Govt in final phase of developing National Energy Policy, says Mustapa

Govt in final phase of developing National Energy Policy, says Mustapa
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KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 22): The Economic Planning Unit (EPU), in collaboration with ministries and agencies, is in the final phase of developing a long-term and comprehensive National Energy Policy 2021-2040 (NEP).

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said the NEP would contribute towards achieving long-term energy security at competitive pricing while at the same time ensuring its environmental sustainability.

“This is very important as investors are increasingly demanding solutions and practices aligned with environment, social and governance (ESG) principles,” he said in his ministerial address at the virtual Malaysian Gas Symposium (MyGAS 2021) on Monday.

Mustapa said the NEP will be aligned to the Paris Agreement as Malaysia had committed to voluntarily reducing the intensity of its greenhouse gas emission by 45% of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030.

He said Malaysia, in this case, had also committed to being a carbon-neutral country at the earliest by 2050.

“Natural gas, combined with other low carbon and renewable gases such as hydrogen and biogas, is expected to play an important role both in the NEP and in our strategy to achieve carbon neutrality.

“We need a vibrant and sustainable natural gas industry. To achieve this, the EPU is also developing the Natural Gas Roadmap, or NGR, as a key component of the overall National Energy Policy,” he said.

Mustapa said on Monday the world is witnessing global demand for natural gas surpassing its supply, causing the liquefied natural gas (LNG) spot price for Asia and in many parts of the world to skyrocket to levels never before seen.

He noted that the willingness of Asian buyers to pay a premium and outbid others have attracted LNG supplies away from Europe, causing an energy crisis in that continent.

The minister said the inability for intermittent renewables to supply a reliable source of electricity had put further pressure on the supply of fossil fuels, causing energy commodity prices to increase, which in turn increases the price of electricity in Europe.

“Thanks to the policies that the government has put in place, Malaysia is not facing an energy crisis as experienced in Europe.

“The government, through EPU, the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources and agencies such as Petronas, Energy Commission and Tenaga Nasional Bhd are constantly taking appropriate measures to ensure continuous energy security for our country,” he said.

Mustapa noted that the Malaysian gas industry brings in more than RM135 billion annually to the wider economy and has been contributing to Malaysia's overall socio-economic well being through the creation of quality jobs, supporting economic output, boosting external trade, and nurturing locals into becoming trade global players.

"The Oil and Gas Services and Equipment (OGSE) sector, predominantly made up of local businesses and talents, is also a significant contributor to the nation's economy, especially Malaysia's gas sector.

"Earlier this year, I launched the National OGSE Industry Blueprint 2021-2030 to facilitate our OGSE's adoption of ESG principles and energy transition," he said.