Brunei casts sights on cleaner, modern power grid

James Kon

Brunei Darussalam, like other countries, is continuously taking steps to ensure the supply of reliable and affordable power to meet national electricity needs. The key shifts taking place and will be occurring in the future include the adoption of a cleaner, modern power grid driven by technology advancements.

Minister of Energy, Manpower and Industry Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mat Suny bin Haji Mohd Hussein highlighted this in his keynote speech at the Singapore Energy Summit yesterday.

His speech centred around the theme ‘Electrification – Powering Growth.’

Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mat Suny attended the Singapore International Energy Week 2019 (SIEW 2019) at Marina Bay Sands yesterday, officiated by Singapore’s Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing.

Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mat Suny said that the Government of Brunei Darussalam is investing to upgrade electricity infrastructure throughout the nation to enhance efficiency and reliability of supply.

He expressed the need to turn to more diverse energy sources and technology to power and manage the rising global electrification needs.

“Growing demand has been driven by increased industrial and economic activities, transportation needs, and population growth in an increasingly electronic and electrified age. At the same time, it is important to balance growth with sustainability, affordability and reliability of supply in the long-term. Industries are increasingly looking for smarter and more sustainable ways to produce and use electricity,” he said.

Developments in renewable energy have also made it more feasible to develop solutions for residents away from the main power grid, particularly in the rural areas of the Belait District.

The roll out of solar power initiatives on a larger scale are being explored by the Ministry of Energy, Manpower and Industry (MEMI). Incorporation of renewable energy into a more diversified energy mix will also contribute to the conservation of hydrocarbon reserves.

To ensure reliability of supply throughout the global energy transition, Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mat Suny highlighted that natural gas will continue to play an important role as the cleanest fossil fuel in the market at present.

Minister of Energy, Manpower and Industry Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mat Suny bin Haji Mohd Hussein during the bilateral meeting with Singapore’s Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing. PHOTO: MEMI

More countries, especially in Asia, are turning to gas as a cleaner, affordable and reliable energy source to meet their energy and electricity demands, while also keeping air pollution in check.

Brunei Darussalam celebrates the 50th anniversary of its Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) plant under Brunei LNG Sdn Bhd this year and has maintained a reputation as a robust and reliable LNG supplier, ready to service the needs of regional customers.

SIEW 2019 – a four-day event from October 29 to November 1 organised by Energy Market Authority (EMA) Singapore (a statutory body under the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Singapore) – is an annual platform for global stakeholders to discuss key energy issues. This year marks the 12th iteration of the event, with this year’s theme being ‘Accelerating Energy Transformation.’

The platform is intended to spur collaboration among global energy stakeholders and accelerate efforts towards a more sustainable energy future.

This comes against the backdrop of rapidly expanding global energy demand, especially in Asia, and the increased electrification of transportation, industries and buildings.

At the same time, growing attention is placed on meeting climate change commitments and growing interest in renewable energy.

Key events taking place throughout SIEW 2019 include the SIEW Opening Keynote (SOK) and Singapore Energy Summit (SES), the Singapore-IEA Forum, SIEW Energy Insights, SIEW Thinktank Roundtables, In Dialogue with Youth, the Asia Clean Energy Summit, Asian Downstream Summit, and Gas Asia Summit.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) reported that global electricity demand rose by four per cent in 2018, nearly twice as fast as the overall energy demand, and is rising at its fastest pace since 2010.

The session discussed how the increased demand for energy driven by greater electrification can be met by various sources of energy generation, while still balancing the need for reliability, sustainability and price competitiveness.

On the sidelines of SIEW 2019, Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mat Suny held a bilateral meeting with Minister for Trade and Industry of Singapore.

Discussions touched on areas of mutual interest for Brunei Darussalam and Singapore, as well as areas for possible further cooperation between the two nations, including in the energy and industry sectors.

Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mat Suny will today speak at the opening of the Gas Asia Summit Conference 2019 (GAS 2019), the 7th edition of event, on the role of gas in Asia’s Energy Security and Economic Development and Brunei Darussalam’s commitment to support regional energy security needs.

GAS 2019 runs from October 30-31, under the theme ‘Your Gateway to Asia’s Natural Gas & LNG Opportunities.’

GAS 2019 serves as a key industry platform for new business developments and knowledge exchange for the natural gas and LNG community.

Asia is expected to account for 85 per cent of the global growth in natural gas net imports between now and 2040, underpinning a shift in inter-regional gas trade from the Atlantic Basin to Asia.

While geography limits the possibilities of linking countries in the Asia-Pacific region with pipelines, there is considerable scope within these countries to improve pipeline links between demand centres and LNG terminals.

This comes at a time where nations are turning to cleaner sources of energy for a number of reasons, including the collective effort to support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Agreement, with consumers turning to cleaner sources of energy.

The MEMI continues to monitor developments in the global energy space towards a reliable and secure energy supply; promote a conducive environment for market players and develop a dynamic energy sector.