In the face of mounting uncertainties, from the long-term impact of COVID-19 to changing supply chains and emission-related goals, a clear and comprehensive National Energy Policy (NEP) will serve a vital role in countries’ economic growth and energy transition, a senior gas industry official from Malaysia said.
Speaking at the 52nd edition of the GECF Gas Lecture Series, entitled ‘Collaborative Government-Association Synergy for a Sustainable and Vibrant Gas Industry’, HE Hazli Sham Kassim, the President of Malaysian Gas Association (MGA), noted that Malaysia’s NEP is expected to be launched in the second half of 2021 with an aim to ensure sub-sector energy development is aligned with the global energy transition trend.
“We anticipate that the National Energy Policy, currently undertaken by the Malaysian Government, will determine long-term strategies surrounding the national energy sector. It will address in depth on cleaner energy sources including renewables and natural gas and ensure that all aspects related to the energy sector and environmental sustainability can also be better addressed,” said HE Kassim, whose association estimates that energy – precisely natural gas – contributes as much as 12% to the GDP of Malaysia, one of the 19 member states of the GECF.
“Natural gas will play an even more critical role in facilitating energy transition. We look forward to the completion of Malaysia’s Natural Gas Roadmap that we understand has been designed to optimise the value of indigenous natural gas resources, enhance security of supply through identifying new growth areas and at the same time ensuring a sustainable gas industry in Malaysia.”
The GECF Secretary General noted that Malaysia, like many of the Forum’s member countries from Russia to Qatar, is showcasing that only a holistic approach can address the three intertwined concerns of energy security, affordability, and sustainability.
“The road to recovery does not just depend on the outcome of the battle between the virus and the vaccines – it also hinges on how governments around the world deploy their policies and policy support to all economic sectors,” said HE Yury Sentyurin.
“This highlights the role of government-enterprise synergy to drive forward the agenda and shape opportunities.”
Malaysia enjoys 42 trillion cubic feet of proven natural gas reserves that have enabled it to fuel its economic growth since the 1980s. Indigenous natural gas has also enabled Malaysia to become the fifth largest exporter of LNG, although in recent years the country has resorted to importing natural gas due to surging demand.
According to HE Kassim, as the cleanest fossil fuel, natural gas is expected to complement the growth of renewable energy. 2021 figures show that the contribution of combined gas and renewable energy in Peninsular Malaysia will increase by more than 11 GW whilst coal will
decline by more than 4 GW by 2039. As a result, gas demand will increase threefold and carbon emission intensity from the power generation sector is set to reduce by more than 60% within the same period compared to the 2005 levels.
“Whilst currently participating in more than five national level committees, the Malaysian Gas Association was also the first to call for a Natural Gas Roadmap that is expected to set a pathway towards a vibrant and sustainable gas industry. The collaboration between the Malaysian Government and MGA as nation’s lead advocate for gas remains important to ensure that our national energy aspirations are realised,” said HE Kassim.
MGA, the speaker noted, is credited with realising the gas market liberalisation agenda, and participated in the development of the Natural Gas Roadmap that highlighted and promoted the rising role of natural gas as a source of cleaner energy in the National Energy Policy. It also coordinated with Malaysia’s first-ever hosting of the 7th IEF-IGU Ministerial Gas Forum in December 2020. MGA is a charter member of the International Gas Union (IGU) and also holds the IGU’s regional coordinator seat for South & Southeast Asia, where LNG demand is set to quadruple over the longer-term.