Thai-Norwegian Business Review

Page 1

Thai-Norwegian Business Review 2015 – 03

Thai-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce

Special Energy Issue

Contents President’s Foreword


A Crude Readjustment: Norway’s Oil Economy


A New Boss and a Summit to Boot: Chatting with Norwegian Business Association’s (Singapore) Hilde Merete Nafstad


Theme: Energy 11 The Coming Energy Crunch: Thailand’s Coal-Fired Dilemma


The Nuclear Option: Feasibility for Thailand’s Energy Mix


Oil and Gas: New Paradigm, or Past as Prologue?


Tapping a Wellspring of Potential: Small-Scale Hydropower in Thailand


Eltek Brings Green-Tower Power to the Developing World


Challenges Facing the Mobile Telecom Tower Industry


Tips on How to Reduce Energy Bills


Will Electric Vehicles Put a Charge into the Thai Market?




Get to know the members 36 DNV-GL brings a global standard to Thai hospitals


Summer Party 42 The Dream of the Kra Canal Never Dies


Thailand’s Economy at a Glance


Membership Directory


Editor: Thitikul K. Opdal Advertising: Anders Magnusson Journalists: Eric Baker, Christopher Caillavet Graphic Design: Graphics-Related Co., Ltd.

Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg officially opens the Gudrun Platform in August 2014. Photo: Harald Pettersen/Statoil



President’s Foreword

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Since the last issue of Business Review, a dramatic event rocked Bangkok. A total of 25 people were killed, and more than 100 persons injured, Thais and foreign tourists alike, in the September bombing in central Bangkok. This is the first time the tourist industry has been directly targeted and the incident threw the Thai tourism industry into a tailspin. Fortunately, it seems that the culprits behind this cowardly attack have been caught. Thankfully, the effects on the tourism industry and business have been minimal and we are confident that this was a “one off” incident. The export of seafood from Norway has enjoyed a dramatic increase since last year and it especially heartening to see that Norwegian Seafood Council’s efforts in promoting fresh airborne salmon to Thailand is paying off. Since last year the export value to Thailand has increased by a whopping 358%. Tourism to Norway is also gaining momentum. At the time of writing, a group of tour operators are putting together a winter tourism programme attracting Thai tourists to enjoy the beautiful northern lights. In the coming months, our Chamber is gearing up for the Norway-Asia Business Summit which will take place at the fabulous Fullerton Hotel in Singapore from 13 to 14 April 2016, a perfect way to combine business with pleasure during the Songkran holidays. This annual event has become the meeting place for Norway in Asia and we expect several high-profile speakers, including our Minister of Trade and Industry, H.E. Ms. Monica Mæland. While touching on Singapore, first allow me to congratulate a true friend of the Thai-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce, Ambassador of Norway to Singapore, H.E. Tormod C. Endresen, who assisted us as moderator during the Norway-Asia Business Summit in 2014. Every year, the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprises (NHO), gives an award to the ambassador who does the most to help Norwegian business throughout the world. This year the recipient was Tormod Endresen, an award well deserved. Allow me also to congratulate Statoil’s Hilde Merete Nafstad who has taken over the chair of the Norwegian Business Association (Singapore), after many successful years with Erik Borgen at the helm. Erik put a lot of effort into running NBAS and we are thankful for the excellent co-operation he initiated with our chamber. We send him our warmest thanks. It’s indeed a pleasure to see that capable women are moving into leadership positions, also at the Norwegian chambers of commerce in Asia. Leaf over to page 8 and you can read more on Hilde’s thoughts on the future. Sincerely, Vibeke Lyssand Leirvåg

President Thai-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce Thai-Norwegian Business Review


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A Crude Readjustment: Norway’s Oil Economy By Eric Baker


s the bottom drops out for oil prices, the impact has been very real in Norway because the commodity provides the backbone for the economy. The country’s central bank halved its GDP outlook for this year to 1.3% and the krone has dropped by one-third to the US dollar.

About a quarter of Norway’s economy is related to oil and gas extraction, but rarely does a month go by without news of thousands more job cuts to that industry. To make matters worse, Goldman Sachs just announced in September it would not be surprised to see oil fall to 20 USD per barrel given OPEC’s oversupply strategy to drive out high-cost producers.

“To underpin a necessary transition towards non-oil industries, the cost level in Norway must again be brought more closely into line with that of our trading partners.”

