Nor­we­gian en­ergy ex­ec­u­tives in ASEAN re­cently met in Singapore to lay the ground­work for the next push for­ward.

This year’s Nor­way-ASEAN En­ergy Work­shop shed light on the op­por­tu­ni­ties avail­able to Nor­we­gian en­ergy com­pa­nies with re­new­ables in par­tic­u­lar shin­ing.

Norway-Asia Business Review - - Contents - CHEYENNE HOL­LIS

Another key theme to emerge from the event was col­lab­o­ra­tion, which could be ex­panded. There are plenty of op­por­tu­ni­ties for re­new­able en­ergy in South­east Asia with so­lar, hy­dropower and geo­ther­mal all re­al­is­tic op­tions.

This, com­bined with strong GDP and pop­u­la­tion growth, could be a boon for Nor­we­gian firms util­is­ing re­new­able en­ergy in­no­va­tions.

“ASEAN is the re­gion with the best eco­nomic op­por­tu­ni­ties ac­cord­ing to Euro­pean com­pa­nies. Nor­way is de­vel­op­ing projects with the ASEAN Cen­tre of En­ergy. This is a wide study of en­ergy pol­icy hap­pen­ing both at the regional and coun­try level,” H.E. Mr Morten Høglund, Nor­way-ASEAN Am­bas­sador, said. “There is a huge con­glom­er­ate of dif­fer­ent groups tak­ing part of this. The key is con­nect­ing all of them on ev­ery level of the en­ergy field.”

He added the goal for all par­ties was to fo­cus on cli­mate change and re­new­able en­er­gies while also mod­ernising the en­tire en­ergy struc­ture.

Af­ter Mr Høglund’s speech, at­ten­tion turned to the in­di­vid­ual coun­tries of the ASEAN. The goal was to pro­vide at­ten­dees with a bet­ter idea of the sta­tus, op­por­tu­ni­ties and chal­lenges avail­able in each coun­try.

Ms Hai Anh Tran from In­no­va­tion Nor­way Viet­nam of­fered in­sights into the mar­ket. It was noted that nu­clear power plans in the coun­try had been can­celled and the fo­cus was now on so­lar and wind. There is also a grow­ing dependency on fos­sil fuel in the coun­try. She added that Viet­nam would need more power to sup­port its man­u­fac­tur­ing growth that has been the pow­er­ing econ­omy.

“The so­lar in­dus­try needs in­vestors and it is only vi­able in the south and south­east­ern ar­eas of Viet­nam. It will also need bet­ter in­te­gra­tion into the coun­try while stor­age will be im­por­tant as well,” Ms Hai Anh stated. “Com­pa­nies want­ing to en­ter Viet­nam will need to work with lo­cal part­ners. At the mo­ment there are op­por­tu­ni­ties in all of Viet­nam’s en­ergy sec­tors.”

Thai­land also has a grow­ing de­mand for elec­tric­ity with al­ter­na­tives to gas the most needed. The Thai gov­ern­ment had floated plans to use coal, but these have been met with op­po­si­tions from lo­cals and no longer seem plau­si­ble. Ac­cord­ing to Mr Axel Blom, Di­rec­tor at Nor­way Con­nect in Bangkok, bio-en­ergy has po­ten­tial, but it is cur­rently spread out and not con­nected. Other re­new­ables also present good op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Like Thai­land, op­po­si­tion to coal in Myan­mar has stopped plans for its use. The coun­try is strug­gling in sev­eral ar­eas in­clud­ing grid sta­bil­ity and LNG pro­duc­tion. The coun­try it­self has an enor­mous need for elec­tric­ity with only an es­ti­mated 35 per­cent of the pub­lic hav­ing ac­cess to it.

Mr Blom noted that there are some op­por­tu­ni­ties in Myan­mar but gov­ern­ment sub­sidiaries as well as dif­fi­cul­ties work­ing in the coun­try make it hard for for­eign firms to be suc­cess­ful.

