Vinacomin targets 41 tonnes of coal next year

A coal mine of Thong Nhat Company, a member of Vinacomin. (Photo
Hanoi (VNA) – The Vietnam National Coal and Mineral Industries Group (Vinacomin) aims to produce and sell 41 tonnes of coal in 2019, a year-on-year increase of 10-15 percent.

Vinacomin said the group this year planned to reach an output of 39 tonnes of coal. To reach the target, Vinacomin would review and rearrange the production ability of its member companies to make appropriate plans.

This includes 34.2 million tonnes of clean coal by the year-end, up 1.32 million tonnes from last year. The group produced over 20 million tonnes of coal, including 19.3 million of clean coal, in the first seven months of the year. During that time, it has sold approximately 22 million tonnes of coal, 3.8 million tonnes more than the same period last year. It also fired or laid off around 3,000 labourers over the same period.

Vinacomin said it would increase ownership rate at its four member companies including Cao Son, Coc Sau, Ha Tu and Mong Duong to prepare for consolidation of some pit coal mines in 2019-20.

The group said it has implemented a restructuring project for the 2017-20 period. It completed consolidation of two mining construction companies 1 and 2 into the TKV Mining Construction Company, merging Hong Thai Coal Company into Uong Bi Coal Company and Hon Gai Logistics Company into Hon Gai Coal Company.

The group has implemented the first step to restructure labour and assets to merge the Red River Delta Coal Management Project into the Institute of Mining Science and Technology.

It would also privatise two member companies, divest capital at six other companies and sell shares at another six units.

It submitted a plan to the Ministry of Industry and Trade for the parent company’s equitisation following a roadmap approved by the Prime Minister.-VNA

Enhancing energy security in ASEAN

RELIABLE and sustainable energy sources are key to ASEAN’s long-term economic growth. This is why Singapore in its capacity as ASEAN chair is pursuing initiatives that will build capabilities in areas such as energy efficiency, natural gas and renewable energy.

Planned initiatives include developing policy recommendations for a regional green building code, building capabilities in energy investments and financing and facilitating greater Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) cooperation and trade.

Attracting energy investments and financing to ASEAN

Singapore is working with international energy organisations and international financial institutions to build capabilities in the region to attract energy investments and provide sustainable financing to power economic development. As part of these efforts, Singapore and the International Energy Agency (IEA) are co-organising the Singapore-IEA Clean Energy Investment and Financing Training Programme from Aug 28-30, 2018 in Singapore.

Facilitating greater natural gas and LNG cooperation

Natural gas has the potential to play a key role in enhancing the region’s energy security and its transition towards a low carbon economy. It would benefit the region to shift its focus towards LNG cooperation by promoting intra-regional LNG trade.

This includes, for example, sourcing natural gas from within the region as well as sharing LNG infrastructure, which reduces the need for additional expenditure on new investments.

Developing an ASEAN Green Building Code

Increasing energy efficiency is crucial to ensuring sustainable regional growth, particularly for developing economies experiencing rapid urbanisation. The building and construction sector is one of the biggest energy consumers in ASEAN.

To improve the energy efficiency of buildings, ASEAN is working towards developing policy recommendations for a regional Green Building Code for the building sector. As acceptance of green building practices expands, putting in place building codes are an opportunity to raise the bar on requirements.

Providing an annual platform for the discussion of global energy issues and their impact on the region – Singapore International Energy Week (SIEW)

For the first time, the 36th ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM) will be held together with the 11th Singapore International Energy Week from Oct 29 to Nov 2, 2018, as part of Singapore’s ASEAN chairmanship.

SIEW will bring together key stakeholders from governments, industry and international organisations to discuss how ASEAN can strengthen its engagement with global energy players and develop energy solutions for the region.

The 11th edition of SIEW will also host the 2nd Singapore-IEA forum which will focus on the digital energy system of the future.

Deepening cooperation with international organisations

ASEAN is enhancing collaborations with international organisations such as the IEA and International Renewable Energy Agency for greater energy security and cleaner access to electricity.

China-ASEAN new energy forum opens in Yunnan

KUNMING, Aug. 29 (Xinhua) — Representatives of 12 countries and two international organizations participated in the China-ASEAN New Energy Forum that opened Wednesday in Kunming, southwest China’s Yunnan Province.

The two-day forum focuses on issues including cooperation in new energy, policies and measures in promoting new and renewable energy and new energy technological innovation.

“New energy sources and renewable energies based on solar, wind and biomass have become the strategic choice of East Asian and ASEAN countries, as well as a regional response to tackle climate change,” said Cai Jianing, deputy head of the international cooperation department under China’s Ministry of Science and Technology.

Cai said China has stepped up the transformation of its energy structure by increasing the use of a diversity of efficient and clean new energies, adding that China is willing to enhance cooperation with ASEAN countries in new energy.

Representatives from China, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, Nepal, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Egypt, the United States and Australia as well as ASEAN-China Center and Asian Development Bank participated in the forum.

Expanding into ASEAN markets and way beyond

In the last two years, Sunseap Group has gone from being a domestic utility company primarily serving the Singapore market to now having a presence in 10 markets.

Leveraging the economic links between ASEAN countries, the company has successfully expanded into regional markets in South-east Asia and beyond.

It is now in nine other markets including Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, and the Philippines.

Sunseap is also in non-ASEAN markets such as Australia, India, mainland China, and Taiwan.

Its portfolio of projects includes rooftop installations of solar panels, floating photovoltaic systems and even solar farming technology.

Sunseap co-founder and president Lawrence Wu said the decision to expand into overseas markets came on demand and supply.

The cost of solar energy has already hit grid parity – it now costs as much or even less than traditional sources of power.

Meanwhile, governments in the ASEAN region have begun gradually cutting fuel subsidies, which has led to a rise in the price of fossil-based generated power and a spike in demand for solar power.

But, apart from the lower costs of solar power, he also credits the firm’s successful expansion to the strength of the partnerships it has formed with grid operators abroad.

Enterprise Singapore, the Singapore government agency championing enterprise development, said it supported Sunseap in developing new technologies and building its manpower capabilities in its expansion into South-east Asia. It helped Sunseap connect with industry stakeholders, including local and international financiers.


Co-founder and CEO Frank Phuan added that among all the different sources of electricity, solar power has managed to become one of the cheapest last year.

Prices reached 2 to 3 US cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) in some parts of the world with stronger sunlight like the desert regions of Australia, China, and India, in which the firm has a presence.

He quipped: “We have a number of projects where we have been asked to replace discontinued coal and other conventional power projects with solar power . . . In short, it’s clean, green, and cheaper. What’s there not to like?”

Sunseap has come a long way since it set up shop in 2011, and is now one of Singapore’s largest players in the renewable sector, with clients ranging from giants like Apple and Microsoft, to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and individual households.

It has evolved from providing just renewable energy to also offering fully fledged integrated energy solutions, working with corporates to lower their overall power consumption through improved electricity efficiency.

But Mr Phuan said that its mission has always been the same: to provide clean power and de-carbonising solutions for corporates, governments, and consumers, in a sustainable manner.

Mr Wu explained that the original business model was built around partnering building owners to install rooftop solar panels, which would be owned and operated by Sunseap.

It would then sell this power to consumers at a highly competitive rate, made possible by recent technological advances that drove production costs down.

Mr Wu added: “However, apart from merely providing electrical power to clients, we asked ourselves what else we could do for our clients. This is why we decided to combine our solar energy offerings with integrated energy efficiency solutions to not only help our clients go green, but also help them reduce energy usage.

“This can be as simple as helping clients change their lightbulbs to LED ones, upgrading their heating and ventilation systems, and switching from using conventional gensets to off-grid solar and storage solutions from us. The business model then becomes a question of how much our clients can save, and what fraction of these savings can be shared with us.”