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“Lower demand for goods and services from the petroleum sector has spillover effects on the mainland economy, with a dampening effect on labour demand,” said Øystein Olsen, governor of Norway’s central bank. But Norway is well-positioned to survive a transition from an oil-based economy to whatever the next technology is, in part because it has been able to avoid the oil curse, the phenomenon whereby countries rich in petroleum have less democracy, less economic stability and more frequent civil wars than countries without oil. Norway was able to diversify its economy over the last 40 years, including

developing expertise in the oil and gas service sector, among other clusters of excellence. Expertise in oil and gas service is particularly important because as Pulitzer Prize winner Daniel Yergin pointed out recently in The Wall Street Journal, history shows transitions from energy sources are never fast nor complete. From steam to coal to oil to nuclear and renewable energies, all took considerable time and the new resource was likely to overlay the previous. This means oil and gas, as well as service specialisation in these sectors, will still be needed for a long time. Norway was also able to make public sector budgets independent from volatile income by establishing a sovereign wealth fund and a fiscal rule imposing a constraint on oil revenue spending. The country now needs to rely on some of these other sectors to sustain the economy while oil prices remain weak. One advantage of the krone’s depreciation is Norway’s competitiveness in the export of goods and services should be improved. But Norway has always been challenged by high costs. “The labour cost level in the business sector has increased sharply relative to our trading partners,” said Mr Olsen. “To underpin a necessary transition towards non-oil industries, the cost level in Norway must again be brought more closely into line with that of our trading partners.” He noted controlling wage growth or krone depreciation were two methods of achieving this goal. Norway’s economy must now enter a period of restructuring. But with its considerable financial resources, history of building clusters of excellence from telecom and energy to maritime and fisheries, and stable inflation and interest rates, the country is in an enviable position to handle any fluctuations in oil prices.

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A New Boss and a Summit to Boot: Chatting with Norwegian Business Association’s (Singapore) Hilde Merete Nafstad By Eric Baker


ilde Merete Nafstad is hitting the ground running as the new president of the Norwegian Business Association (Singapore), with the 2016 edition of the Norway-Asia Business Summit primed for that city-state with NBAS playing the host. She is taking the helm after over a decade of service from Erik Borgen, who stepped down as he will be going back to Norway this year. “I am looking forward to continuing the very close relationship the association has enjoyed with the embassy here and Innovation Norway,” said Ms Nafstad. “We have very active members and an ambassador that is particularly focused on business issues. “In fact, every year, NHO, the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprises, gives an award to the ambassador who does the most to help Norwegian business throughout the world, and this year it awarded the Singaporean ambassador. “We feel it is quite natural for the embassy to have a close relationship with NBAS. The embassy has access to other channels that can open things up for businesses. You could say the NBAS and the embassy have a symbiotic connection.” The association in Singapore has some 160 members, with a wide diversity of sectors and business sizes. “I hope we can make NBAS relevant for all our members,” she said. “We have the giant groups such as Statoil, DNV-GL and Telenor, to several midsized members, and even some small ones with one employee only. This means we need to have the right mix of events and representation for all types of companies. One new strategy we have adopted is to have one company introduce itself for ten minutes at the beginning of a meeting. That way people can get to know one another. “Social events are also important. We host a special dinner every year that draws about 1,000 people from all over the region.”


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As the Norway-Asia Business Summit has grown in popularity, the responsibility for hosting it has grown concomitantly. A reputation for dynamic speakers has increased the pressure for each new summit to top the previous one.

“Statoil has been involved in offshore wind in the UK for some time now. We have about 90 turbines there, as it is the alternative energy that is closest to our current business, so we have some synergies in that field. “Statoil has a new chief executive and he has expressed his interest in looking at new energy systems in a broader context, so that will be a focus going forward. The company is very concerned about climate change, and of course Norway has been a leader in adopting environmentally friendly technologies. Our target is to be recognised as the most carbon-efficient oil and gas producer globally .

“We have been working on the summit for some time, and the themes next year will be offshore oil, maritime and energy,” said Ms Nafstad. “We are putting together a list of speakers that is very high profile. The speakers will be both from Norway and throughout Asia, as we are very cognisant that this is a Norway-Asia conference, and not a NorwaySingapore one.

“As to our core business, the current oil and gas market is very supply-driven. This new low price is mainly because of new supply from the US, as well as OPEC keeping the supply flowing. Statoil has to be flexible to handle any kind of price regime.

“The summit will take place at the Fullerton Hotel, which is located in a grand old municipal building. It is also close to the sea, which we thought was appropriate given the maritime theme.

“Singapore was recently awarded the top ranking in a poll of most important maritime capitals. It is the key for Norway to keep close contact here and stay abreast of what is happening.”

NBAS new Chairperson: Statoil’s Hilde Merete Nafstad. Photo: private

the government and in service positions. Ms Nafstad has held various leadership positions in Norsk Hydro and Saga Petroleum, mainly within natural gas and business development. She also worked seven years for the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy. While at Statoil she held mainly line manager positions before serving four years as senior vice-president for investor relations, following three years as president of Statoil Natural Gas LLC in Stamford, Connecticut.

