolving demand. We intend to keep growing our solar capacity through 2018 and beyond.”

แหล่งที่มา  https://www.renewableenergymagazine.com/pv_solar/senoko-energy-launches-first-solar-energy-project-20180615

รัฐมนตรีพลังงานยืนยันปรับแผนพีดีพี 2015 ใหม่ให้ความสำคัญพลังงานทดแทนมากขึ้น

รัฐมนตรีพลังงาน ยืนยันปรับแผน PDP2015 มีความชัดเจนภายในสิ้นปี 2560 ซึ่งจะให้ความสำคัญกับพลังงานทดแทนมากขึ้น  โดยคำนึงปัจจัยความมั่นคงพลังงาน  ราคาที่เป็นธรรมไม่เป็นภาระประชาชน และสิ่งแวดล้อมที่ยั่งยืน

                      พลเอกอนันตพร กาญจนรัตน์ รัฐมนตรีว่าการกระทรวงพลังงาน กล่าวในงานสัมมนาอนาคตธุรกิจพลังงานไทย ซึ่งจัดโดยหนังสือพิมพ์ฐานเศรษฐกิจ เมื่อวันที่ 24 ส.ค.2560 ว่า กระทรวงพลังงานยืนยันให้ความสำคัญกับพลังงานทดแทนมากขึ้น โดยขณะนี้อยู่ระหว่างปรับแผนพัฒนากำลังผลิตไฟฟ้าระยะยาว พ.ศ. 2558-2579 หรือ PDP 2015 ซึ่งคาดว่าจะชัดเจนภายในสิ้นปี 2560 นี้ โดยเบื้องต้นกำลังศึกษาความเหมาะสมว่าจะขยายสัดส่วนการผลิตไฟฟ้าพลังงานทดแทนทั้งหมด(พลังงานรวมกับความร้อน) จาก 30% เป็น 40% ของปริมาณพลังงานทดแทนทั้งหมดตามที่ พล.อ.ประยุทธ์ จันทร์โอชา นายกรัฐมนตรี ระบุได้หรือไม่ ซึ่งต้องพิจารณา 3 ด้านประกอบกัน ได้แก่ ด้านความมั่นคงพลังงาน  ด้านราคาที่เป็นธรรมไม่เป็นภาระประชาชน และสิ่งแวดล้อมที่ยั่งยืน นอกจากนี้จะปรับเปลี่ยนการพิจารณาปริมาณสำรองไฟฟ้าประเทศใหม่ จากปัจจุบันที่เน้นดูปริมาณสำรองไฟฟ้าโดยรวมทั้งประเทศ ซึ่งขณะนี้มีสูงถึง 30% ของปริมาณไฟฟ้าทั้งหมด แต่การปรับแผน PDP ใหม่ครั้งนี้จะพิจารณาปริมาณสำรองเป็นรายภูมิภาคแทน รวมถึงศึกษาการใช้เชื้อเพลิงผลิตไฟฟ้าตามภูมิภาคด้วย เพื่อทำให้สำรองไฟฟ้าเกิดความเหมาะสม หากพื้นที่ใดสำรองไฟฟ้ามากก็สามารถแบ่งปันให้ภาคอื่นได้ เป็นต้น พลเอกอนันตพร กล่าวด้วยว่า กระทรวงพลังงานกำลังเดินหน้าเรื่องการเปิดรับซื้อไฟฟ้าพลังงานทดแทนแบบผสมผสานสำหรับผู้ผลิตไฟฟ้ารายเล็ก (SPP Hybrid ) ซึ่ง 2-3 เดือนนี้จะเป็นตัวชี้วัดว่าการผลิตไฟฟ้าพลังงานทดแทนแบบไฮบริดจะเข้ามาทดแทนพลังงานหลักได้ดีเพียงใด และจะทำให้ราคาต้นทุนค่าไฟฟ้าลดลงได้หรือไม่ โดยหากประสบผลสำเร็จกระทรวงพลังงานจะผลักดันพลังงานทดแทนให้ได้มากขึ้นต่อไป สำหรับความคืบหน้าการเปิดสำรวจและผลิตปิโตรเลียมแหล่งสัมปทานที่จะหมดอายุ (แหล่งบงกชและแหล่งเอราวัณ) นั้น หากร่างกฎหมายลูกเกี่ยวกับระบบแบ่งปันผลผลิต(PSC) และเงื่อนไขการประมูล(TOR) ผ่านกฤษฎีกาและเข้าสู่การพิจารณาของคณะรัฐมนตรี(ครม.) ได้ทันในสิ้นเดือน ส.ค. 2560 นี้ กระทรวงพลังงานก็จะสามารถประกาศ TOR ได้ภายในเดือน ก.ย.- ต.ค. 2560 และจะรู้ผลการประมูลต้นปี 2561 ได้ โดยหากดำเนินการตามกระบวนการดังกล่าวได้เร็วก็จะช่วยให้ผู้ประกอบการตัดสินใจลงทุนได้ชัดเจนขึ้นและจะช่วยให้กำลังผลิตก๊าซธรรมชาติของไทยเดินหน้าได้ต่อเนื่อง

 

ที่มา : Energy News Center