Mr Phuan noted that the firm need not only work with existing buildings, but can also work with construction firms to design energy-efficient buildings from the ground up.

But, despite the change of focus to integrated energy solutions, solar energy continues to be a core part of the business, he said.

This is because the company uses the same systems to run both its solar power equipment and its other electrical power management solutions.

For example, the solar generation system uses the same connection points as Sunseap’s energy storage systems.

More features can then simply be connected, whether energy efficiency solutions, building management systems, or energy arbitration and frequency regulation systems. In this way, a whole host of urban solutions can be easily deployed to the same building.

“I would say the big change is that we are now no longer just looking at the supply side, but also focusing on managing the demand side of electrical power consumption as well,” said Mr Phuan.

Mr Wu said: “For us, there are existing clients that we can deploy all these solutions to as a package. We can essentially provide our energy efficiency, monitoring and building management solutions to complement the solar energy service that our clients sign up with us.


“I think it makes a lot of sense to do it this way because we have a long-term relationship with clients who signed up for our solar energy service, typically around 20 to 25 years. Therefore, we are able to offer our full suite of services in terms of our other clean energy and de-carbonising solutions.”

Mr Phuan said the firm’s next steps were to consolidate its position in the markets it has recently entered by expanding its solar power provision business and by building on new revenue streams like in-house engineering work, system design work, and the development and exchange of intellectual property.

So, it set up three new divisions – engineering, solutions, and energy ventures – on top of its original leasing, energy and international divisions.

The company hopes these new divisions can contribute to its regional expansion and build it up as the dominant solar energy distributor in South-east Asia.

For instance, instead of using only existing technology to offer integrated energy solutions, Sunseap now wants to invest in research and development for its own proprietary technology, to be used in all 10 of its markets.

Without specifying a timeline, Mr Phuan said Sunseap, which has a headcount of about 150, would “likely” be listed in Singapore in the near future.

Engineering is its largest division, but Mr Wu called Sunseap’s solar energy service the bread and butter of the firm since its inception, as it remains the largest revenue generator.

“However, we do not discount the fact that other solutions will contribute to the revenue of the group substantially in the next couple of years,” he said.

Petron Malaysia chalks up Q2 net profit of RM92.42m on stronger sales and high oil prices

In an exchange filing today, Petron Malaysia Refining & Marketing Bhd says its revenue rose 29.34 per cent to RM3.13 billion from RM2.42 billion previously due to stronger sales and higher international oil prices.

KUALA LUMPUR: Petron Malaysia Refining & Marketing Bhd’s net profit rose 1.57 per cent to RM92.42 million in the second-quarter (Q2) ended June 30, 2018 from RM90.99 million in the same period previously.

In an exchange filing today, Petron Malaysia said its revenue rose 29.34 per cent to RM3.13 billion from RM2.42 billion previously due to stronger sales and higher international oil prices.

For the first-half of 2018, the company’s net profit slipped 17.54 per cent to RM164.55 million from RM199.54 million, while revenue increased 17.71 per cent to RM5.85 billion from RM4.97 billion.

Chairman Ramon S. Ang said Petron Malaysia continued to see strong demand and preference for Petron’s premium products and services underscored by higher sales volumes.

“We are focused on expanding our presence and thrive in this highly competitive market through elevating service excellence and offering more innovative products,” he said in a statement.

The company noted that it would continue to mitigate exposures to price risks through its risk management system in light with the persistent geopolitical situations affecting oil market and volatilities in oil prices.

Japanese LPG firm Gyxis to open office in Singapore

[SINGAPORE] Japanese liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) importer Gyxis Corp is planning to set up an office in Singapore soon, a company spokesman told Reuters on Wednesday.

He declined to elaborate but added that a public announcement on this will be made at a later date.

The company will likely open the Singapore office in September or October and may purchase LPG to import into Japan, two sources familiar with the matter said.

Gyxis, one of four major LPG firms in Japan, was set up in 2015. It combined the LPG businesses of Cosmo Oil Co, Showa Shell Sekiyu, Sumitomo Corp and TonenGeneral Sekiyu KK, which later merged with JX Nippon Oil to create JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy Corp.

LPG, a product from crude oil refining and natural gas production, is a mixture of propane and butane that is used for cooking and as a transport fuel. It is also an important feedstock for the petrochemical industry.

Asia is the world’s biggest LPG importing region, with China, India, Japan and South Korea together taking in one-third of globally shipped LPG, according to trade data.

Gyxis transports LPG to Japan through long-term purchase agreements with exporters in the United States and natural gas producing countries in the Middle East, according to the company website.

It imports about 2.8 million tonnes of LPG every year to its seven primary import terminals in Japan, the website states.


Risen Energy sets up office in Vietnam

Risen Energy sets up office in Vietnam

Solar panels. Author: Frédéric BISSON. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic.


August 29 (Renewables Now) – Chinese solar module producer Risen Energy Co Ltd (SHE:300118) has opened an office in Vietnam as it aims to establish a footprint in the Southeast Asian market.

The office is located in the country’s capital of Hanoi and was set up on August 24, the company said Tuesday.

Risen Energy has been attracted by Vietnam’s plans to have 850 MW of photovoltaic (PV) power plants in operation by 2020 and 10 GW by 2030. It said it plans to invest in power stations and provide  engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services in the country. Under the initial roadmap, the Vietnamese office is looking to get involved in EPC projects totalling 150 MW during 2018 and to double the figure by 2019.

Myanmar dam overflow floods 100 villages, displaces thousands

Monsoon rains caused a dam in central Myanmar to overflow early Wednesday, inundating about 100 villages and blocking the country’s biggest highway, a government official said.


No casualties have been reported but thousands were displaced and took shelter in temporary camps.

Swar Chaung dam’s spillway structure, which regulates the release of water from the levee, broke due to heavy seasonal rainfall in the Bago region, authorities said.

The water gushed into the rural flatland as people fled their homes on foot, clutching bags of belongings, according to footage of the aftermath.

The weight of the floodwater also fractured part of a bridge on the Yangon-Mandalay highway, which serves as an important artery between Myanmar’s two biggest cities.

“We don’t have exact data about the number of victims but the water has hit villages where more than 50,000 people live,” ministry of social welfare director Phyu Lae Lae Tun said.

She added that a total of 12,000 households in some 100 villages were affected by the floods.

Army chief Min Aung Hlaing, under mounting international pressure to face international justice following a damning United Nations report this week on the Rohingya crisis, was quick to arrive at the scene.

“We have to work together,” he told local media. “The spillway cannot be controlled currently and the water will not stop.”

Convoys of military trucks carrying boats were seen heading to the scene.

Camps for the displaced were being set up while other people were taking refuge in monasteries, Phyu Lae Lae Tun said.

“But we don’t have the details of how many people are displaced or how many people are still living in their respective villages,” she added.

The torrent comes just weeks after heavy monsoon rains pummelled Myanmar, causing widespread flash floods that forced some 150,000 people to flee their homes.

Southeast Asia is often battered by weather during the annual monsoon season, which runs from around June to November.

Regional neighbour Laos was hit badly last month when heavy rainfall caused the collapse of a massive dam, an unprecedented disaster that left at least 35 dead and scores missing.

The communist country is now facing intense scrutiny on its hydropower strategy as it plans to become the “battery of Asia” by damming rivers and selling its electricity to its neighbours.

Yangon gov’t spends over Ks 48 billion on electricity sector in eight FYs

Writer: Pyae Phyo Aung
A worker installs power grid in Yangon. (photo-Pyae Phyo Aung)


During eight fiscal years, Yangon region government spent over Ks 48 billion on the electricity sector, according to the budget for April to September of 2017-2018 fiscal year.

