Strategic Review

Minister-Industry Dialogue: Energy Efficiency and Sustainability

Part 2: Audience Q&A Session

Dr Maximus Johnity Ongkili
Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water (KeTTHA)

It is time to involve the audience. Please feel free to ask questions to any of the panellists and provide your own insight into energy efficiency and sustainability. In turn, panellists may respond to the points raised as they see fit. First question please.

Rosman Hamzah
Secretary General
Malaysian Gas Association (MGA)

I want to pick up on what Nadzmi said about his past experience with challenges with CNG supply in the transport sector. In 2016, the Gas Supply (Amendment) Act was passed to enable any party to supply gas in Malaysia under the Third Party Access (TPA) mechanism. Supply of natural gas should therefore no longer be an issue since interested parties will be increasingly able to approach third-party suppliers beyond PETRONAS and Gas Malaysia Berhad to purchase gas. Furthermore, security in supply increases the potential offerings of gas for its use in a range of industries, including CNG for transport.

Another aspect of the gas market reforms is to bring the gas price to market prices, expected by 2018 or 2019. Once the gas price reaches market rates, more suppliers will enter the market under the TPA and gas will become attractive enough for its application in the public transport industry as a cleaner alternative to petrol or diesel. What do panelists think?

Dr Mohd Nadzmi Mohd Salleh

The Gas Supply (Amendment) Act is indeed an important step in opening up the market to new possibilities. However, there are a number of critical factors to bear in mind before gas, especially CNG, can be applied in the transport sector. These include whether the vehicle is already fitted with a gas engine or if it requires conversion; the availability of CNG at authorised distribution points; whether these distribution points use low-pressure or high-pressure pumps; and, as Rosman says, the price of the gas available to transport companies. Ensuring that all these conditions align so that gas becomes a viable fuel alternative to petrol in public transport applications requires ongoing political will and public-private collaboration to streamline procedures and take account of all externalities.

Dr Xiaodong Wang
World Bank

The question of reducing emissions and increasing energy efficiency in the transport sector is important because transport is the largest consumer of energy in the country. To fulfil the GTMP EEV target highlighted by Ben, EVs and fuel efficiency standards are critical. The Malaysian Government may wish to identify associated benchmarking from abroad to consolidate a detailed plan on how these targets will be met. Doing so will facilitate Malaysian efforts towards becoming a regional hub for EEVs in the near future.

Dr Zaini Ujang

Regarding fuel efficiency, steps are being taken to improve the rollout of efficient fuels, including biofuels, and the GTMP provides a clear implementation timeline of fuel standards in this regard.

In terms of using gas for transport, CNG has been used as an alternative fuel in the market for a number of years, predominantly for taxis and buses. While the consumption of CNG has dropped in the last five years, natural gas vehicles will continue to form part of eco-mobility in the future, and so the point made by Rosman about the increased availability of gas at more competitive prices is pertinent.

In terms of EVs, e-mobility is the responsibility of the Ministry of Transport. As such, KeTTHA will continue to work closely with its colleagues in that ministry to define the specific details of the EEV and EV plan.