Monthly Archives: August 2017

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China to shut 6,000 non-coal mines by 2020 to improve safety

China will shut 6,000 non-coal mines in an effort to reduce mining accidents and deaths by 2020, the State Administration of Work Safety said in a five-year plan.

Beijing will seek to reduce major accidents by 15 percent by 2020 from 2015 levels in the non-coal mining sector, the work safety body said in a statement on Friday.

More than 500 people died in non-coal mining accidents in 2015. The toll has fallen by more than 50 percent since 2010.

“While mining companies are under transformation, some of them don’t have sufficient funding and manpower to keep safety running in mines, which leaves high safety risks,” the work safety body said in a statement on Friday.

Under the plan, China will improve safety legislation and intensify mine inspections.

Authorities say there were some 37,000 illegal non-coal mines in 2015.

China has vowed to accelerate closing small-scale coal mines with an annual production capacity of 90,000 tonnes or less.

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Myanmar urged to tap alternative energy

200 households in Myin Chi Naing Village, Myanmar, get access to electricity from solar PV mini-grids (Photo credit to Climate Investment Funds)

ALTHOUGH hydropower accounted for 62 per cent of Myanmar’s power production last year, the nation should focus on improving the use of renewable energy to meet its target of 100 per cent electrification by 2030, the Myanmar Green Energy Summit 2017 has been told.

Dawn Del Rio, deputy country director of United Nations Development Programme Myanmar, said the nation was also striving to attain the United Nations sustainable development goal to substantially increase the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix by 2030.

She said sustainable and renewable energy should be adopted and utilised efficiently through the use of technology and innovations in the generation, storage, supply and use of energy.

Renewables would reach the most remote areas in Myanmar before the national grid could, and prioritising it would leverage international investments and empower communities, as well as support local entrepreneurship and employment, Del Rio added.

She told the summit the key results of an innovative rural technologies pilot supported by UNDP, in which 6,371 products were passed through the distribution chain.

The ratio of fuel costs to household income dropped from 11 to 4 per cent, and households saved US$139,730 (Bt4.6 million) in fuel wood and $14,630 in lighting costs per year. Forty new businesses could create 116 additional part-time jobs, she said.

Aung Myint, general secretary of Renewable Energy Association Myanmar, recommended improving the use of solar power as a sustainable energy source.

He said solar could fulfil short-, mid-, and long-term power requirement of the nation.

“Practical application of solar thermal technology and photovoltaic technology need to be combined with well-designed systems of hybrid, energy storage, energy efficiency, and environmental conservation and management,” he said.

The Solar home system (SHS) was introduced in Myanmar in 1992 and has been widely used throughout the country since 2010. Its potential for wider usage has increased since 2015 through the public-private partnership scheme.

“Although there is no exact statistic, solar power application here is large in number and exists as a nationwide application even in the most remote areas,” he said.

Aung Myint said LED lighting innovations and a substantial decrease in SPV (solar photovoltaic) module costs could spread the use of solar in Myanmar.

“There is a huge market for SHS, not only for rural application but also for electrification of off-grid areas. Potential is pretty high but cannot be accomplished due to unfavourable legislation,” he said.

He said that commercialisation of renewable energy was in its early stages in Myanmar and urged the government to set a proper regulatory framework to encourage private investment in it.

Akarin Suwannarat, director for thermal power and renewable energy business at Poyry Energy, said Myanmar had the potential to exploit wind energy in highland and coastal areas. Three wind power projects had been planned for development by 2031 and upon  completion, they would generate 4,032 megawatts of installed capacity.

He stressed the urgent need for an actual wind measurement campaign despite the potential wind resource. He suggested implementation of policy mechanism and guidelines, avoiding impact on projects development.

He said feasibility studies would be carried out to avoid unexpected issues such as limitations on land usage, transmission lines, wind turbine generator transportation and a feed-in tariff scheme.

Akarin considered grid interconnection a major challenge for Myanmar, as wind potential lessened in unfavourable locations further away from existing transmission lines.


Source Credit-Eleven Myanmar

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Malaysia’s non-hydro renewables capacity to hit 3.4GW by 2026

This is a big jump from 2016’s almost 1.4GW.