According to the budget years from 2011-2012 unitl the 2018 FY, the electricity sector spent Ks 48290.929 million–Ks-8.125 million in 2011-2012 FY, Ks 158.587 million in 2012-2013 FY, Ks 50 million in 2013-2014 FY, Ks 390 million in 2014-2015 FY, Ks 8084.689 million in 2015-2016 FY, Ks 30206.846 million in 2016-2017 FY and Ks 2521.050 million in 2017-2018 FY and Ks 6853.301 million from April to September 2018.

The NLD-led government has been struggling for the power supply sector. The region’s government can distribute power to townships in Yangon to a certain extent, said Yangon Region Chief Minister Phyo Min Thein at a press conference on Yangon region government undertakings in office, on August 24.

The government’s electricity sector is running at a loss. The more losses the government suffers, the more power it distributes. The region government will discuss with the Union government on the expansion of electricity sector and other future tasks.

According to a statement by the Ministry of Electricity and Energy, the nationwide power production reached a record high of 3224.9 megawatts on August 27, this year. Power production units hit 61094.5 megawatt hours a day. Yangon’s power consumption has reached 1335.2 megawatts.

On August 27 last year, the nationwide power production reached 2744.9 megawatts.

The country is generating power for the public and industrial uses from 17 hydro-power plants and 15 thermal power plants. The annual power consumption rate has been increased by 15 per cent.

The country needs to generate additional 1,903 MW as the power consumption rate is expected to reach 5,092 MW in 2020-2021. The government is implementing hydro power plants, gas-fired power plants and solar-powered power plants in order to satisfy increasing power demands.

The country’s highest power production peaked around 3,200 megawatts. Yangon consumes more than 1,350 MW while Mandalay require more than 550 MW. Other regions combined needs more than 1,200 MW meaning that Yangon and Mandalay accounts for 35-40 per cent of the power consumption by industries and other regions for 21 per cent, according to the Ministry of Electricity and Energy.

Linde Malaysia, a member of The Linde Group, will provide technological expertise across the hydrogen (H2) value chain to Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) following the construction of SEB’s pilot H2 production plant and refuelling station.

The first of its kind in the state of Sarawak and Southeast Asia, Linde also signed a Memorandum of Understanding to explore the potential of H2 and how it can be potentially applied into other aspects together with SEB.

Sarawak Energy pilots hydrogen plant and refuelling station

The move demonstrates interest in clean fuel alternatives for a more sustainable automotive industry in Malaysia.

Source: Linde Malaysia

Linde is gearing up to share its expertise in fuelling solutions to help power Malaysia’s automotive industry with zero-emission H2 technology.

Malaysia is an attractive place for the Tier One company to invest further, tapping into its rich water resource for the production, storage and supply of H2 and other industrial gasses. This is partly due to its abundant water resource, receiving an average of 2500 to 5080 millimetres of rainfall annually.

“The world’s challenges associated with global warming (caused by CO2 emissions) pose a fundamental threat to the future of our planet,” explained Linde South Asia and ASEAN Regional Managing Director Rob Hughes.

“Linde sees H2 as an integral part of our renewable energy future in addressing this challenge. With over 25 years of research and development in H2 fuelling technologies, Linde has invested significantly at the global level in the future market for H2. There are strong indicators that the market is receptive towards alternative fuels and energy with alternative mobility becoming more prevalent, particularly in Asia.”

“Technology, innovation and an inventive spirit have been at the core of Linde from the very beginning, making us the technology leader for end-to-end sustainable H2 solutions.”

“Linde is no stranger to the automotive industry as we deliver H2 fuelling solutions for cars, buses and even forklift trucks. We intend to grow the commercialisation of H2-powered fuel cell vehicles and boost our efforts with our partners to create infrastructures that enable greater adoption of H2-electric mobility. Linde has seen success with this model across Europe and is now extending its focus here in Southeast Asia,” Hughes said.

Source: Linde Malaysia

H2-powered cars are equipped with a H2 fuel cell and an electric motor. Inside the fuel cell of the car, the H2 reacts with oxygen (O2) drawn in from the ambient air. H2 molecules separate and create electricity to power the electric motor, and water.

The automotive industry stands to benefit from Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs) because they help reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions which greatly mitigates climate change.

This further supports the nation’s aspirations to reduce carbon emissions as demonstrated by the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology, Science and Climate Change’s (Mestecc) recent announcement to introduce an Energy Efficiency Bill in 2019 to help Malaysia cut carbon emissions by 45% by 2030 in compliance with the Paris climate accord.

H2-powered fuel cell vehicles have a short refuelling time of only three minutes and the ability to cover 500 to 600 km. The water vapour from the exhaust of a H2-powered vehicle is clean to the point that it is drinkable, demonstrating its zero emissions feature.

To date, Linde has equipped around 150 fuelling stations globally with innovative H2 refuelling technology.

Linde is actively involved in collaborative partnerships to jointly develop new solutions for H2 as a fuel. It is also a member of the ‘Hydrogen Council,’ the first global initiative of its kind, launched in January 2017, with the goal of positioning H2 among the key solutions of the energy transition to help meet climate goals.

Cambodian PM encourages Chinese entrepreneurs to invest more in Cambodia

PHNOM PENH, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) — Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen on Tuesday encouraged Chinese entrepreneurs to invest more in Cambodia, saying that their investments were vital for the socio-economic development and poverty reduction of the country.

Hun Sen made the remarks during a meeting with a 42-member business delegation of the Tianxia Chaoshang Economic Conference led by Li Songjian, chairman of Mingyuan Group Limited, according to Sry Thamarong, a minister attached to the Cambodian prime minister.

The prime minister informed them about the four priority sectors — human resource, road, water, and power — that the government has mainly focused on, and encouraged them to invest in these sectors.

He also encouraged them to invest in setting up universities.

Hun Sen also praised China for its “no strings attached” aid and investments in the development of infrastructures such as roads and bridges, and hydropower plants in Cambodia.

“China is a friend whom we can trust,” Thamarong said. “China helps us sincerely and its assistance has never had any strings attached.”

China is currently the largest source of both foreign direct investment and tourists to Cambodia.

Thamarong said the kingdom had attracted fixed asset investment of about 19 billion U.S. dollars from China from 1994 to date.

For tourism, Cambodia received over 1.2 million Chinese tourists in 2017, and was expected to greet up to three million in the next few years, he said.

Solar Philippines to install mini-grids in 12 towns

Solar Philippines Power Project Holdings, Inc. said it would bring round-the-clock power supply to 12 towns by installing mini-grids under its Solar Para sa Bayan initiative.

In a statement, the company said it was working to put up hybrid mini-grids in the towns of Dumaran, Palawan; Claveria, Masbate; Calayan, Cagayan; Lubang, Occidental Mindoro; and Dingalan, Aurora, among others, over the next few months.

Solar Philippines said that through this initiative, it aimed to supply power at a lower cost to consumers and at zero cost to the government to towns that would have 24/7 access to electricity for the first time, noting that about 200,000 Filipinos will benefit from these projects.

“Our aim is not to make the most profit, but to help the greatest number of our fellow Filipinos. We hope all other stakeholders will likewise support such initiatives for the DOE [Department of Energy] to achieve its vision of ending energy poverty by 2022,” Solar Para sa Bayan founder Leandro Leviste said.

Leviste, who is also president of Solar Philippines, said the company was “working overtime to ensure every town in the Philippines will enjoy the best service at the lowest cost as soon as possible,” as the company has received emails from various townsfolk requesting them to bring reliable electricity to their respective towns.

Solar Para sa Bayan was initiated earlier this year to support the Department of Energy’s vision to end energy poverty in the Philippines by 2022. In support of this vision, the government plans to issue an executive order encouraging the participation of the private sector in its rural electrification program.

In June, Leviste revealed on the sidelines of the 13th Asia Clean Energy Forum (ACEF) that Solar Philippines was aiming for a capacity of 400 megawatts (MW) by the end of the year.

