Natural Gas fuelling a Sustainable Future of Malaysian Gas Industry 

Kuala Lumpur, 30 December 2021 – Natural gas as the cleanest hydrocarbon has been recognised to play an important role in carbon emission reduction.  More importantly, RMK12 outlined several initiatives for future sustainable energy that also includes natural gas.  As important as it was in the past, natural gas will continue to be significantly needed for power generation and as a partner to renewable energy in Malaysia’s sustainable future energy system.  Natural gas is visioned to play the long-term role in providing energy access and security to the nation, at the same time helping the country to meet its improved Greenhouse carbon emissions reduction target of 45% by 2030. 

In recognition of the growing importance of natural gas in Malaysia’s clean energy transition, Malaysian Gas Association (MGA) once again had successfully organised Malaysian Gas Symposium (MyGAS) 2021 from 22 Nov – 25 Nov 2021.  Throughout its four days of panel discussions, MyGAS serves as a platform of discourse for speakers from both Malaysia and overseas to deliberate the important role of gas in the energy transition. 

Developing countries in our region, Malaysia with no exception is continuously challenged to balance energy trilemma, where energy security and affordability remains high in their priorities. 152 million people in the region lacks access to electricity while an additional 900 million lacks access to clean cooking.  A hasty move to energy transition would lead to unintended consequences in jeopardising not only our energy security but also the economic growth.  For example, in the UK, the installed capacity for a wind turbine is 24GW.  However, for a few months this year, wind drought resulted in a major drop in the generation capability of the wind turbines.  Fortunately, natural gas was available to ensure an uninterrupted power supply.  

In his statement at MyGAS opening session, Abdul Aziz Othman, President of MGA highlighted that “In accelerating the energy transition, Malaysia must balance our priorities that are important to the nation.  Energy policies are one of the key elements to achieve pragmatic and just energy transition, and natural gas, together with renewable and other low gases, will remain relevant in providing future energy access and security in Malaysia. 

Natural gas is expected to remain as a core fuel in the energy mix even in year 2050.  According to DNV’s Energy Transition Outlook 2021, natural gas supply in year 2050 is expected to remain close to the 2019 level and is expected to form approximately 25% of the global total primary energy supply in 2050.  Similarly, demand for natural gas in the power sector in 2050 is expected to remain at the same level as in 2019.   

Themed with “Role of Gas in the pathway Towards Carbon Neutral Malaysian by 2050”, MyGAS is indeed held in a timely manner with Malaysia’s commitment to achieving carbon neutrality as early as 2050. Malaysia has positioned a bolder commitment — to no longer build coal-fired power plants moving forward.  This means that natural gas is the most logical and best option to take over on a full role of proving base-load power.  Renewables alone is not the silver bullet.  Natural gas as the cleanest fossil fuel will play an important role to complement the growth of emerging gases such as hydrogen, bio-methane and ammonia in accelerating Malaysia’s carbon neutral commitment. 

YB Dato’ Sri Mustapa, Minister in Prime Minister Office (Economy) in his Ministerial Address at MyGAS further highlighted that “Natural gas today remains important for Malaysia.  The global landscape, natural gas, as one of the cleanest fossil fuels, continues to play a critical role in navigating energy transition towards low carbon pathways.  Natural gas, combined with low carbon and renewables gases will continue to play an important role in the NEP and Malaysia’s pathway to achieving carbon neutrality.” 

MyGAS has also captured several important industry’s views throughout its panel sessions. On Day 3, Steven Aroki, Chairman of Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) the moderator of MyGAS Panel session 3 concluded that “It is a new trend for market liberalisation and with that comes the challenges when the price changes.  Full synergy by all parties across the gas value chain is important in achieving our liberalisation goals. We look forward to more improvements towards a transparent Malaysian gas market. 

On another note, Dr Rezal Khairi Ahmad, Chief Executive Officer of Nano Malaysia Berhad in MyGAS panel session 4 highlighted that “Hydrogen and natural gas, they are both partners and can live in harmony.  These two can benefit one another, Hydrogen and natural gas can create a good symbiosis in achieving the green and decarbonising agenda for a sustainable future of the Malaysian energy sector.”  A report by the International Energy Agency published in May 2021 forecast that about 40% of hydrogen in 2050 will be produced from natural gas. 

Engaging discussions and insights from the energy experts at MyGAS is the evidence on the importance of gas to remain significant in the long-term energy mix.  A fully liberalised gas market will not only set the path towards a vibrant and sustainable natural gas industry but most importantly benefit the nation from enhanced energy security and reliability. 

Press Release “Natural Gas fuelling a Sustainable Future of Malaysian Gas Industry