Brunei education helped me, says Forbes-listed entrepreneur

|     Ishan Ibrahim     |

A SPECIAL energy-themed talk titled ‘Energy Transition & Innovation’ was held at the Radisson Hotel yesterday. Organised by the French Bruneian Business Association (FBBA), the event featured talks by two key figures from the local energy industry.

One was a talk titled ‘The Importance of Energy Storage for Solar: Lesson Learnt’ delivered by Brandon Ng, a Brunei-born energy entrepreneur based in Hong Kong.

Co-founder and CEO of Ampd Energy, Ng has also been featured on the pages of Forbes’ Asia 30 Under 30 list under the Industry, Manufacturing and Energy sector.

The other featured speaker, Vincent Dutel, CEO of Total E&P Borneo BV, delivered a talk titled ‘Energy Transition.’

Dutel discussed important topics such as improving energy efficiency, promoting responsible energy use, and cutting edge technologies in the oil and gas industry.

Permanent Secretary (Energy) at the Prime Minister’s Office cum guest of honour Dato Paduka Haji Jamain bin Haji Julaihi, FBBA President Pierre Imhof; FBBA Honorary President Musa bin Haji Adnin; FBBA Treasurer Daniel Ng; FBBA members as well as officers from the public and private sector attended the event.

In his address, Dato Paduka Haji Jamain emphasised on Brunei’s objective of transitioning towards more sustainable energy use, and moving towards a diversified and low-carbon economy (LCE).

Brunei’s signing of the Paris Agreement in September 2016 was testament to this goal and its commitment to cutting down its overall primary energy consumption.

Dato Paduka Haji Jamain said this agreement corresponds to the signatories’ pledge to reduce global CO2 emissions by 27 per cent by 2035 from the baseline year of 2009.

In this context, he said that this transitioning process requires innovation, and the Energy and Industry Department at the Prime Minister’s Office (EIDPMO)is committed to supporting it by setting up the right framework and policies that can help in realising this transition.

AMPD Energy Co-founder and CEO Brandon Ng delivers his talk. - PHOTOS: ISHAN IBRAHIM
AMPD Energy Co-founder and CEO Brandon Ng delivers his talk. – PHOTOS: ISHAN IBRAHIM
Permanent Secretary (Energy) at the Prime Minister’s Office Dato Paduka Haji Jamain bin Haji Julaihi delivers his speech
Permanent Secretary (Energy) at the Prime Minister’s Office Dato Paduka Haji Jamain bin Haji Julaihi delivers his speech

The permanent secretary, referencing the government’s Energy White Paper launched in 2014, added that the country has set a target of 10 per cent of electricity generation coming from renewable resources by 2035.

Solar cells – also called photovoltaic (PV) cells – have been identified as the most viable renewable energy power system to help the country achieve this 10 per cent target, as it can be rapidly deployed throughout the whole country.

Energy policies and regulatory frameworks which incentivise the private sector to invest in such renewable energy technologies have been discussed, Dato Paduka Haji Jamain explained.

He also added that key elements in Brunei’s renewal energy policy include: an incentive framework for large-scale solar PV through feed-in tariff and reverse auction schemes; and a framework to incentivise self-consumption and production of electricity from small- and medium-scale solar PV systems for the residential and commercial sectors – such as feed-in tariff, net metering and net billing schemes and voluntary green certificate programmes, where the private and public sectors, and any individual will be able to purchase green electricity generated from renewable energy projects in Brunei.

These initiatives, he said, demonstrate the government’s commitment to achieving the country’s sustainable development goals.

He further noted that EIDPMO and Brunei National Energy Research Institute (BNERI) have completed the draft on the Renewable Energy Act, which embodies these policy measures, and have also made consultations with government stakeholders and industry players.

The government is aiming to finalise and announce the policy framework towards the end of this year and implement it by 2018, he said.

During his talk, Brandon Ng stated that he is currently focused on the Ampd Silo, a key Ampd Energy product that uses advanced, rechargeable lithium-ion batteries to store electricity when power is available, providing power when the main electricity source fails.

This breakthrough Energy Storage System (ESS) provides clean backup electricity to buildings such as factories, offices and hospitals in the event of power outages.

In recognition of its innovative technologies and potential to benefit the world, Ampd Energy was awarded first runner-up by the prestigious technology news and reviews website Engadget under the ‘Best Startup’ category during the recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

The company also won a CES Innovation Award in the ‘Tech for a Better World’ category.

Ampd Energy is a product of the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation’s (HKSTPC) Incu-Tech incubation programme.

Ng added that AMPD Energy aims to provide clean and reliable power to the billions of people and millions of businesses currently living without it.

When asked what advice he would give to aspiring entrepreneurs, Ng said a good business evolves from solving a problem, and if customers willing to pay for such a service, a business can be started.

The entrepreneur concluded by saying that his drive and success in the business world is down to the excellent environment (in Brunei) he grew up in and the immaculate education he received studying at Jerudong International School.