“[W]e are completing 10 towns by next quarter, of similar size to the one town we completed in Paluan, Occidental Mindoro earlier this year. The first two will be completed this month in Masbate, totaling 100,000 people that will have 24-hour electricity for the first time in their lives,” Leviste said at that time, adding the facility will be equipped with solar batteries.

“Under this plan, over the next few months, we will complete micro-grids 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 micro-grid portfolio in history, which we hope will cause ADB [Asian Development Bank] to rethink its entire off-grid strategy,” he said.

In March, Solar Philippines inaugurated its solar-battery micro-grid in the municipality of Paluan, Occidental Mindoro, making the town completely brownout-free.

The solar-battery farm, which has 2 MW of solar panels, capacity of 2 megawatt hours (MWh), and 2 MW of diesel backup, is designed to supply round-the-clock power to the area at 50 percent lower cost than that charged by the local electric cooperative.

Cayetano reveals joint Philippines-China gas and oil exploration in next two months

By Mario Casayuran

Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Alan Peter S. Cayetano disclosed Tuesday he looks forward to a joint Philippine-China gas and oil exploration agreement n the contested areas in the South China Sea, ‘’hopefully’’ in the next two months.

Interviewed by Bulletin after appearing before the Senate finance committee to defend DFA’s proposed 2019 P27.5 billion budget, Cayetano said the Philippines and China agreed not to put deadlines on their draft exploration agreement.

Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano
(AP Photo/Aaron Favila / MANILA BULLETIN)

“Yes, the 60-40 sharing (based on a provision of the Philippine Constitution on investments) will be followed. We are working on a framework for the Philippines and China. Not just on a provision of law but equity,’’ he stressed.

He said the 60-40 agreement is likened to the Philippine-Malampaya gas royalty agreement with Shell. The volume of gas being extracted from Malampaya is expected to begin tapering off starting in 2025.

The Duterte government is being pilloried for allegedly being soft on China although it won in its territorial dispute over parts of the South China Sea with China based on the United Nations Arbitration Court. The UN rejected China’s ‘’historical’’ claim over the South China.

China, stressing that it would not surrender even an inch of its territory, has reclaimed islets, shoals and reefs in the Spratly island chain and put up air and naval bases. The Philippines said China violated its sovereignty when it reclaimed the area.

Some lawmakers have personally expressed the view that a 60-40 investment sharing agreement would be constitutionally tenable.

The contested territory is reportedly rich in oil and gas reserves.

Sen. Loren Legarda, finance committee chairwoman, said she deemed the DFA proposed budget as submitted to her committee on the condition that Cayetano submits documents on various foreign policy issues sought by Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon and opposition Senator Risa Hontiveros.

In the House of Representatives, Cayetano had asked the Senate for closed door briefing on the military issues related to the contested territories in the South China Sea because there are classified matters that are best kept secret.

“As a former senator, I am ready for a hug or a shove in the Senate,’’ he said. He was referring to hard questions fielded by Drilon and Hontiveros during the committee hearing. Cayetano stressed that he, on one hand, and Drilon and Hontiveros, on the other, go the same path but have different approaches.

All these, however, converge on the country’s national interest and security of the Philippine territory.

In yesterday’s budget hearing, Hontiveros challenged Cayetano to bare the details of the so-called 50-100 diplomatic actions his department made against China.

Hontiveros demanded transparency and integrity in the government’s foreign policy framework and implementation.

It was reported that Cayetano claimed in a congressional hearing that the Philippines has filed 50 to 100 protests and/or diplomatic actions against China over the past two years. However, Cayetano failed to provide details regarding the “diplomatic actions” against China.

“Can the DFA tell us what is the nature of the 50-100 diplomatic actions? How many were in the form of notes verbale? How many were diplomatic démarches?” Hontiveros asked Cayetano.

“Can the DFA give us the exact date and time when these diplomatic actions against China were made? What channels and platforms were used? How many times did the Chinese government responded? What were the nature of China’s diplomatic responses?” Hontiveros queried.

Cayetano refused to answer Hontiveros’ questions, saying that his office is willing to divulge the details of the “diplomatic actions” only in a closed session. He said that he doesn’t want to publicly disclose the foreign affairs strategy of the government.

He stressed that the government is taking up actions to address the issue despite the lack of details disclosed to the public.

Hontiveros explained that the public is aware of only one instance when the DFA issued a note verbale to protest China’s installation of missile systems on three man-made islands in the Spratly Islands and the harassment by the Chinese Navy of Philippine Navy boats resupplying troops on Ayungin Shoal on 11 May.

“Transparency makes for good foreign policy. On the contrary, total silence raises suspicion and discourages public confidence. Considering that the Philippine Senate has been granted by the Constitution the power to ratify treaties and in line with its check and balance powers, it has material interest in ensuring that the foreign policy adopted by the Executive is in the best interest of Filipino citizens,” she said.

Indonesia’s Pertamina targets 407,000 bpd oil output in 2019

JAKARTA, Aug 28 (Reuters) –

* Indonesia’s state energy company PT Pertamina is targeting oil production of 407,000 barrel per day (bpd) in 2019, up slightly from 2018’s goal of 400,000 bpd, Meidawati, a Pertamina senior vice president, told reporters on Tuesday.

* In January to July this year, Pertamina’s oil output stood at 380,000 bpd, compared to 343,000 bpd in the same period last year, she said.

* Output up to July includes 103,000 bpd of production from overseas sites such as Pertamina’s Iraq field. The company has targeted 108,000 bpd of oil production from its overseas operations in 2018 and 112,00 bpd in 2019, Meidawati said.

* Pertamina’s gas output in January-July was 3,056 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscfd), up from 2,032 mmscfd in same period last year. (Reporting by Wilda Asmarini)

Off-grid solar ROUND-UP: Mini-grids for 200,000 Filipinos, AfDB US$58m fund, Energy access database

The Solar Para Sa Bayan mini-grids deliver low-cost electricity to consumers at zero cost to the Filipino government. Credit: Solar Philippines

Solar Para Sa Bayan to bring solar mini-grids to 200,000 Filipinos

28 August: Solar Para Sa Bayan, an initiative by Solar Philippines founder Leandro Leviste, is bringing 24/7 power to 12 Filipino towns via unsubsidised, hybrid solar mini-grids.

The mini-grids deliver low-cost electricity to consumers at zero cost to the government in towns that have never before received adequate electric service.

An estimated 200,000 Filipinos will benefit from these projects, in provinces including Mindoro, Palawan, Masbate, Cagayan, and Aurora.

“We hope all other stakeholders will likewise support such initiatives for the DOE to achieve its vision of ending energy poverty by 2022,” said Leandro Leviste.

In March 2018, Solar Para Sa Bayan installed Southeast Asia’s largest solar-battery minigrid for Paluan, Mindoro, bringing 24/7 power for the first time in the town’s history. This was the first project in Asia to feature Powerpacks from US-based battery and EV supplier Tesla.

“It is sad to learn of towns where development has been hindered by the lack of reliable electricity. We hope our projects, in towns such as Lubang, Dumaran, Claveria, Calayan, and Dingalan will help communities reach their full potential, and we are working overtime to ensure every town in the Philippines will enjoy the best service at the lowest cost as soon as possible,” said Leviste.

The Department of Energy (DOE) estimates that over 2.3 million Filipino households still remain without electricity, while many more experience regular blackouts and among the highest rates in Asia.

AfDB, Nordic Development Fund and Partners launch Off-Grid Energy Access Fund with US$58 million

27 August: The African Development Bank (AfDB), the Nordic Development Fund and other partners have committed US$58 million to support the Off-Grid Energy Access Fund (OGEF) that focuses on energy access.

The Fund is part of the US$500 million Facility for Energy Inclusion (FEI) debt platform that mobilises funding for innovative energy access strategies.

OGEF has been designed to provide flexible debt instruments to companies in the household energy access sector, including distributors, manufacturers, and end-user credit providers.