“Singapore was recently awarded the top ranking in a poll of most important maritime capitals. Offshore is very important in this region too, so I think that is why it is key for Norway to keep close contact here and stay abreast of what is happening. I feel that both Norway and Southeast Asia can learn from each other in these fields.”

Oil and gas have provided the backbone of the Norwegian economy for several decades, with Statoil operating as the largest player. With lower global oil prices for the foreseeable future, the company has adopted a strategy to deal with this new reality.

Ms Nafstad has a long history of experience in the oil and gas industry. She is the president of Statoil Asia Pacific and moved to Singapore in 2014. She worked in Norway and the US for 27 years in the employ of oil companies,

“Statoil’s position is that oil and gas are here to stay,” she said. “For many more decades, oil and gas will still play an important role as many countries still don’t have enough energy. But we recognise the need to look at alternative energy sources.

“As part of this process, back in 2012 we initiated projects to increase efficiency and decrease costs, as we found that the oil industry’s return on capital even back when oil was USD 100 a barrel was no different than when it was USD 40 a barrel. We needed a better return, so we took away all the unnecessary parts of the value chain.” Though much ink has been spilled about the economic slowdown in China, Ms Nafstad is upbeat about the region in general. “Statoil expects an enormous increase in energy demand for Asia-Pacific even with the slower growth in China,” she said. “We expect continuous growth in demand for this region. “ “In particular, I look forward to improved engagement with ASEAN as the ASEAN Economic Community comes into force by next year. Norway recently changed its status to become a sectoral dialogue partner with ASEAN, which should increase our voice here. I believe Norway expects further development of business, diplomatic and academic relations with ASEAN. “Statoil expects lots of growth in the region going forward, for example in Indonesia in its maritime and oil and gas sectors.”

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Energy The main theme of this issue of Business Review is energy. We cover various ways in which Thailand and the surrounding region can meet its energy needs, and the dilemmas associated with the more controversial sources of energy, like coal and fusion technology. Thailand has reached a critical point in covering the country’s energy needs. 60% of Thailand’s energy needs are supplied through imported sources, mainly petroleum based fuels. In addition, electricity is generated by burning environmentally questionable coal and lignite. Renewable sources constitute only 13%, yet small scale hydropower, solar and bio-mass offer the opportunity to increase the amount of renewable energy to reach the goals of 25% by 2022 set by the Thai government. In addition, waste to energy offers opportunities to avoid filling up dangerous landfills. The Norwegian Prime Minister, H.E. Ms. Erna Solberg graces the cover of this issue. The picture was taken during the opening of the Gudrun platform in the North Sea in August 2014. This is significant for Thailand since in 2012, Gudrun was the largest module that was ever built at the Aibel yard in Laem Chabang. It was also the largest object ever transported in Thailand.

Manufacturing quality collection requires free flow of creativity, understanding, knowledge and a lot of support. They say, behind every great designer, there is a great manufacturer.

The image by photographer Alan O’Neill behind these words, is the Sheringham Shoal offshore wind farm by Scira off the English coast, owned jointly by Norwegian companies Statoil and Statkraft. It offers yet another example of a renewable energy source that could be explored by Thailand. Read on and we hope that you will find the articles both educating and inspiring.


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The Coming Energy Crunch: Thailand’s Coal-Fired Dilemma By Eric Baker


he Thai government’s insistence on coal-fired power plants for its next big energy investments seems poised for a stand-off, with power demand likely to ratchet up while the legal process takes its time.

The state enterprise Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) has determined Krabi and Lampang provinces as the sites for its two new coal plants, but furious protests during the public hearing portion of development have left these projects stuck in a quagmire. Locals in the communities where the coal projects are planned are concerned they will affect their health, the environment, and tourism and fisheries their economy depends on. Their fears appear to be well-founded. John Draper is an analyst and Peerasit Kamnuansilpa is the founder and former dean of Khon Kaen University’s College of Local Administration. They wrote in an August column in The Nation, “Coal is a major source of mercury poisoning and has been found in toxic amounts up to 12 times more than the maximum acceptable dose in the inhabitants of Tha Thum in Prachin Buri, with possible vectors being fly ash from the local coal power plant, coal dust from outdoor coal storage piles, or coal ash used as fertiliser. These present risks to Krabi’s tourism industry and have provoked hunger strikes. “Furthermore, ‘clean-coal’ technology is still in a nascent stage and at the moment can only handle sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and particulates — carbon dioxide sequestering is much more complex and costly.”


reactors, like the 40-megawatt plant operated by Double A in Prachin Buri using wood and off-cuts. Quite simply, large, centralised mega-projects are favoured in Thailand. They benefit the centralised system of project approval, and with a public sector corruption rate of 25% according to the Thai Chamber of Commerce, they can be very beneficial for unscrupulous officials.” These coal projects are especially troublesome given how much they pollute because Thailand is one of the countries likely to be most affected by climate change. “One major OECD study indicates that by 2070 Bangkok will lie seventh among cities most exposed to the effects of climate change (including all environmental and socioeconomic factors). Because of the size of Bangkok, the effect on the national economy is expected to be disastrous.”

