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Asia Pulse: BRIEFING – ASIA ENERGY – JULY 21, 2006

Published: Jul 21, 2006

An executive briefing on energy for July 21, 2006, prepared by Asia Pulse (http://www.asiapulse.com), the real-time, Asia-based wire with exclusive news, commercial intelligence and business opportunities.

CHINA SEEN TO NEED 40-50 MORE JUMBO OIL TANKERS OVER NEXT 5 YRS

BEIJING – China will need an additional 40 to 50 jumbo oil tankers over the next five years due to the increase in the country’s crude oil imports and exports, an industry insider said on Thursday.

Henrik O. Madsen, President of Det Norske Veritas (DNV), one of the industry’s main classification companies, predicted that China’s ship-building capacity will quadruple by 2015, becoming the largest in the world.

CHINA PREPARES FOR ESTABLISHMENT OF OIL RESERVE CENTRE

BEIJING – The operational draft for a new national petroleum reserve centre has been submitted to the Chinese central government, the Xinhua-run China Securities Journal reported on Thursday.

Operations will follow those of the China Grain Reserves Corporation and China Cotton Reserves Corporation, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) told the newspaper.

CNOOC, SHELL TO EXPAND JOINT VENTURE CAPACITY

BEIJING – CNOOC and Shell Petrochemicals Co Ltd, China’s biggest Sino-foreign partnership, plans to expand its current capacity by 10 to 20 per cent within the next four years, to meet surging domestic demand.

The US$4.3 billion joint project, launched in March between Royal Dutch Shell and China’s biggest offshore oil company China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC), yesterday disclosed plans to further expand its capacity.

INDONESIAN GOVT TO BUILD EIGHT BIODIESEL PLANTS

MEDAN – The Indonesian Government has provided Rp75 billion (US$8.1 million) for the construction of eight biodiesel plants that will use palm oil and castor oil as raw materials.

Director General of Agro-Chemical Industry Benny Wahyudi said here Thursday that the construction of the eight factories to be started in 2006 is part of efforts to reduce dependence on petroleum whose price has been surging above US$70 per barrel.

INDONESIAN GOVT SAYS IT WON’T HELP BAKRIE SECURE GAS FOR PROJECT

JAKARTA – The Indonesian government said it will not offer to help PT Bakrie & Brothers (JSX:BNBR) find gas to be transported through the submarine pipeline it plans to build linking East Kalimantan and Central Java.

PT Bakrie & Brothers, which won the US1.26 billion contract to build the pipeline spanning a distance of more than 1,100 kilometers, has yet to look for gas to be supplied to the contract buyers in Java through the pipeline.

CHINA MAY PUBLISH INDUSTRIAL POLICY FOR HYDROGEN ENERGY IN OCT

BEIJING – China may publish an industrial policy for the development of the hydrogen energy industry in October this year, according to Yi Baolian of the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics.

According to the implementing rules of the 863 Program for 2006, the Ministry of Science and Technology will offer 75 million yuan (US$9.4 million) to support the development of hydrogen energy, which at present is inadequate.

MALAYSIA’S EKSONS AWARDS CONTRACT TO INSTALL CO-GENERATION PLANT

KUALA LUMPUR – Eksons Corporation Berhad’s (KLSE:9016) wholly-owned subsidiary, Bahagaya Sdn. Bhd., has awarded a contract to Kamatek Industries Sdn Bhd to supply and install a 3,000KW wood waste co-gen power plant.

The contract value is RM16 million (US$4.3 million) which includes the cost of components of the power plant, installation & commissioning and plant engineering and supervision fee, Eksons said in a statement to Bursa Malaysia on July 19.

JAPANESE ENV’MENTAL EQUIPMENT CO PRODUCES GAS FROM RAW COTTON

KANAZAWA – Maywa Co., a manufacturer of environmental and agricultural equipment, has developed a gasification system that uses raw cotton as a fuel.

The company’s Chinese subsidiary has built plants in two suburbs of Tianjin with the assistance of the local governments. The facilities carbonize cotton waste stalks and leaves by cooking them for 30-40 minutes at 500-600 C in an oxygen-free environment. Gas is obtained through a spontaneous process in which heat emitted from the carbonized substance induces the carbonization of surrounding materials.

TORAY, TOYOBO TO BOOST PROD’N OF PPS FILTERS FOR POWER PLANTS

TOKYO – Japanese firms Toyobo Co. (TSE:3101) and Toray Industries Inc. (TSE:3402) will increase production of filters used to reduce exhaust emissions at coal-burning power plants, leveraging technologies honed in the domestic market to meet growing demand in China.

Toyobo and Toray both produce filters using fibers made from PPS (polyphenylene sulfide) resin, which can handle high temperatures and are not damaged by exposure to nitrogen oxides (NOx) and caustic soda. The filters are fitted to the boilers at coal-burning power plants to remove coal ash, NOx and other pollutants in the exhaust gas.

S. KOREA’S JEJU ISLAND EMERGING AS TEST BED FOR REUSABLE ENERGY

JEJU – South Korea is developing the country’s southern resort island of Jeju as a test bed for clean reusable energy systems as part of the country’s efforts to cope with high oil prices, industry and government experts said Friday.

Officials from the Jeju regional government, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy and Korea Southern Power Co. (KOSPO) hope to see pilot projects harnessing wind and solar power, bio gas and geo-thermal energy, among others.

BOSICOR OIL PAKISTAN PLANS REFINERY IN BALOCHISTAN

KARACHI – Bosicor Oil Pakistan Limited (BOPL), a recently established company, is setting up a crude oil refinery having initial capacity of 120,000 barrels per day on the coast of Balochistan.