Power for All launches open platform to address ‘information use gap’ on energy access

28 August: Energy access coalition Power for All has launched a new Platform for Energy Access Knowledge named ‘PEAK’, which its claims to be a first-of-its-kind interactive and open resource for organising data on energy access to focus efforts on the world’s un-electrified populations.

The organisation says that stakeholders currently lack access to relevant information about energy access technologies, policies and markets.

In a release Power For All stated: “There is no comprehensive, easy-to-use inventory of the current, critical data needed to advance energy access. To achieve universal energy access we need to address this ‘information use gap’, and the PEAK (beta) platform offers a direct solution.”

The PEAK (beta) platform integrates a select portfolio of open-access applications to help process, sort and catalogue publicly-available reports and data, to make synthesis easier for a broad user audience.

 Tags: solar philippinesleandro levistepower for allsolar para sa bayanafdbnordic development fundogefphilippinessorseapeakdoe

Risen Energy targets Southeast Asian PV market via Vietnamese branch office

NINGBO, ChinaAug. 28, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — A-share market-listed PV module producer and China industry leader Risen Energy Co., Ltd.  announced the formal setup of a branch office in Vietnam’s capital of Hanoi, on August 24, as part of its expansion abroad. International growth has been a focus of the firm over the last year and is in response to the evolving industry trends and the firm’s commitment to meeting market demands with cutting-edge manufacturing technologies and the rich experience that Risen Energy has already accumulated in terms of EPC projects outside of the home market. With the aim of rapidly establishing a footprint in the Southeast Asian market, Risen Energy plans to speed up investment in power stations as well as provision of EPC services in Vietnam to create new revenue streams following setup of the branch office.

To optimize its energy infrastructure, the Vietnamese government has undertaken an effort to shift to clean energy sources such as wind and PV power. The country plans to have in operation PV power stations with an aggregate installed capacity of 850MW by 2020 and 10GW by 2030. To meet the goal, the government has released a series of considerably favorable policies in terms of PV-based electricity prices, income tax levied on PV project developers, import tariffs and land use tax, all of which have facilitated Chinese PV developers’ expansion in the country.

Risen Energy will roll out a localization plan to rapidly and efficiently service global clients and establish a strong footprint in Vietnam. The company plans to employ upwards of ten local Vietnamese executives and leverage the superior resources that the firm has developed outside of the home market over several years in order to be in a position to provide a fast response to service calls. In addition, Risen Energy will continually improve service standards and after-sales services based on market expectations, in a move to build trust and credibility with local customers.

Risen Energy said it has reached agreements with several leading Vietnamese firms, as a first step in establishing a presence in the Southeast Asian market. According to the initial roadmap, the Vietnamese branch office intends to begin investment in EPC projects generating in the aggregate 150MW during 2018 and expects to double the figure by 2019. It will also continue to invest in Vietnambecause the firm views the country as a GW-grade market thanks to the stable business and political environment.

SOURCE Risen Energy Co., Ltd

Strait of Malacca Key Chokepoint for Oil Trade

file photo

BY MAREX 2018-08-27 19:27:19

More than 90 percent of crude oil volumes flowing through the South China Sea in 2016 transited the Strait of Malacca, the shortest sea route between suppliers in Africa and the Persian Gulf and markets in Asia, making it one of the world’s primary oil transit chokepoints, reports the EIA.

In addition, a significant amount of crude oil (about 1.4 million b/d) passes through the strait on its way to Singapore and the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia, where it is refined before transiting the South China Sea in the form of petroleum products.

The South China Sea is a major trade route for crude oil, and in 2016, more than 30 percent of global maritime crude oil trade, or about 15 million barrels per day (b/d), passed through the Sea.

The South China Sea is a major trade route for the Middle East, which accounted for more than 70 percent of total South China Sea crude oil shipments in 2016. Saudi Arabia is the largest source of crude oil, making up almost one-fourth of crude oil volumes traversing the South China Sea. More than half of Saudi Arabia’s global crude oil shipments traveled through the South China Sea in 2016.

Before the lifting of United Nations sanctions on Iran’s crude oil exports in January 2016, Iran relied heavily on Asian markets for most of its exports. After the sanctions were lifted, Iran could once again export crude oil to Europe. However, the South China Sea route still accounted for 52 percent of Iran’s crude oil exports that year.

Some regional countries bordering the South China Sea also contribute to the overall shipments of crude oil through the region. Indonesia and Malaysia together accounted for five percent of crude oil loadings that passed through the South China Sea in 2016 and two percent of crude oil receipts. Most of the crude oil from these countries that passes through the South China Sea is exported to other countries. However, some intra-country trade also crosses the southern portion of the South China Sea as cargoes move between eastern and western ports within each country.

Singapore accounted for two percent of crude oil loadings that passed through the South China Sea in 2016 and one percent of crude oil receipts. Although Singapore does not produce crude oil, it is a major hub for refining crude oil and for storing and transshipping crude oil and petroleum products. In 2016, 95 percent of Singapore’s crude oil exports passed through the South China Sea. Most of these volumes originally came from the Middle East and about half went to China.

The three crude oil importers with the largest volumes passing through the South China Sea, China, Japan, and South Korea, collectively accounted for 80 percent of total crude oil volumes transiting the South China Sea in 2016. About 90 percent of China’s 2016 maritime crude oil shipments were transported through the South China Sea.

China’s crude oil imports have increased substantially over the past few years as a result of the country’s robust energy demand growth and stagnant crude oil production, and the country recently surpassed the U.S. as the world’s largest crude oil importer. A significant portion of these incremental volumes that are sent to northern China from eastern Russia by pipeline.

About 90 percent of the crude oil imported by Japan and South Korea was shipped through the South China Sea in 2016. Most of Japan’s and South Korea’s imports are from Middle Eastern suppliers and are transported through the Strait of Malacca and then the South China Sea.

UNCTAD estimates that 80 percent of global trade by volume and 70 percent by value is transported by sea. Of that volume, 60 percent passes through Asia, with the South China Sea carrying an estimated one-third of global shipping. ChinaPower estimates that $3.4 trillion in trade passed through the South China Sea in 2016, and that over 64 percent of China’s maritime trade transited the waterway in 2016. The U.S. is less reliant on South China Sea, with just over 14 percent of its maritime trade passing through the region.

Energy Ministry: Electricity Tariffs in Indonesia Most Stable in Southeast Asia

Energy Ministry: Electricity Tariffs in Indonesia Most Stable in Southeast Asia (esdm)

JAKARTA, NNC – State-owned power company Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) has shown its stability amid ucertain global economic fluctuations.

The government, through the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, has ensured that electricity tariffs for subsidy-receiving customers will not be raised until 2019. The goal is to maintain public purchase power from weakening.

Electricity tariffs in Indonesia, as of June, 2018, are deemed to still be competitive as compared to other countries in Southeast Asia. Data from June 2018 showed that electricity tariffs in Indonesia are quite competitive as compared to the tariffs in Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines, and Vietnam.

“Based on data we collected, we ensure that aside from being competitive, the electricity tariff in Indonesia is also the most stable as compared to other countries in Southeast Asia,” said Agung Pribadi, Head of Communications, Information Services, and Cooperation at the Ministry of Energy.

Average tariffs for 450-VA household customers reach IDR415 per kWh, underprivileged 900-VA customers at IDR586 per kWh, 900-VA financially able household customers at IDR1,352 per kWh, and non-subsidized tariff adjustment customers at IDR1,467 per kWh.

For adjustent tariff, the electricity tariff for non-subsidized customers is converted to around $11per kWh, which is still more affordable than the household electricity tariff of $12.41 per kWh in Thailand, $19.97 per kWh in Singapore, and $18.67 per kWh in the Philippines.