Accordong to BMI Research, the oversubscription of Malaysia’s solar auction supports its view that the country’s renewables sector is one of the most attractive in the ASEAN region for investment. The continuation of auctions in the country and the successful commissioning of the projects contracted present a sizeable upside risk to the firm’s forecasts.

We have previously highlighted in our analysis that Malaysia will emerge as an outperformer in the Asian renewables industry, in terms of the market’s

attractiveness for investment.

Here’s more from BMI Research:

This view is underpinned by the country’s supportive regulatory environment for renewables and the stable economic and political environment, which translates into an attractive destination for renewables investment.

The outperformance of Malaysia’s renewables sector is summarised by our Renewables Risk/Reward Index (RRI), which aims to assess and capture the
different elements that impact the overall investment attractiveness of a country’s renewables sector. Malaysia outperforms the Asia average RRI score – and in fact the Global average, on account of its strong performance across the four key components of our index.

Recent developments within the Malaysian solar sector attests to this view, as it was announced in August that the country’s second competitive bidding
round for large scale solar photovoltaic (PV) projects was significantly oversubscribed.

The Energy Commission launched the second auction in February with a target aggregate capacity of 460MW; however, it received over 1.6GW of submissions. The Energy Commission will now shortlist bidders and the projects are expected to be completed in 2019-2020, with the output sold to Tenaga Nasional or Sabah Electricity under a power purchase agreement (PPA).

We forecast non-hydro renewables capacity to total 3.4GW by the end of our 10-year forecast period in 2026, up from just under 1.4GW in 2016. While the
scale of Malaysia’s renewables sector remains limited compared to regional counterparts, chiefly Indonesia and Thailand, the continuation of auctions in the country and the successful commissioning of the projects contracted presents a sizeable upside risk to our forecasts.

Credit and

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KrisEnergy closes in on PSC for Cambodia’s Block A

Cambodia is inching towards compromise with KrisEnergy on a production-sharing contract (PSC) for the long delayed Block A field in the offshore Khmer Basin.

Cambodian Energy Minister Meng Saktheara was quoted by the Khmer Times on August 11 as saying that sensitive matters such as profit sharing, technical hurdles and regulations had been settled.

Cambodia has no domestic hydrocarbon output, and Block A is years overdue since its original launch date because of Phnom Penh’s inability to reach agreement with investors.

The licence, which contains at least seven oil and gas deposits in shallow waters of 50-80 metres, was operated by Chevron until talks between the US super-major and the Cambodian government collapsed in 2014.

KrisEnergy now holds a 95% stake in Block A after buying out former investment partners MOECO and GS Energy, with Phnom Penh said to believe it would be easier to deal solely with the Singaporean firm. The CambodianEnergy Ministry owns the remaining 5% stake.

Despite the government’s struggles to make headway on the specifics, Wood Mackenzie, an energy consultancy, believes Cambodia’s PSC offer represents a more attractive deal than that available from other Southeast Asian producers.

KrisEnergy now hopes to bring Block A on stream by 2019-20, with an initial target output of 8,000 boepd. The block’s estimated 2P resources were estimated at around 10 million boe as of March 2012.

But the firm must also cover its own precarious financial position by luring outside investment to the project.

Estimates reported by Reuters in March suggested Block A would cost some US$200 million to develop, which is almost double KrisEnergy’s US$110.3 million capex budget for this year.

KrisEnergy was forced to seek a S$140 million (US$102.6 million) liquidity injection backed by Singaporeanshipyard Keppel in November 2016, and the firm faced a gearing ratio of 58.5% in June.

While the oil company has access to liquidity worth US$60.5 million, it must also settle US$118 million owed to the Development Bank of Singapore (DBS) by June 2018 unless a deferment on maturities can be agreed.


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Thailand Receives First LNG Delivery from Qatar

Qatargas has delivered its first cargo of LNG to Thailand on the Q-Max vessel Bu Samra.

Q-Max vessels can carry up to 266,000 cubic meters of LNG and are 80 percent larger than conventional LNGvessels.