Being set up 45 kilometres from Karachi, it will cost Rs18.8 billion (US$311.9 million) and is expected to start production by the end of year 2009, said a press release issued here.

CHINA ADDS 32.41 MLN KW OF POWER GENERATING CAPACITY IN H1

BEIJING – China put an additional 32.4146 million kilowatts (kw) of power generating capacity into production in the first half of this year, according to the All-China Federation of Power Enterprises.

Of the total, 3.5991 million kw was hydropower and 28.6806 million kw was thermal power.

AUSTRALIA’S LAKES OIL, VICTORIA PETROLEUM IN GEOTHERMAL JV

MELBOURNE – Oil and gas explorers Lakes Oil NL (ASX:LKO) and Victoria Petroleum NL (ASX:VPE) will join forces in a new Australian geothermal interest, Greenearth Energy Ltd.

Each will take a 33 per cent interest in Greenearth, which will initially be capitalised at $A750,000 ($US561,787.5) and has been formed to apply for geothermal leases in the current round of permits being offered by the Victorian government.

NEW GAS PIPELINE COMPLETED IN CHINA’S XINJIANG

URUMQI – A new natural gas pipeline between Karamay, a major oil city of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, and Urumqi, capital city of the region, has been completed recently.

The new gas pipeline, with a length of 285 kilometers, costs a total investment of 600 million yuan (US$75 million). It will be ready for operation in early August.

59 INVESTORS EYE 10 INDONESIAN COAL-FIRED POWER PROJECTS

JAKARTA – As many as 59 investors have expressed interest in implementing 10 coal-fired power plant projects (PLTU) in Indonesia which are part of the country`s program to develop a 10,000 MW electricity producing capacity.

The head of the Team for Acceleration of Power Project Development, Yogo Pratomo, said after a limited coordination meeting on the matter here on Thursday the investors were from Japan, China, Korea, India, Malaysia and France.

AREVA KEEN TO PARTICIPATE IN INDIAN CIVILIAN NUCLEAR PROGRAM

NEW DELHI – French nuclear giant Areva on Thursday expressed interest in participating in the Indian civilian nuclear power program, which is currently open only to state-owned companies.

“We are willing to be a major player in nuclear programme. As soon as the international framework will allow it, the Indian market will be one of our first priorities,” Areva Executive Board chairman Anne Lauvergeon said here at a meeting organised by peak chamber body FICCI.

BIG AUSTRALIAN TRADERS: CHINA, JAPAN…THE NETHERLANDS

CANBERRA – They’re the big names when it comes to buying Australia’s valuable minerals – China, Japan and … The Netherlands.

New figures from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade show that not only are Australian miners flogging coal, iron ore and other commodities to key Asian markets, but also to far-flung European ones.

TAIWAN-CANADA ENERGY SEMINAR SLATED FOR AUGUST 19-20 IN OTTAWA

OTTAWA – A Taiwan-Canada seminar on energy development and environmental protection is scheduled to be held August 19-20 in Ottawa under the auspices of the Ottawa Chapter of the North America Taiwanese Engineers’ Association (NATEA) and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Canada.

NATEA’s Ottawa Chapter Chairman Yen Kung-chan said that the upcoming seminar will focus on how to use environmental protection technologies to reduce various kinds of pollution which may be brought about by energy development.

LNG PRICE EXPECTED TO BE RAISED BY 15 PCT: TAIWAN’S MOEA

TAIPEI – A Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) committee agreed Thursday with a proposal made by the state-run Chinese Petroleum Corp. (CPC) to increase the price of liquefied natural gas (LNG) by 15 per cent.

Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Shih Yen-hsiang, who presided over a consultation meeting on the LNG price hike, said that as the hike range exceeds 10 per cent, the proposal must be submitted to the Executive Yuan for approval.

INDIA’S BHEL BAGS US$9.8 MLN ORDER IN ETHIOPIA

NEW DELHI – State-run Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) (BSE:500103) on Thursday said it has bagged a Rs 460 million (US$9.8 million) order to set up substations in Ethiopia.

The contract for 230 KV sub-stations was awarded by Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation and is part of the electrification programme of the Ethiopian Government, a BHEL release said.

BANGLADESH PREPARING FOR MARITIME OIL EXPLORATION: OFFICIAL

DHAKA – Bangladesh is preparing for oil and gas exploration in its maritime areas in the Bay of Bengal, a senior government official has said.

“Bangladesh has been preparing for exploration in its maritime areas,” Energy Secretary AMM Nasiruddin told reporters after a meeting to assess preparations for the Third Round bidding process on Wednesday.

IRANIAN MINISTER SAYS NEW ENERGY STRATEGY WILL BE INTRODUCED

TEHRAN – Energy minister Parviz Fattah here on Wednesday announced that a new energy strategy will be presented in view of the growing energy consumption in Iran saying about US$5 billion is spent annually on energy.

“We want to cut extra energy consumption, believing that the practice is also welcomed by religion,” said Fattah in an address to a meeting on economizing energy consumption.

SK CORP. TO BOLSTER COOPERATION WITH INDONESIAN REFINER PERTAMIN

SEOUL – South Korea’s top oil refiner SK Corp. (KSE:003600) said Thursday it has reached a preliminary agreement with PT Pertamina to bolster cooperation with the Indonesian state oil company.

The agreement calls for the two companies to work jointly in the fields of lubricant purchases, human resources training and petroleum product trades, the company said.

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