Electricity tariff for medium business customers in Indonesia reach $11 per kWh, the same as in Thailand, and is lower as compared to Malaysia ($13.58/kWh), Singapore ($14.30/kWh), Philippines ($12.23/kWh), and Vietnam ($13.44/kWh).

In fact, for this type of business users, electricity tariffs in Indonesia are among the cheapest in ASEAN, which is at $8.36/kWh, when compared to the same class consumers in Singapore which reaches $14.02/kWh, Vietnam at $11.98 cents/kWh, Thailand at $11/kWh, Philippines at $11.98/kWh, and Malaysia at $9.60/kWh.

In addition, for the type of medium industrial users, the tariffs in Indonesia and Thailand amounted to 8.36 cents US $ / kWh, cheaper than the tariff in Singapore which reached 13.05 cents US $ / kWh, Philippines 11.69 cents US $ / kWh. “This tariff is the same as the electricity tariff of the same class in Thailand, but it is slightly above Malaysia, the tariff is 8.29 cents US $ / kWh and Vietnam is 7.81 cents US $ / kWh,” Agung said. ESDM, Sunday (08/26/2018).

Electric industry users’ electricity tariffs were 7.47 cents US $ / kWh, only slightly higher than Vietnam (7.41 cents US $ / kWh). For this class Singapore sets a rate of 12.72 cents US $ / kWh, Philippines 11.63 cents US $ / kWh, Thailand 8.36 cents US $ / kWh and Malaysia (7.76 cents US $ / kWh).

He added, the Government’s commitment to maintain more competitive tariffs in the coming year. “Try to compare with other countries. Their government has raised electricity rates several times. Meanwhile, we have no tariff changes. We are even optimistic that it will create more competitive tariffs if the 35,000 MW program runs according to target,” he added.

Hot stock: Rex International up 20% on oil discovery

A “SIGNIFICANT” oil reservoir discovery by a Norwegian oil drilling firm has helped lift Catalist-listed Rex International Holding’s share price by 20 per cent in Tuesday trade.

Its shares were up 0.8 Singapore cent to 4.8 Singapore cents as at 10.58am, with its 10.8 million shares traded putting it just outside the top five counters by volume traded.

An oilfield services firm, Rex International announced after Monday’s close that the drilling and production testing of the Rolvsnes well – in which Rex’s 90 per cent subsidiary Lime Petroleum AS holds a 30 per cent interest – had been completed successfully by operator Lundin Norway.

A test well drilled in the permit, PL338C, confirmed “sustainable commercial oil flow”, with production rate of up to 7,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd), with a sustainable flow rate of nearly 4,500 bopd.

“The test results show good reservoir productivity and connection to a significant oil volume that benefits from aquifer pressure support, which are positive factors towards demonstrating commercial recovery at Rolvsnes,” Rex International said in a press statement.

The Rolvsnes discovery is located in the Utsira High area three kilometres to the south of the oil producing Edvard Grieg platform, operated by Lundin Norway.

Lao government, World Bank assess renewable energy development in southern river basin

VIENTIANE, Aug. 25 (Xinhua) — The Lao government and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, are conducting a basin-wide Cumulative Impact Assessment (CIA) of renewable energy development in southern Laos’ Xekong River Basin.

According to local online newspaper Vientiane Times on Sunday, it is the first ever CIA being conducted according to the draft CIA Guidelines for Hydropower Projects in Laos and will result in recommendations for a variety of sustainable scenarios for the development of this important national resource.

“There are many demands on the Xekong River Basin. Not just from hydropower projects, but also from logging, mining and forestry activities,” the Lao Ministry of Energy and Mines’ Office Head, Daovong Phonekeo, said to the media last week.

“We need to understand the possible impact that all these activities together will have, in order to plan for the sustainable development of this critical national resource,” Daovong said.

This cumulative impact assessment of the renewable energy sector in the Xekong River Basin, over 500 km southeast of Lao capital Vientiane, comes at a time when the implementation of good environmental and social standards is key, said the report.

It is one of the few remaining major Mekong tributaries with high biodiversity value and few hydropower projects in operation, and provides a unique opportunity to better understand and manage the risks of development to the environment and local communities, according to the report.

IFC Country Manager for Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia Kyle Kelhofer said, “IFC has been working with the Lao government to provide assistance on sustainability and advance environmental and social standards in the hydropower sector since 2012.”

“This pilot of the draft CIA Guidelines is an important next step in finding the best balance between meeting the energy needs of the country as well as the region and protecting the environment and communities,” Kelhofer said.

IFC, with the support of the Australian government, is working in partnership with Laos’ Ministry of Energy and Mines to build capacity on how to carry out the best practice of CIAs and effectively implement the guidelines.

Over the next nine months, the Xekong River Basin CIA will undertake broad consultations with stakeholders and technical experts, and produce a final evidence-based report with recommendations on a variety of renewable energy development scenarios.

The Lao government has prioritized the expansion of power generating capacity over the coming years to reach an estimated potential of about 26,000 megawatts (MW) — one of the region’s highest.

As of 2018, over 50 hydropower projects and a number of other renewable energy projects were under development across the country.

Gas demand set to rise as Indonesia pursues 2019 grid expansion targets


Indonesia’s power sector is expanding gas-fired generation capacity to meet rising electricity consumption, a move that is expected to increase net energy imports as part of plans to meet long-term demand.

In mid-June the first 300MW unit of the large-scale Jawa 2 gas-fired power station at Tanjung Priok, located some 10 km north-east of Jakarta, came on-line.

The unit is part of an 880MW project to build two gas-turbine-combined-cycle power plants, being developed by Japan’s Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems and its partners Mitsubishi Corporation and Wasa Mitra Engineering of Indonesia. It is expected to commence full production next year.

Commissioned by national electricity provider Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) in January 2016, Jawa 2 is part of the government’s electricity procurement programme, which aims to add 35,000MW of new generational capacity by 2019 via a mix of renewables, coal and gas-fired plants.

Once complete, the new facilities – the majority of which will be constructed by independent power producers – will bring total installed capacity up to around 95,000MW.

While progress towards the target has been made – 1,362MW of new power plants were in operation and 17,116MW were under construction as of February 2018, according to local press reports – it is likely that the plan’s timeline will extend beyond 2019.

In March PLN told local media that around 20,000MW of power plants included in the programme would be operational by 2019.

Policy shift to expand role of gas in energy mix

Currently, gas-fired power stations account for approximately 25.8 per cent of total generation capacity compared to 58 per cent provided by coal-burning units.

However, gas-powered generation is expected to double by 2026, according to a report released last year by consultancy PwC, in line with the government’s commitment to lowering emissions by 29 per cent by 2030.

The expansion and diversification of the national power supply is generating a shift in Indonesia’s energy policy.

With rising electricity production increasing demand for gas, and domestic fuel consumption on the rise, Indonesia is moving away from being a hydrocarbons exporter to a net importer.

Gas and oil exports for May rose by 21 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) in value terms to US$1.6 billion, out of total shipments of US$14.5 billion, according to data issued in June by Statistics Indonesia.

By contrast, the hydrocarbons import bill for May was US$2.8 billion, a 52 per cent y-o-y increase. Both results reflect the rise in global energy prices, with the majority of the trade deficit for the month – US$1.5 billion – represented by the cost of inbound gas and oil shipments.

While it is estimated that Indonesia’s own fields will meet domestic demand through to the end of the decade, increased use of gas in industry and the utilities sector will see the country become increasingly reliant on

Pertamina, the national oil and gas company, moved to bridge future potential gas shortfalls well in advance, signing two long-term contracts with US provider Cheniere Energy for liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports in 2013 and 2014.

The first deliveries were initially scheduled for later this year or 2019, but have been postponed until 2020 owing to strong domestic production, according to international media reports in July 2017.

The two contracts, for annual deliveries of 0.80 million tonnes and 0.76 million tonnes, respectively, for terms of 20 years, were inked at a time when Indonesia was still able to meet all of its domestic gas requirements and maintain export flow.