They wonder why Thailand is so committed to big coal-fired power plants when other alternatives such as renewable energy are so readily available.

Like several analysts, they wonder why Thailand is so committed to big coal-fired power plants when other alternatives such as renewable energy are so readily available.

As Thailand heads to the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 21) to the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the country still has yet to make a solid commitment to reducing carbon output. As with most economies, Thailand’s carbon dioxide pollution output has risen 289% from 1990 to 2013.

“This raises the question of why Thailand wants to build a few very large coal power plants when it should be following safer, quite possibly cheaper routes, such as biomass

“The objective of COP 21 is to achieve, for the first time, a binding and universal climate agreement to prevent the world’s temperature rising by more than two degrees

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A coalfired powerplant in full operation. Photo: istockphoto

centigrade by 2030, a change seen as catastrophic and irreversible—and one that would likely lead to the loss of Bangkok as a capital city,” write Mr Draper and Mr Peerasit. Given these stakes, it is odd that Thailand would not adopt an energy strategy more in line with His Majesty the King’s vaunted ‘sufficiency economy’ philosophy, they continue. Yet Thailand’s energy future appears to be committed to an unsustainable path, with 20 more gas power stations and nine clean-coal stations forming the basis of the latest Power Development Plan (PDP) for 2015-2036. Egat officials have hinted coal is its energy source of choice because it is cheaper than renewable energies and because it wants to diversify from such a heavy percentage coming from gas.

Mr Draper and Mr Peerasit argue Thailand has overestimated its reserve margin — the amount of energy available over that used at peak demand — by choosing 15%. But the PDP implies reserve margins as high as 39% in some years, and these estimates are based on projected economic growth, another figure Thailand traditionally overestimates, putting it at over 4% when it is historically 3%. Krabi has been slated for two coal-fired power plants to be operational by 2019, but right now they are stuck in spin cycle. In August, the Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning (Onep) called on the

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tripartite panel considering the feasibility of Krabi’s first coal power plant to make a decision before the project’s environmental and health impact assessment (EHIA) would be considered. The panel consists of the Energy Ministry, the Krabi business sector and local civic groups in Krabi. Locals staged a massive protest outside Government House in defiance of the plan for the coal plant. Egat submitted its EHIA study for the plant in December 2014, but earlier this year Kasemsun Chinavaso, the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry’s permanent secretary, called on Egat to withdraw the EHIA. In February, an Onep expert committee raised questions about 17 issues in the report, including alternative choices, waste water management, the impact on air quality from the coalburning procedure, the impact on tourism and land use, ash management, health impacts on the community and public participation.

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Raweewan Bhuridej, Onep’s acting secretary-general, told the Bangkok Post her office still has several concerns about the “clean” technology claims made by Egat about the project. The state enterprise must ensure it uses the best technology to prevent any environmental impact, she said. “Actually, there is no zero-waste technology for a coal-fired power plant. The question is whether Egat is willing to shoulder high costs to prevent pollution problems and if it is really worth the investment,” said Ms Raweewan. “I suggest Egat keep an open mind and consider the locals’ proposals on alternative energy development.”


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Some 92% of respondents felt they enjoyed cleaner air before the coal plant started operating, 89% had sounder sleep and 74% felt the environmental quality had deteriorated. The findings for health were much the same, with 77% reporting fewer illnesses before the coal plants came in, as lung disease, asthma, tuberculosis, cough, colds, skin allergies and cardiovascular diseases were the main reported ailments. The average daily income of respondents from three of the four plant communities decreased from 199 to 105 pesos after the plants opened. Some 70% of respondents declared they had a better quality of life before the coal plant, and 61% preferred a future without the plants.

Freddie Obligacion, a research fellow based in the Philippines, wrote an editorial in The Nation in August about his surveys there of communities within a quarterkilometre of four coal plants about their environment, health and quality of life. The findings were sobering, and he hoped Thai authorities would consider them before locking themselves in to a future dedicated to coal.

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The Nuclear Option: Feasibility for Thailand’s Energy Mix By Eric Baker


f you ask around, the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) seems to be the only one who thinks the country actually has a nuclear programme.