The LNG was delivered to PTT Company at Thailand’s Map Ta Phut LNG receiving terminal on August 5. Bu Samra was the first Q-Max vessel to arrive at Map Ta Phut terminal since the startup of the terminal in 2011, when Qatargas delivered the first commissioning cargo. Since then, Qatargas has supplied PTT with approximately nine million tons of LNG, delivering  most of these cargoes via Q-Flex vessels capable of carrying around 210,000 cubic meters of LNG.

In December 2012, Qatargas 3 and PTT Company signed an agreement to deliver two million tons per annum (MTPA) of LNG for a period of 20 years from 2015. This agreement marked PTT’s first long-term LNG sale and purchase agreement and Qatargas’ first long-term agreement in South-East Asia.

Currently, Map Ta Phut LNG Receiving Terminal is the only LNG receiving terminal operating in Thailand, and it can receive both Q-Flex and Q-Max vessels.

In May this year, Qatargas delivered the inaugural cargo of LNG to China National Oil Corporation’s Yuedong LNGterminal. The LNG cargo was delivered on board the Qatargas-chartered Q-Flex LNG vessel Al Kharaitiyat.

Qatargas is the world’s largest LNG producing company with a production capacity of 42 million tons per annum (MTPA). Qatargas has a chartered fleet of 13 Q-Max vessels that transport LNG from Qatargas plants in Ras Laffan to markets around the globe.

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In a Paris Agreement world, coal will meet growing Asian energy needs

When providing 41% of the world’s electricity, 85% of global cement[1], 74% of the world’s steel[2] and 60% of the world’s aluminium[3], coal is justly considered an enabler of modern societies and economic development. Coal helps build infrastructure and power up businesses and homes.

If we look at Asia, in particular, we’ll see that according to the United Nations, by 2050 64%[4] of Asia’s population is expected to be urban. As Asia rapidly urbanises and industrialises, coal becomes the fuel of choice, due to its abundance, affordability and reliability. 50% of electricity generation growth in Southeast Asia by 2040 will come from coal, overtaking gas as the primary fuel.

Business and industry needs reliable electricity. Research by the Asian Development Bank, for instance, has found that businesses reported the single largest obstacle to growth in developing Asia is poor electricity supply. Without access to affordable, reliable, grid-based electricity, which coal provides, it is impossible for economies to grow and develop.

The fact that coal will continue as a critical enabler of development is evident in the national pledges that countries have submitted to show how they will meet the Paris Agreement targets. 24 countries[5] explicitly recognise cleaner coal technology as part of their efforts to reduce their emissions. 11 out of these 24 countries are located in Asia.

Improved access to energy will propel economic growth, something that China demonstrated by achieving almost universal access to electricity. In the past 30 years China has lifted 680 million people out of poverty by connecting them to the grid that is powered by 73% coal[6].

With the use of coal projected to continue to grow across Asia over coming decades, a low emission technology pathway for coal is essential.

Cleaner coal technologies, such as high efficiency low emission (HELE) coal technologies, are technologically proven and commercially available today and reduce CO2 emissions from coal by up to 35%.

By supporting HELE coal technologies, we’ll be making energy affordable and accessible to all and helping to meet climate objectives at the same time.  HELE coal technologies are being built all around the world and represent significant progress on the pathway towards carbon capture, use and storage, which is instrumental to global climate objectives.

As we move toward implementing the Paris Agreement, it is crucial that we understand that climate change and energy are not competing priorities. The key approach for the world to transition to a low carbon future is to address the CO2 emissions. Coal is not the problem, emissions are.

[1] World Business Council for Sustainable Development, Cement Sustainability Initiative, GNR project reporting CO2, 2013

[2] World Steel Association, World Steel in Figures 2016

[3] International Aluminium Statistics, Primary Aluminium Smelting Power Consumption, 2017

[4] World Urbanization Prospects 2014, United Nations

[5] These countries are: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bosnia, China, Egypt, Georgia, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea (DPR), Kenya, Montenegro, Mongolia, Philippines, Pakistan, Myanmar, Nigeria, South Africa, FYR Macedonia, Turkey, Viet Nam. {two more countries need to be added to this list}

[6] International Energy Agency, World Energy Outlook 2016, p. 600


Power links article

Originally published in Coaltrans blog on 02 August 2017.