Cheniere’s LNG export facility at Corpus Christi in Texas is due to come on-line this year, and shipments to Indonesia will commence before the year’s end, Nicke Widyawati, the acting president director of Pertamina, told international media in late June.

At least some of the initial cargoes will be sold on as surplus to current requirements.

Resales will only be a short-term measure, however, as rising demand for gas in both the electricity and petrochemicals sectors will require a greater flow of inputs, she added.

Development of domestic gas reserves experiences delays

While Indonesia still has gas reserves that it can develop and bring on-line, plans to commercialise deposits have seen delays.

A government decision requiring partners to develop an onshore processing hub for the Arafura Sea’s Masela block could slow or halt the extraction of the deposits – estimated at up to 40 trillion standard cu feet. The cost of the onshore hub, estimated at US$19 billion, compared to US$14 billion for an offshore facility, is seen as a key hurdle.

Similarly, suggestions the government will not extend some existing extraction leases – such as that of US-major Chevron in the Makassar Strait block – and instead propose that Pertamina, which currently has a 10 per cent stake in the project, take over the management of the field, could deter future investments and delay the development of the reserves.

This Indonesia economic update was produced by Oxford Business Group.

Sapura Energy’s rights issue to create value for shareholders

KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 26): Sapura Energy Bhd’s plan to raise RM4 billion, via a major rights issue, will create value for shareholders and return the company to profitability as oil and gas market prospects improve, said Credit Suisse in a report dated last Friday.

“ We would look to proceed with the rights issue exercise as we expect Sapura Energy to create value rather than destroy it, moving forward, as prospects in the sector continue to improve,” it added while maintaining its outperform recommendation on Sapura Energy shares.

Sapura Energy share price fell last Friday in a knee jerk reaction to the rights issue announcement.

“While this highly dilutive exercise might seem negative on the surface, we believe it is necessary and will place Sapura Energy in a much better position to secure new higher-quality contracts (demand for services is clearly on an uptrend) in the sector’s upcycle. “ it added.

“We believe longer term shareholders will be rewarded as Sapura Energy monetises its exploration and production (E&P) assets and secures more new profitable contracts,” it said.

Sapura Energy announced last Friday that it planned to raise RM4 billion through a rights issue.

Credit Suisse said under the exercise the number of company shares would increase from 5.99 billion to 15.98 billion shares, with room to expand further to 19.37 billion shares when both the redeemable convertible preference shares in SEB (RCPS-i) and free warrants are fully converted.

The company plans to use the funds raised to boost its financial position and reduce its estimated RM16 billion debt to banks.

It is also evaluating other options which may involve the listing of its oil and gas business and a possible strategic partnership in its drilling business.

Existing major shareholder, Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB), which collectively holds about 12% of Sapura Energy, would subscribe in full its entitlement and has also given an undertaking to mop up excess shares that are not taken up to an amount to be agreed on later.

Credit Suisse said: “More importantly, if Sapura Energy successfully raises RM4 billion, it would save RM184 million per annum in interest. Therefore, the company will likely return to the black in FY20E (estimate, even if it does not win any new contracts.

“This move will keep its bankers happy and would help boost Sapura Energy’s bankability in the future “it said.

Credit Suisse also said it believed PNB’s participation in the rights issue exercise could be a prelude to more cooperation between PNB’s drilling arm (Velesto Energy) and Sapura Energy in the future.

Velesto could leverage on Sapura Energy’s global footprint to revive its ailing business outlook.

“While the quantum of funds to be raised is sufficient to keep leverage ratios at a comfortable level for any organic expansion, Sapura Energy intends to further strengthen its balance sheet to address larger volume of work,” it added.

New wells to be drilled at Tiwi-MakBan geothermal plant in the Philippines

Makban geothermal power plant, Philippines (source: ThinkGeoEnergy, creative commons)

AP Renewables and Philippine Geothermal are planning to drill additional 12 production wells over the next 6 years, to ensure the long-term viability of power production of the geothermal power plants of the Tiwi-MakBan geothermal complex in the Philippines.

As reported this morning from the Philippines, a contract on the supply and services for steam and drilling new production wells at the Tiwi-MakBan Geothermal Complex has been signed by AP Renewables Inc. and Philippine Geothermal Production Company Inc.

The plan to drill additional production wells is aimed to ensure the sustainable long-term operation of the facilities, as announced by AP Renewables.

AP Renewables, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of AboitizPower, operating the 458-MW MakBan Geothermal Power Plants at the provinces of Batangas and Laguna, as well as the 289-MW Tiwi Geothermal Power Plants in Albay. The steam is actually provided by Philippine Geothermal, formerly Chevron Geothermal, which operates the geothermal steamfield.

Under the agreement, Philippine Geothermal will drill 12 new production wells over a six-year period to increase steam availability for the power plant facilities by about 20 percent.

First commissioned in 1979, the Tiwi-MakBan Geothermal Complex is one of the biggest geothermal facilities in the country and the region. Philippine Geothermal has since operated the steamfield facilities.

AboitizPower took over the operations and management of the power plant facilities from the National Power Corporation in 2009.

Source: Company release to the Philippine Stock Exchange


200 electric cars up for Grab from next year

SP Group’s Mr Goh Chee Kiong (right) and Grab’s Mr Lim Kell Jay with a Hyundai Ioniq electric car. Grab says that it will give more details of the 200 electric cars later this year.PHOTO: GRAB, SP GROUP

Ride-hailing firm Grab will bring in 200 new electric cars from next year, as part of a partnership with energy utilities provider SP Group.

Grab said yesterday the new vehicles, which will hit the roads progressively from early next year, will be available through its rental arm GrabRentals.

Under the partnership, Grab drivers will enjoy preferential rates at SP Group’s electric-vehicle charging stations and discounted parking when their cars are being charged.

In June, SP Group announced that it would introduce a network of 500 fast-charging stations by 2020 to be placed in areas such as housing estates and business parks, with the first 30 to be set up by the end of this year.

Grab said it would work with SP Group to study usage patterns of its electric vehicles to improve the accessibility and utilisation of charging stations.

The Singapore-based ride-hailing firm said more details regarding cost of charging, as well as the electric vehicle models to be used, will be available by the end of this year.


It said, however, the cars will have a range of 400km per charge, which allows for a full day of driving on 40 minutes of charging.

Mr Goh Chee Kiong, SP Group’s strategic development head, said the partnership with Grab will help “accelerate the wider adoption of EVs (electric vehicles) in Singapore and support the nation’s efforts to reduce our carbon footprint”.

“With SP joining our consortium of EV partners, Grab is in a unique position to help drive a cleaner, greener Singapore by encouraging more of our drivers to adopt EVs,” said Grab Singapore head Lim Kell Jay.

While fully-electric cars are already available through Grab, their numbers are not known.

Green vehicles have taken off recently, with the number of electric and plug-in hybrid cars here at 647 as of last month, up from 137 two years ago.

Taxi giant ComfortDelGro introduced two fully-electric Hyundai Ioniq cabs to its fleet last monthas part of a one-year trial, while HDT Singapore Taxi will expand its fully-electric fleet from 100 currently to 800 by July 2022.

Pertamina EP Discovers New Gas and Oil Reserve in Jatibarang Field

Pertamina Exploration and Production announced on Thursday (23/08) a discovery of a new gas, oil and condensate reserve in West Java. (Antara Photo/Wahyu Putro A.)

Jakarta. Pertamina Exploration and Production, the exploration arm of state energy firm Pertamina, announced on Thursday (23/08) a discovery of a new gas, oil and condensate reserve in West Java.

The company, known also as Pertamina EP, found the reserve while drilling the Akasia Maju wells at the company’s Jatibarang field in Indramayu. The operation was completed on Monday, at a final depth of 2,517 meters.