But as Egat is the state enterprise that is responsible for the bulk of electric power generation and transmission in Thailand, that is a pretty important distinction. Egat’s power development plan (PDP) for 2012-2030, which has been revised several times, calls for the country to have 2,000 megawatts of installed nuclear capacity by 2026. Back in 2007, this nuclear power plant was scheduled to come online in 2020, but Egat was told to delay the programme six years “to promote public understanding”. After Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha seized power in a coup last year, he declared in August 2014 that the nuclear programme would be suspended as the country focused on coal-fired power plants and renewable energy to meet its power needs. Gen Prayut even went so far as to say building a nuclear power plant was “not possible”.


Thai military, currently ruling the country, seem unlikely to want to share this responsibility with a foreign company. Many energy analysts feel Egat’s stubborn insistence to keep including nuclear in its PDPs is because it is between a rock and a hard place concerning energy demand. The first commercial natural gas field in Thailand was discovered in 1981, and government planners have known for years the country needs new sources for its energy security as the nation’s main domestic output — natural gas — continues to dwindle. The Energy Ministry predicts the nation’s gas reserves will only last seven years.

Gen Prayut even went so far as to say building a nuclear power plant was “not possible”

But in reality the bigger obstacle to nuclear power in Thailand has always been public sentiment. Egat and the government are in a dogfight just to get its planned coal-fired power plants up and running, as public and civic groups protest vehemently. One has to think given the Fukushima disaster in Japan and general public opposition to nuclear power in most areas of the world, nuclear power would be an even tougher sell here than coal-fired power.

Partially because there has been so much opposition to coal-fired power plants here, Egat has opted to keep all its options open. Thailand’s energy generation by fuel type as of December 2013 is comprised of mainly natural gas (68%), while lignite and imported coal constitute close to 20% with renewable sources making up the remaining portion.

Thailand proposed developing a nuclear reactor back in the 1960s, and started in earnest to build one in the 1990s. But plans have been repeatedly thwarted and delayed, thanks to a combination of both public pressure and environmental and safety regulations.

Much of that natural gas comes from Myanmar, and Thailand wants to reduce its share of that fuel type to diversify against risk, improve its energy security, and because Myanmar is expected to start using more of its own fuel as it develops the economy.

Several scientists are optimistic that the world will develop a safer nuclear model in our lifetime, which could solve demand problems in a lot of countries. But until that time comes, analysts remain sceptical that Thailand would be able to manage a nuclear power plant on its own. And the

If and when Egat is allowed to restart its nuclear power plans, the power generator has a schedule for how it will proceed, according to a meeting Egat had with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in 2014 before the coup. The first phase is for the country to fully consider all aspects of nuclear power before it decides to launch

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The country carried out the self-evaluation and submitted a report to the IAEA in October 2010. A few months later the IAEA visited for a review, concluding “Thailand can make a knowledgeable decision on the introduction of nuclear power” because it addressed every issue in its readiness report.

Neuclear disaster waiting to happen? Not according to Egat. Photo: istockhphoto

a nuclear power programme. This three-year period is followed by a feasibility study. The second three-year phase involves preparatory work for the construction of a nuclear power plant, followed by an invitation for bids. The third phase is construction of a plant, taking six years, followed by commissioning. The last phase is maintenance and continuous infrastructure improvement while the plant is operating. Thailand already completed the first phase, setting up a nuclear power infrastructure establishment coordination committee, five subcommittees and a nuclear power programme development office. This group commenced work on establishing a nuclear programme infrastructure, surveyed potential sites for construction and conducted an initial environmental examination, and completed a nuclear power plant pre-feasibility study. This study included financing options, the technical and safety aspects of nuclear power, the fuel cycle and waste management, fuel and reactor supplier selection, site and environmental study, and human resources development.

Thailand still needs to continue with its “public awareness” initiative, and it has started to send scientists overseas for training and advanced courses to improve its human resources readiness should the nuclear power programme be restarted. According to its IAEA presentation, Egat plans a media blitz to educate the public about its nuclear power programme, including journals, magazines, newsletters, newspapers, radio, TV, social networks, websites, multimedia, books and posters. Thailand is also meant to collaborate with the Department of Non-Formal Education and Institute for the Promotion of Teaching Science and Technology to develop energy curriculums including nuclear power. Egat was especially adamant that a successful nuclear power programme here would require regional and international cooperation on information exchange, technical collaboration, sharing of best practices, and emergency preparedness and assistance.

