A big year for energy transition in Asia and a pivotal role for ANGEA

by Paul Everingham

It’s exciting to be looking ahead at 2023 in what will be my first full year as CEO of the Asia Natural Gas and Energy Association (ANGEA).

ANGEA was formed in October 2021 with a goal of working with governments, society and industry to help ensure the delivery of energy policies that met individual country’s climate objectives while supporting sustainable national and regional economic growth. The strong belief among our membership was that natural gas had a strategic and crucial role to play in supplying energy that would facilitate such growth while also providing for the transition to lower carbon economies across Asia.

Fast forward 16 months and I think that premise is more important than ever.  World events since have highlighted the need for long-term security and affordability of energy to help achieve this balance.  Discussions at the recent World Economic Forum served as reminders that projected – and very necessary – economic growth in Asia will require a nuanced approach to energy transition.

The global energy landscape has its challenges but it is also brimming with opportunities. And to me, that’s extremely exciting.

From an ANGEA perspective, it’s going to be a busy next few months and beyond.

Our Singapore office opens in early February, giving us a strong base to work from in a globally recognised energy hub.  The appointment of new staff to work alongside me will help expand ANGEA’s outreach into key strategic Asian jurisdictions and further advance our relationships with governments, industry partners and other stakeholders in those countries.

One of those countries will be Thailand, where we held two very successful and constructive LNG workshops last year. Our work so far in Thailand has been focussed on advising and assisting with the establishment of affordable, reliable and sustainable energy solutions, including LNG and carbon capture, utilisation and storage. These themes will be further built upon at an upcoming full-day plenary session with key Thai stakeholders.

I’ve written before about how I believe Thailand can be a regional leader in low carbon energy solutions, as a result of its strong investment in wind and solar, a long-term net zero strategy and a commitment to natural gas. ANGEA is working to help Thailand realise that potential and we hope that progress can demonstrate to other nations what successful energy transition looks like.

Of course, every country’s energy situation is unique and requires solutions tailored to its circumstances. But it is equally true that such solutions can only be planned and implemented through meaningful collaboration between industry and government.

With a membership that consists of some of the world’s biggest and most technologically advanced gas and energy producers, I believe ANGEA is uniquely placed to be at the heart of that collaboration throughout Asia.

As I alluded to earlier in this piece, energy security continues to be a significant concern for our region. With this in mind, ANGEA has partnered in a detailed research study on this topic, which we hope to release with our partners publicly by the middle of the year.

The first half of 2023 will see ANGEA represented at a variety of major events including Future Energy Asia Summit in Bangkok and CERA Week in Houston. It will be my first time at CERA Week and I’m looking forward to meeting and listening to some of the best thinkers in the global energy sector, including Daniel Yergin.

I’ll also be making a trip to Japan in February to meet with energy companies and stakeholders.

From a policy development perspective, energy security, LNG market development, CCUS, LNG supply chain decarbonisation and the potential of hydrogen and ammonia as clean fuels of the future are all strongly on ANGEA’s agenda.

I’m also keen to continue to strengthen the relationships ANGEA has developed over the past year with variety of governments but particularly those of Japan, Australia and the United States.

And while I’ve identified Thailand in this article as a country of priority for ANGEA, there are others in the region – notably Indonesia and Vietnam – which have made significant energy-transition-related announcements in recent months. I will be visiting Indonesia in the second quarter of the year and the role of gas in anchoring the country’s energy transition is something I’m eager to discuss with government and industry.

One of the biggest things I hope to see in 2023 is growth in both ANGEA’s brand and energy transition as a topic of conversation.

I want ANGEA to become the go-to organisation and partner of choice for governments and industry in Asia when they look to formulate the energy solutions that will help them achieve their net zero and climate ambitions.

I also want energy transition to be something that is widely understood and appreciated – not only by government and industry stakeholders but also by the billions of people living and working across Asia. Ultimately, successful energy transition is something that will touch all of our lives.

To that end, I think you can expect to see a lot more from ANGEA this year in the communications space.

Part of this will come through traditional media, via interviews and opinion articles. Since taking on this role I have been very encouraged by the growing media interest in ANGEA’s activities and in the energy sector as a whole (as a sidenote, it’s been interesting to see established media organisations in Asia appointing specialist energy transition reporters – a definite pointer to the future).

The remainder of 2023 will see a definite ramp-up in activity on ANGEA’s own communications platforms, including content on this website and our social media channels.

Energy transition in Asia is an important story and we want to be central to the telling of it.

Paul Everingham is the inaugural CEO of the Asia Natural Gas and Energy Association (ANGEA), which works with governments, society and industry throughout Asia to build effective and integrated energy policies that meet each country’s climate objectives. Contact him at paul.everingham@paule58.sg-host.com or on LinkedIn.