That is not the case in Malaysia where Mr Thomas Sjøberg, Nor­way Con­nect’s Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor in Kuala Lumpur, be­lieves Nor­way has a lot to

con­trib­ute to the coun­try’s re­new­able en­ergy push.

“So­lar is the flavour of the month in Malaysia. Hy­dropower is an upand-com­ing sec­tor and there is lots of in­ter­est here too,” Mr Sjøberg ex­plained. “Con­ces­sions for many good projects have been given out, but lit­tle-to-no move­ment has taken place. Nor­way could help pro­vide ex­per­tise to these and get them off the ground. Ad­di­tion­ally, Malaysia needs a fi­nanc­ing coun­ter­part to China and Nor­way could fill this gap as well.”

In­done­sia is tar­get­ing 100 per­cent elec­tri­fi­ca­tion by 2020 and the coun­try has abun­dant re­new­able en­ergy po­ten­tial cre­at­ing plenty of op­por­tu­ni­ties. These in­clude ca­pac­ity build­ing, skilled hu­man re­source train­ing, ad­vanced tech­nolo­gies, in­de­pen­dent power pro­duc­ers and hy­dropower so­lu­tions, ac­cord­ing to Ms Priscil­lia Tan­u­mi­hardja, Se­nior Mar­ket Ad­viser, In­no­va­tion Nor­way Jakarta. She pointed out gov­ern­ment reg­u­la­tions are dif­fi­cult to nav­i­gate and can change quite a bit when the gov­ern­ment turns over.

Once the mar­ket roundup was com­plete, rep­re­sen­ta­tives from GIEK and Asian De­vel­op­ment Bank pro­vided some in­sights on how Nor­we­gian com­pa­nies in the en­ergy sec­tor could ob­tain fi­nanc­ing for over­seas plans.

Af­ter lunch, the at­ten­tion turned from coun­tries to the com­pa­nies that can help pro­vide re­new­able en­ergy so­lu­tions to them. Mr Tom Prest­stulen,

Man­ag­ing Part­ner at Elkem Singapore got the ses­sion un­der­way by de­tail­ing the com­pany’s leapfrog­ging au­tonomous mi­cro-tech­nop­o­lis in boxes (LAMTIB) ini­tia­tive. The tech­nol­ogy sees eas­ily por­ta­ble ship­ping con­tain­ers equipped with the tools needed to elec­trify off grid ar­eas. Mr Prest­stulen noted this could be a valu­able tool for un­der­priv­i­leged ar­eas in South­east Asia with no or lim­ited elec­tric­ity.

Ocean Sun’s Dr Børge Bjørnek­lett gave the next pre­sen­ta­tion. He of­fered a glimpse of the firm’s float­ing so­lar so­lu­tion that is cur­rently be­ing tested in both Nor­way and Singapore. Up next was en­ergy sec­tor vet­eran Mr. Knut Kise who shared some in­sights on the hy­dro­elec­tric chal­lenges fac­ing Thai­land, Myan­mar and the Philip­pines.

The po­ten­tial of geo­ther­mal en­ergy was in­tro­duced by Mr Audun Has­sel, CEO and Founder of Nova Terra. His com­pany has de­vel­oped tech­nol­ogy that al­lows for the cre­ation of small, geo­ther­mal power plants that can be built ev­ery­where in Asia. He ex­plained that the plants can be built quickly and pro­duce cheap elec­tric­ity within a small foot­print.

Tin­fos was one of a few com­pa­nies to have a track record of suc­cess in South­east Asia hav­ing in­stalled sev­eral small and mid-sized hy­dro elec­tri­cal so­lu­tions in In­done­sia. The tech­nol­ogy cre­ates lit­tle pondage and can be scaled to fit re­mote ar­eas where large dams or wind­mills might not be fea­si­ble.

Up next was Viking Heat En­gines, a com­pany that has de­vel­oped prod­ucts that turn low tem­per­a­ture waste heat into some­thing use­ful. Its CraftEngine is able to trans­form waste heat into elec­tric­ity. Viking Heat En­gines CEO, Mr Tor Hodne, pointed out the CraftEngine could be com­bined with a waste in­cin­er­a­tor or biomass fur­nace to cre­ate elec­tric­ity.

