International Conference and Workshop on Clean Coal Technology 2019 for Sustainable Development in the ASEAN Region

1-2 August Bangkok Thailand

I was invited by the Ministry of Energy, Department of Mineral Fuels to give a keynote speech on ‘Global Coal Power Generation Technology and Policy Trends’ at this very interesting and well-attended event. It formed part of a strategic initiative for the ASEAN region that recognises high-efficiency low emissions (HELE) coal technology has a key role within the regional energy mix as part of its sustainable energy development plan.

Following the opening remarks and welcome by Dr Phumee Srisuwon and Mrs Premrutai Vianaiphat, DDG and DG respectively from the Department of Mineral Fuels of Thailand, there was a range of presentations, with an emphasis on the ASEAN challenges and opportunities, particularly for coal, with some key data set out below. Thus (Mohd Rizal Ramli):

  • A total of 424 GW of new power generation capacity will be added by 2040, 42.4% of which will be coal
  • A threefold increase of coal-fired capacity is expected from 63 GW in 2015 to 196 GW in 2040, contributed mostly by Indonesia and Vietnam followed by Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand
  • In tandem with the capacity growth, coal is also projected to become the biggest fuel input for power generation from around 300 TWh in 2015 to more than 750 TWh in 2040
  • At the same time, renewable energy (RE) capacity is projected to grow to 183-319 GW
  • Indonesia produces nearly 90% of ASEAN’s coal followed by Vietnam with 7%.
  • ASEAN accounted for close to 3% of world’s total proved reserves with close to 7% and 4% of production and consumption (BP Statistical Review 2018)
  • By 2025, an additional coal capacity projected at around 32 GW will require investment of close to US$34 billion.
    There was also considerable recognition that sustainability in developing regions is not just about carbon emissions; rather there is a strong and robust focus on ensuring an equitable approach to addressing the energy trilemma.

Energy Security:

  • Fuel diversification policy
  • System ability to cope with rising electricity demand
  • Regional coal trade policy
  • Coal prices

Accessibility and affordability of energy supply:

  • Coal as one of the solutions to rural electrification
  • Multilateral electricity trading and integration
  • Regional policy for deployment of clean coal technologies, CCT (technology shift to USC, low rank coal, LRC upgrading, CCS, fuel blending)

Environmental sustainability:

  • Role of coal in energy trilemma
  • Meeting the environmental sustainability agenda
  • Coal as responsible industry
  • Responsible mining and procurement towards zero corruption business practices
  • Local community participation
  • Meeting national economic objective

There was also a comprehensive consideration of the intended technology roadmap (Aloysius Damar Pranadi), for which the coal component is summarised below (please note basis is different to that for data given above).

There were four parallel panel discussions, each addressing various policy and financial requirements to ensure that the coal power deployment programme can proceed on schedule.

The end of the first day saw us all take part in a great boat cruise along the Chao Phraya River that passes through Bangkok, with the opportunity to enjoy delicious local food, plus singing and dancing as the mood takes you.

The next day we visited a coal hub, which unloaded coal from river barges for subsequent distribution within Ayutthaya Province. This is an impressive set-up and is strategically important in ensuring a steady reliable coal source to surrounding coal users.

In summary the ASEAN countries represent a major development region, with the need for robust reliable energy sources. Coal will form a significant part of the overall mix, and the sustainability challenges include ensuring high efficiency and low emissions. The IEA Clean Coal Centre is keen to continue to build its contacts and offer collaborative support.