In a production test, from one of the wells the company managed to extract 1,700 barrels of oil per day. Currently, the Jatibarang field produces 5,180 barrels of oil per day. The company wants increase it to 5,890 barrels.

“Thank god all the effort we’ve put into it gave positive results. We’re certain that with our synergy and hard work we can contribute to the nation’s achievements in production,” Pertamina EP exploration and new discovery project director Achmad Alfian Husein, said.

The discovery also opens the possibility of further exploration of the area.

Jatibarang field has been in operation since 2017. Pertamina EP currently manages 50 onshore structures and one offshore, with 170 oil and gas producing wells in the field.

Ho Bee Land secures Singapore’s first green loan

Ho Bee Land secures Singapore’s first green loan

The $352.9m will be utilised to acquire a 21-storey commercial property in London.

Ho Bee Land completed its £200m ($352.9m) bridged Green Loan provided by HSBC to acquire a 21-storey commercial development in London, an announcement revealed.

“The deal is good news for Singapore’s green financing credentials as it sets the template for other corporates seeking similar green transactions in the future,” HSBC Singapore head of commercial banking Alan Turner said.

Ho Bee Land has appointed HSBC earlier in 2018 to be its advisor in its commissioning and developing of a Green Finance FrameWork which has been certified by third-party sustainability certifier Sustainalytics.

“We have always pride ourselves in developing and investing into quality properties and now, we are able to tap onto green financing to fund projects that are both environmentally friendly and sustainable,” Ho Bee Land CEO and Chairman Chua Thian Poh commented.

According to the announcement, green loans should not be confused with sustainability-linked loans as the latter can be used for everyday corporate purposes and are linked to broader corporate performance against environmental, social, and governance criteria.

Meanwhile, green loans’ proceeds can only fund specific projects with positive environmental benefits as defined in the green loan principles. Projects may include shifting to renewable energy, pollution prevention and control, sustainable natural resources management, biodiversity conservation, climate change adaptation and green buildings.

“The HSBC loan to Ho Bee Land expands the green financing label to debt instruments other than green bonds, and is a significant step to scale the flow of capital to environmentally impactful projects,” Sustainalytics product manager for sustainable finance solutions Trisha Taneja noted.


Is Renewable Energy As Clean As We Think?

Is Renewable Energy As Clean As We Think?

Fossil fuel energy has understandably become the clay pigeon of environmentalists in the past decades – with oil & gas companies having lied too often about the impact of their activities on climate change or environmental pollution for the public to ignore. Oil spills have destroyed many a habitat both onshore and offshore, with an immeasurable number of animals and humans having suffered. But it is important to acknowledge that oil and gas companies are not the only guilty parties, with all types of energy production leading to environmental harm in one way or another. The ‘clean’ energy narrative that is so frequently pushed by renewable advocates may not be quite as clean as you think.

This is not a rallying cry against renewable energy, the energy community needs renewables, it needs various regions specializing in different forms of energy in order to provide for the seamless coexistence of fossil and non-fossil energy sources. Nevertheless, it seems strange that so little progress has been made in identifying and dealing with the environmental risks of renewables.

Wind energy is considered to be the renewable energy source which is the most commercially attractive under current market conditions – in fact, it is so attractive that since 2012 more GW of wind power were installed in the United States than of any other resource, including fossil fuels. It is common enough to hear that wind farms are a blight on the landscape, but that complaint doesn’t carry any environmental significance. Noise, on the other hand, can have a tangible impact on the environment.

Wind plants reach a sound pressure level of 90-100 decibels, with scientific studiessuggesting that exposure to such a level of noise will lead to annoyance, sleep disturbances, headaches, anxiety, depression and cognitive dysfunction. These risks can be, and often are, mitigated by building wind plants a safe distance from any sort of human habitation. Yet it would be very difficult to convince birds that sticking to their traditional habitats and migration routes is no longer desirable. On average, each turbine kills 1-15 birds per year depending on the conditions and technology utilized.Related: Energy Is A Breaking Point In NAFTA Deal

On the face of things it might seem that allegations about the negative impact of wind farms are far-fetched, but the quantity of turbines means that the numbers add up. In Scotland alone, between 40,000 – 50,000 puffins and gannets are killed by wind turbines every year. In a peculiar turn of events, wind farms have ended up being more dangerous to large predatory birds like eagles, as well as nesting seabirds, whilst the likes of geese have gradually grown to get along with them. Debates about blades killing birds and shrinking their habitats usually end up in lengthy whataboutism (inevitably, the millions of birds killed by oil spills are mentioned). If wind power is to remain a public favorite, companies ought to take special care in preserving the fauna and flora of windswept locations – adjusting sites to migration routes, minimizing habitat shrinking and noise pollution, as well as conducting further research to make turbines avian death-free.

When it comes to avian safety, solar energy has a similarly bad reputation (statisticscorroborate the assumption that solar plants lead to more avian deaths than wind plants). Solar beams that emerge from direct sunlight at concentrating solar plants are quite dangerous for birds, bats and insects as they ignite them mid-air. Although the result might not always be lethal for animals, killing off a territory’s fauna with “solar streamers” is not the sort of PR that renewables enthusiasts would want to see. Therefore, stringent control should be established to minimize such occurrences (an average Californian solar plant has one streamer every two minutes) – monitoring not only the immediate territory of the solar plant, but also adjacent areas.

Humanity generally prefers to drive animals away than to create solutions that cater for their needs and interests. Future solar plants will most likely be equipped with acoustic or chemosensory deterrents to fend off birds or bats, further depriving them of habitat. Maybe it is for the better, given what acids are used to clean surface of these huge farms. Moreover, the installation of large-scale solar plants leads, in many cases, to changes in temperature and rainfall patterns, which in turn adversely affect natural habitats and lead to soil degradation. Experimenting with the density of the photovoltaic panels and their height might bring about a viable solution to those problems, but a long-term solution to these problems has yet to emerge.Related: A Saudi-Iran Oil War Could Break Up OPEC

Hydropower enjoys a significant advantage over solar and wind power in that it has been around for more than 135 years (the first hydropower plant was commissioned in 1882). To put this into perspective, the first multi-megawatt solar and wind plants emerged only in the late 1970s, before that their impact on the energy generation sector was limited to feeding remote locations with electricity. Consequently, hydropower specialists have managed to mitigate, though not fully, its negative impacts – fish kills were reduced by cascades and fish ladders, low levels of dissolved oxygen were cushioned by the introduction of multi-level intakes and aerating turbines. Despite significant progress, 2-3 percent of fish are still crushed by hydroelectric dams’ turbines.

Geothermal energy is cleanest sort of energy, period. By mastering the construction of closed-loop geothermal plants, any sort of atmospheric contamination including mercury emissions was reduced to naught, whilst also solving the issue of excessive water usage – water is simply pumped back into geothermal reservoirs (albeit some of it is lost as it transforms into steam). The only problem is that the geographical availability of geothermal energy is a mere fraction of that of solar or wind power, also impacting negatively its production capacity. Yet a plethora of potential regions that could be self-sufficient from an energy production point of view are waiting for any sort of geothermal development – Indonesia, Mexico, the Philippines and Russia all have plenty of room to grow in this regard.

Renewables are sure to be part of the solution to humanity’s quest of building a sustainable future. But it Is not enough to simply guard people from the negative impacts of energy production and generation, protecting animals and the environment should be just as important. Just as campaigners aspire to hold oil companies to the most stringent safety norms possible, whether they drill in the Arctic or next to nature reserves (just think of Ecuador’s forgotten quest to stop itself from drilling in Yasuní), they should hold renewable energy to similar standard.

By Viktor Katona for

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รัฐมนตรีพลังงานยืนยันปรับแผนพีดีพี 2015 ใหม่ให้ความสำคัญพลังงานทดแทนมากขึ้น

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ที่มา : Energy News Center