Government to unveil Natural Gas Roadmap

In a video speech, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said natural gas will play a crucial role in bridging the transition into the growing renewable energy resources. Also at the 7th International Energy Forum (IEF) - International Gas Union (IGU) Ministerial Gas Forum were (seated from left) Petronas president and group chief executive Tengku Muhammad Taufik, Prime Minister's Department (Economic Affairs) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed and Malaysia Gas Association president Hazli Sham Kassim.

PETALING JAYA: The government will introduce Natural Gas Roadmap (NGR) as early as the first quarter of 2021 because natural gas will continue to be the energy of choice as the world goes through an inevitable energy transition to tackle the issue of climate change, according to Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

He pointed out that the NGR would form a key part of the larger National Energy Policy that would be a policy framework in the country’s energy sector under the 12th Malaysia Plan, 2021-2025.

“The NGR, among others, strives to optimise the value of indigenous gas resources, enhance security of supply and access to cost competitive gas, ” he said during his keynote address at the 7th International Energy Forum – International Gas Union Ministerial Gas Forum.

Quoting a report by McKinsey & Co’s on “The Future of Liquefied Natural Gas”, Muhyiddin said Asia is still highly dependent on coal as its primary energy source, accounting for about 47% of its energy mix.

Gas made up about 12% of the region’s energy consumption, a stark difference compared to 20% of consumption in other regions.

“Increasing Asia’s share of gas energy consumption to 20% would add the equivalent of more than 400 million tonnes of liquified natural gas (LNG) to annual gas demand, near doubling the size of the LNG market.

“However, gas’ growth is far from assured with many Asian countries still lacking infrastructure, ” Muhyiddin said.

He expressed confidence in the collective minds and abilities to realise the energy transition, ensuring that today’s needs were met while addressing tomorrow’s challenges.

“We look forward towards natural gas to play a pivotal bridging role for this energy transition, providing secure, affordable and sustainable baseload energy source in synergy with the growing, but often intermittent, renewable energy sources, ” he said.

Malaysia has 42 trillion cubic feet of proven natural gas reserves that has enabled it to fuel its economic growth since the 1980s. Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) is the world’s fifth largest exporter of LNG, delivering over 11,000 cargoes since 1983.

Acknowledging the transition of demand in energy sources from clean and sustainable sources, Petronas president and group chief executive officer Tengku Muhammad Taufik Tengku Aziz said gas and LNG are well positioned to meet demand.

“While science tells us that we need to reduce emission to limit climate change, the same science does not tell us exactly which path to take – nor did it say there is only one clear path to take.

“I believe everyone in this forum agrees that gas and LNG play an important role, ” he said at the forum.

Tengku Taufik said gas remained on a rising trend of favourable growth outlook and that gas would account for a quarter of the primary energy mix by 2040.

“We still believe that we are heading to a market which will consume 720 million tonnes per annum by that time.

“The demand will be spurred by emerging markets, particularly from Asia, ” he said.

In October, Petronas became the first oil company in Asia to set a net zero target, declaring it will become carbon neutral by 2050.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said Malaysia’s abundant gas reserves and security of supply is further underpinned by its reputation as one of the world’s most reliable LNG suppliers - with a total LNG production of almost 36 million tonnes per annum.

“Through Petronas, Malaysia has sustained its market position as one of the most reputable LNG players globally, having supplied more than 11,000 cargoes without fail for over 35 years.

“The provision of a strong business ecosystem through government policy support and market liberalisation is crucial in mitigating the decline of indigenous gas production.

“Through the Gas Supply (Amendment) Act 2016, the introduction of the third-party access is anticipated to enhance competition, increase value creation and improve customer service, ” he said.

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