6th National Energy Forum – A Big Success

13 March 2015

The 6th Malaysian National Energy Forum was successfully held at the InterContinental Hotel, Kuala Lumpur on 10th March 2015. The forum was officiated by YBhg Datuk Loo Took Gee, the Secretary General of the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water representing the Minister, Datuk Seri Panglima Dr. Maximus Johnity Ongkili. The forum was jointly organized by SuruhanjayaTenaga (ST), Malaysian Gas Association (MGA), and Energy Council of Malaysia (ECOM) and supported by the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water, Malaysia (KeTTHA).  A total of 12 sponsors supported the event comprising of Platinum sponsors Tenaga Nasional Berhad, GE Malaysia and Siemens, Gold sponsors Murphy, Sarawak Energy, Hong Leong Investment Bank and Daelim. There were five Silver sponsors which are Malakoff, Sumitomo Corporation, Sinohydro, ConocoPhillips and Diamond Gas.

The Forum, with the theme “Sustainable Energy for Malaysia: Where are we?”, attracted more than 360 participants comprising of senior Government officials, regulators, industry captains and key stakeholders.

In the officiating speech, Datuk Loo said “the Government will continue to give high priority to ensure greater security and sustainability of energy supply, focusing on the diversification of energy mix with the view to maintain self sufficiency and optimise efficiency in the utilisation of the nation’s indigenous resources. Long term measures to increase energy security will include reducing dependence on imported fuel, such as coal and LNG, increasing the number of suppliers and reducing overall demand through energy efficiency and conservation measures”.

The first keynote address was delivered by Mr Nobuo Tanaka, the former Executive Director of IEA and currently the Global Associate for Energy Security and Sustainability at the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan. In his address, he expressed his concern that the global energy system is increasing influenced not by policies but by events such as the situation in Iraq, the conflict between Ukraine and Russia and difficulties in the Middle East. He believes that the instability of the Middle East will pose a major risk to the oil markets in the future. He cited Iraq as the major concern where half of the future oil from Middle East will be derived but investments are not happening due to geopolitical risks.

The second keynote speaker was Dr Dejan Ostojic, the Lead Energy Specialist from the World Bank. In his speech, he mentioned about the twin energy challenges – environmental sustainability and energy security, which if not addressed will lead to doubling CO2 emissions and local pollution by 2030 and increasing
dependence on energy imports in East Asia and Pacific. He believes a sustainable energy path is possible through energy efficiency, renewable energy and low carbon technologies. However, concerted effort will be needed by governments, city planners and civil society to make this happen.

Panel Discussion 1, chaired by Ir Pramod Kumar Karunakaran, President of Malaysian Gas Association (MGA), saw 4 panellists presenting their views on “Price Reforms for Energy in Malaysia”.  The panellists were: Dr. Mohd Shaharin Umar, Deputy Director (Downstream) Energy Section of the Economic Planning Unit, Prime Minister Department, YBhg. Dato’ Dr. Nadzri Yahya, Deputy Secretary-General, Ministry of Energy, Green Technology & Water, YBhg. Datuk Shahrol Halmi, President/Chief Executive Malaysian Petroleum Resources Corporation and YBhg. Datuk Seri Saw Choo Boon, President, Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers.  There was an agreement among the panelists that subsidies lead to market distortions and is not sustainable and beneficial in the long run. There is a need for transparency and consistency in implementing price reforms.

Panel Discussion 2 was on “Enhancing Energy Self Sufficiency” which was chaired by YBhg. Dato’ Abdul Razak Abd. Majid, President of ECOM. Panellists consist of Mr Charanjit Singh Gill, Senior General Manager, Single Buyer, Tenaga Nasional Berhad, En Bacho Pilong, Senior General Manager, Petroleum Operations Management PETRONAS, Mr John Ng, CEO Singapore LNG Corp. and Mr Nobuo Tanaka.  Mr Tanaka’s view is that under conditions of sustainability, it is difficult for one country to achieve energy self sufficiency itself. It is better to do it collectively as a region eg ASEAN. Mr Charanjit believes that we have a huge potential for hydro in Sarawak which can export energy to Peninsular.

Panel Discussion 3 focused on “Innovation and Emerging Technologies in Energy”, chaired by YBhg Datuk Ir Ahmad Fauzi Hasan, CEO Energy Commission. Panellists comprise of Pn Catherine Ridu, CEO of Sustainable Energy Development Authority (SEDA), Prof. Dato’ Ir Dr. Abu Bakar Jaafar, Professor, UTM Perdana School of Science, Technology Innovation Policy, En Mohd Roslan Saad, Country Director Power and Water, GE and Mr Ong Hui Leong, Senior Vice President of Siemens Malaysia.  Prof Abu Bakar believe hydrogen will be a game changer in developing zero emissions car and will be the dominant energy carrier in 21st century. Mr Ong cited four major energy challenges that technology can address – economic efficiency, reliable power supply, climate protection and resource efficiency. Of significance is combined heat and power which can improve overall efficiency from 51% to above 75%.

The Final Roundtable Discussion was on “Sustainable Energy for Malaysia – Where do we go from here?” was chaired by En Kamarul Bahrin Haron, Executive Director Astro Awani, In the panel were Mr Charanjit Singh Gill from TNB, En Zamri Jusoh, Senior GM of Upstream Strategy PETRONAS, YBhg Dato’ Dr Nadzri Yahya from KeTTHA; YBhg Dato’ Sri Che Khalib Mohd. Noh, Group MD MMC and Dr Dejan Ostojic. The lively panel debated and reflected on energy challenges in Malaysia such as wasteful consumption, our finite resources, deficiencies in current policies, heavy subsidies currently borne by government and PETRONAS which is not sustainable, the need for Malaysians to change mindset and how energy has sometimes been the cause of economic and political tension. Dr Dejan believes Malaysia has come a long way from 20 years ago when he was in KL. He is optimistic about the future and thinks that Malaysia has the best resources with lots of ideas. His word of advice is “Policy is the key but you have to delegate decision making. If you leave it to higher authorities to decide on everything it will not be the best mix.”
The Forum was closed by Ir Pramod Kumar Karunakaran who provided some closing remarks. He reiterated that sustainable energy is a key building block of becoming a high-income nation, providing clean, reliable energy solutions affordably and efficiently while paving the way for economic opportunities and social progress for all. He thanked the speakers, participants, sponsors and Organising Committee for their efforts and support in making the Forum a success.

Presentation materials and photos of this Forum can be viewed at Malaysian Gas Association website www.malaysiangas.com.