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Oil and Gas: New Paradigm, or Past as Prologue? By Christopher Caillavet


ewsweek once asked the now-retired ExxonMobil chief executive Lee Raymond if he agreed with those who said the price of crude oil was in a long-term upward trend. With typical bluntness, the veteran oilman poured cold water on the theory. “I’m a skeptic,” he replied. “In 40 years, I’ve heard at least five or six times that we are going through a new paradigm in the oil price. It has never happened.” At the time of that 2004 interview, oil traded near $US57 a barrel. The next four years saw a seemingly relentless climb to an eye-watering $145 — the highest price on record — in July 2008. Then the bottom fell out. A financial crisis and subsequent global recession gutted energy demand. As 2008 came to a close, the oil price flirted with a humbling $30 a barrel. Vindication for Lee Raymond? Not so fast. The oil price snapped back almost as sharply as it had fallen, eventually settling into a trading range that rarely strayed far from $100. Then supply took its turn as the great leveller. Fracking technology unlocked hard-to-reach North American resources. The US screamed past Saudi Arabia as the world’s biggest oil producer (and eclipsed Russia in gas production). As the OPEC cartel squabbled, the oil price began to tumble anew in mid-2014. Somewhere, a former ExxonMobil boss was smiling. At this writing, crude hovers near $45 a barrel. What comes next? The Petroleum Institute of Thailand sounded a note of despair in a recent assessment, hinting that the current downswing could linger for years to come. “It is worse than the previous oil price crisis,” director Siri Jirapongphan told the Bangkok Post. “In the previous decrease we had China ready to absorb excess supply, to support the whole world, therefore it didn’t matter how long


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the US continued to sink into the black hole, as the euro zone should continue to take time to solve its public debts. But now that China is also showing signs of weariness, no one can help us.” For PTT Plc, Thailand’s state oil and gas firm and biggest company by revenue ($87 billion in 2014), these are testing times. Second-quarter net income fell by 19% to 23.75 billion baht. Reeling from inventory and foreign-exchange losses, PTT underwent a management reshuffle. New chief executive Tevin Vongvanich, promoted from the helm of PTT’s exploration and production arm, has vowed a full review of the group’s 300-billion-baht spending plan for 2015-19.

“The market is still struggling with a lot of inventory, and the market is still anticipating those Iranian barrels coming back” For the Thai government’s part, a new round of bidding on concessions for petroleum exploration may soon get the all-clear after years in limbo. Some bureaucratic housekeeping, namely a revised Petroleum Act, remains to be sorted. The granting of licences for 29 blocks spanning 66,463 square kilometres — originally set for 2008 but delayed by eco-activist protests and political unrest — will perhaps proceed by year-end if the relevant legal amendments are sewn up. Whoever wins those concessions will have plenty of company in global production. Soon to spring free from the shackles of economic sanctions, Iran plans to boost oil exports by half a million barrels a day in November, according to a Wall Street Journal report. Rates of extraction in Russia and Brazil are rising as well. “The market is still struggling with a lot of inventory, and the market is still anticipating those Iranian barrels

Sunset at PTTEP WP7 Platform in the Gulf of Thailand. Photo: Seth Villaflor

coming back,” David Zusman, chief investment officer at Talara Capital Management, told the Journal. Echoing Thai analysts, he predicted “a year or two” of low prices before the oil market rebalances.

turning to coal as a means of diversifying the power mix, but not without push-back. A proposed coal-fired plant in Krabi met with fierce opposition from local villagers and environmentalists, and the project is still up in the air.

The month of August brought a Thai cabinet shake-up after complaints that the existing team was ineffective in dealing with the moribund economy. The new energy minister, Anantaporn Kanjanarat, laid out a blueprint that included action on petroleum concessions, construction of coal-fired power plants and relegation of pricey solar power to a bit part in the country’s plans.

PTT plans to pursue mergers and acquisitions to shore up its long-term supply of petroleum, taking advantage while prices are still at a low ebb. It’s worth noting that Newsweek, in its bygone interview with Lee Raymond, mentioned an analysis by ExxonMobil strategists that projected non-OPEC supply beginning to fall by the year 2015 (in fact, there appears to be a glut).

The Energy Ministry is grappling with some fundamental realities. Thailand relies on gas for 70% of its power generation. Domestic resources are fast depleting. Much of the gas supply is imported from neighbouring Myanmar, in an arrangement prone to disruptions. The ministry is

The CEO’s perspicacious take: “I know what the planners say, but they come to me every 10 years saying the same thing, and the decline is always 10 years off. I just don’t see it happening.”

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Tapping a Wellspring of Potential: Small-Scale Hydropower in Thailand By Eric Baker


t’s been a long time coming, but Knut Kise is finally on the verge of introducing small-scale hydropower to Thailand. Not bad for a hobby.