CAMBI is another firm turn­ing some­thing un­wanted into a use­ful end prod­uct. The com­pany has cre­ated ther­mal hy­drol­y­sis so­lu­tions that al­low for op­ti­mal sludge man­age­ment. Their tech­nol­ogy re­duces the vol­ume of sludge cake pro­duced and fully ster­il­izes it. Mr Mar­ius Kleiven, Busi­ness Unit Man­ager Asia Pa­cific at CAMBI, added the end prod­uct could be turned into a class A fer­tiliser.

The en­ergy pro­duc­ers’ ses­sion of the work­shop was con­cluded by Mr Terje Hauglum, Con­tract Con­sult­ing En­gi­neer at TH Lao En­ter­prise & Part­ners. He said there were sev­eral in­no­va­tive and sus­tain­able power so­lu­tions that could be used along the Mekong River, but these should be in­te­grated. In his view, this col­lab­o­ra­tion would be good for both the en­vi­ron­ment and peo­ple of the Mekong.

The fi­nal ses­sion of the work­shop fo­cused on work­ing in South­east Asia. Highlights in­cludes Mr Jo­mar Eldøy, Buri En­ergy Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, of­fer­ing a first hand per­spec­tive of Singapore’s elec­tric­ity retail mar­ket, Mr Roar Haa­land Jo­hansen, Vice- Pres­i­dent of Sales at Ja­cob­son Elek­tro AS, pro­vid­ing ex­am­ples of his firm’s work in Asia and a lively de­bate on ex­pand­ing into the Myan­mar en­ergy mar­ket.

The work­shop ended with ev­ery­one want­ing to know what would be next. At­ten­dees agreed the in­for­ma­tion and ex­pe­ri­ences shared dur­ing the event were valu­able, but more col­lab­o­ra­tion was also needed mov­ing for­ward.

It was agreed the Nor­we­gian En­ergy Col­lab­o­ra­to­rium (NEC) con­cept should be ex­panded. In­no­va­tion Nor­way Singapore will work to cre­ate a frame­work for this in the com­ing months. The NEC was cre­ated in 2017 to sup­port Nor­we­gian com­pa­nies and re­search in­sti­tu­tions by con­nect­ing them with lo­cal part­ners, cus­tomers and in­vestors in or­der to de­velop and ex­pand their busi­ness.

The fo­cus of the en­deavor has mostly been in Singapore, but the ex­panded NEC will look to all of South­east Asia. The plan is to in­volve other sup­port en­ti­ties in the re­gion, such as em­bassies, In­no­va­tion Nor­way of­fices, busi­ness net­works and fund­ing agen­cies, into the re­vamped NEC.

A fi­nal thought was pro­vided by Dr Per Chris­ter Lund, Sci­ence & Tech­nol­ogy Coun­sel­lor at In­no­va­tion Nor­way Singapore, who ob­served that Nor­we­gian firms have the op­por­tu­nity to ex­pand into the South­east Asia en­ergy sec­tor, but they must be will­ing to take them. At the mo­ment, their ac­tiv­ity in the mar­ket is lim­ited and un­con­nected,.

“Nor­way has a strong pres­ence in mar­itime and oil and gas in Asia, but not en­ergy. The re­gion has huge po­ten­tial for en­ergy growth. It is the most in­ter­est­ing re­gion for sus­tain­able en­ergy in the world,” Dr Lund said. “With Nor­way’s lead­ing ex­pe­ri­ence within sev­eral en­ergy sec­tors there should be huge op­por­tu­ni­ties for Nor­we­gian com­pa­nies and in­sti­tu­tions in this re­gion.”

PHOTO: NBAS/ALEX JANU PHO­TOG­RA­PHY

PHOTO: VIKING HEAT EN­GINES

Above left: Par­tic­i­pants at Nor­way-ASEAN En­ergy Work­shop 2018 or­gan­ised by In­no­va­tion Nor­way. Above: Viking Heat En­gines’ CraftEngine is able to take waste heat and turn it into elec­tric­ity.

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