Mr Kise has a degree in electrical engineering and has worked most of his life in offshore, computers and electronic archives. Even now he is working on a Statoil project in South Korea. But he never forgot his interest in hydropower, and after moving to Thailand and getting to know the area, he wondered why there wasn’t more small hydropower stations here, similar to Norway. “Thailand has mostly done large hydropower projects thus far,” said Mr Kise. The large companies here are doing mainly hydropower projects above 20 megawatts, while the non-governmental organisations do very small stations, from 100 kilowatts and below. I realised there is a gap between the two in Thailand where little is being done.” At a time when Thailand is scrambling to deal with rising power demand, trying to appease locals opposed to planned coal-fired power plants and unplanned nuclear power plants, Mr Kise is convinced small and medium-sized hydropower offers huge potential to the country. “Kasetsart University did a survey of the country and came up with 33,000 sites for hydropower facilities in Thailand of five KW or more. There is so much potential in this country,” he said. In 2009 Mr Kise together with his local supplier sent in a bid to Egat for development of a hydropower project. While he did not win the bid, Egat was extremely intrigued that it was for one-fifth the price expected on the terms of reference. “The bid papers described a 400-square metre power station four stories tall,” said Mr Kise. “Our proposal was for a 60-square-metre building. Egat was using the same specifications as for large stations. So even though we didn’t get the bid, I was invited to Egat to describe our philosophy and related technology. This piqued the interest of the executives even more, so we arranged a trip to Norway for some of them to see it for themselves.


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“This is when Egat began to understand the Norwegian philosophy. They saw several of these small power stations that were unmanned, locked away in a forest. They have a control system that shuts off the turbine if there is a problem and can automatically start up again when conditions call for it, so there is no reason to keep someone there. The station may be monitored and operated via the Internet. Energi Teknikk from Norway was then invited to give a presentation of small hydro power philosophy at Egat in 2012.

“I was surprised when I first came to Thailand because I didn’t think my hydropower plants had a chance.” Gryto powerplant in Norway developed by Energi Teknikk. Photo: PeltonMan/Wikipedia Commons

“After these presentations and the trip, Egat told us they would give us one of their projects, Mae Soi in northern Thailand, for us to show what we could do. “I was surprised when I first came to Thailand because I didn’t think my hydropower plants had a chance. I had expected that they would use mostly Chinese equipment here, but found that Thailand is very interested in European high quality equipment, with good user manuals, local support and available spare parts “We kept up with Mae Tang in Phrae, which is an irrigation dam, and Egat asked us about Mae Soi, which is a flood prevention dam. Mae Tang will have a 1.7 MW power plant and an investment cost of 80 million baht. Our project is fully financed, with the help of GIEK [the Norwegian Export Credit Guarantee Agency] which has agreed to loan us 85% of the money to buy equipment from Norway. We have teamed up with a local construction company which will do all the civil work (roads, building, pipes etc.). We will construct, own and operate the plant for 30 years, then

transfer it to the Thai government, free of charge. The tariffs from PEAE are acceptable too.

MW in the winter and summer and 5 MW in the spring and autumn.

“Our company just received initial acceptance for this project, which is the first private hydropower project in Thailand for 30 years. The process has taken six years, due to the fact that none of the government offices had rules or regulations for a private company building a power plant here. We still have to receive the final contract from the Royal Irrigation Department, but the outlook is promising. Hydropower makes up less than 5% of the total power share in Thailand, which is staggering when you think about the water resources here.

“The country also has quite a few sluice gates; you only need a minimum of two metres depth for a turbine to work there.

“Egat did a feasibility study on Mae Soi and estimated there was potential for a 2 MW power plant there. But the country has a two-tier tariff system, where the unit price is double for prime time. Since Mae Soi is only flood prevention, it has no restrictions on when to let out water. My proposal is a 2+3 MW power plant. From 10pm to 9am, you keep the flow down to 500 KW, but from 9am to 10pm, you increase it to 3

“Small hydro plants normally require a small 2-3 metres high pick-up dam. We then run a 40-60 cm pipe in between trees down to a small power house. We produce power when there is water and stop if there is no water.

A professor at Prince of Songkla University in Hat Yai did a survey of southern Thailand and mapped out 700 sites in the region that have potential for 100 KW to 2 MW hydropower plants. In addition, Thailand has a number of weirs in rivers and flood gates of two to 10 metres deep where you could put in a tubular turbine.

Energi Teknikk has developed a container solution with contains the turbine, generator main valve and the control

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All kinds of Telecommunication systems and equipment provider.

Continued from page 21

system. You have two connections, a nozzle where you put in the pipe and a power cable connection where we supply the electricity. This reduces the installation and start-up time to a few days.

Covering microwave transmission, IT network and payment solutions Nera is a major EDC Verifone/Spectra credit card terminal provider to Thai banks. The company is a specialist IT services and solutions provider, helping clients to plan, to build, to support and to manage their IT infrastructure.

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Call +352 43 88 77 77 to find out more about our service

In order to build a hydropower plant in Thailand, one needs to secure a local population vote. The villages have to say yes, and the local government also has to approve it. The locals are worried we are trying to steal the water or will spill oil into it. We assure them that the Irrigation Department controls the water, we are only generating electricity when the water is let out. On the bright side, we get a real feeling that the locals want to get rid of corruption, so they favor these small projects. “Our experience is to be successful in this field, you have to be here. The people have to get to know you before agreeing to a deal. “Once we get more established, we would like to contribute more to the communities where we work. We have talked about scholarships to send local kids to school. These power plants are fully automatic so you don’t need to employ a local to sit there, though the Thai government is probably going to want us to anyway. Therefore, we want to build local fish ponds and rent out tractors, and we are talking with Yara about improving crop yields through better fertiliser usage. We want to invest in things that will help the community and provide a return.


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“In Myanmar there is even more of a need for community development as well as power generating capacity. In fact, the demand for power in Myanmar is immense. Innovation Norway brought us in to the country a year and a half ago, and we have a 1 MW project we are working on there now. “Though we would like to build a foothold in Thailand first, we have explored several countries around Asia. We have been invited to Sri Lanka, the Philippines and Nepal, and we have looked at Thailand’s neighbours. Laos has mostly large hydropower projects, but it doesn’t have the infrastructure to distribute power. The country also has enough power for its own population, exporting most of it to the neighbouring countries. “Overall, Asia has an incredible amount of small-scale hydropower potential. And compared to large projects,

Knut Kise ready for action. Photo: private

small hydro is much faster. From the time we receive a licence, it takes one year until we are operational. That is plenty of time to build a power house and lay the pipes. Then it is only two weeks to start up operations. “The rule of thumb is to build a 1 MW power plant costs about 1 million USD. Construction costs 40% of that. Above 1 MW makes it cheaper, below is more expensive. The estimate is one Thai household uses 1 KW of power, enough for lighting, a refrigerator and a TV.” Mr Kise approached Energi Teknikk in Norway about supplying the equipment, but the company was hesitant about support so far away. Energi Teknikk thus asked Spirit Electricity to act as its agent in Thailand for sales and support, and plans are underway to train several Thai engineers in Norway. Spirit Electricity recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA Encom) to be a 25% investment partner in the Mae Soi project.

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Eltek Brings Green-Tower Power to the Developing World By Christopher Caillavet


n the long list of problems facing Mother Earth and her charges in the young 21st century, ecological despoliation and income disparity must rank high. This is especially so in developing countries, the historical Third World, where pollution is rife and natives often go without goods and services that Westerners take for granted.

Deep in the jungles of southwestern Cameroon lies the small village of Bokosso. Until recently it lacked a dedicated source of electricity, the villagers relying on kerosene lamps as they fumbled around in the dark of night. Then in August this year, capping a four-year effort spearheaded by SunErgy AS, Bokosso switched on its first electric lights and TV sets powered by off-grid solar panels installed by the Norwegian company. Plans call for duplicating Bokosso’s success in 92 more villages throughout Cameroon. SunErgy chief executive Stein Skjorshammer enthused about the project in a mini documentary: “I’m thinking about Frank Sinatra and his song ‘New York, New York’. And the song says, ‘If you can do it here, you can do it anywhere.’ And I would say that if you can do it in Bokosso, in the tropical rainforest, it can be done anywhere in the world.” In Bokosso it was done with the help of a partner, Eltek Power Systems, which provided the equipment for storing input from the solar panels and converting it to electric power suited for household appliances. Eltek was founded in Norway in 1971 with a focus on two businesses, telecom power systems and fire and emergency systems, the latter of which was sold when the company went public on the Oslo Stock Exchange in 1998. Today Eltek is wholly owned by Taiwan’s Delta Group and operates in 100 countries around the world, with annual revenue of US$500 million. Eltek’s Singapore-based executive vice-president for business development, Kenneth Bodahl, and the company’s country manager for Myanmar and Thailand, Sven Skaug, spoke to the Business Review about the key segment


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of green towers — telecom stations powered mainly by renewable sources.

In Myanmar, 76 million liters of diesel is estimated to be saved through the installation of 10,000 towers.

Each off grid/greenfield station is typicallya greenfield site spanning 15 by 15 metres and consisting of a base station with a radio tower, possibly shared by multiple telecom tenants, and some combination of solar panels, wind turbines and diesel generators. For its part, Eltek supplymakes the batteries that store power from diesel, solar, wind or the electricity grid, subject to local availability. The batteries collect energy when sources are available, then discharge it to feed the tower when sources are inactive, typically at night. “Wind complements solar quite well, because when the sun sets and rises you tend to get more wind,” Mr Bodahl said.

“Telecom systems consume 4% of the world’s produced energy, so energy efficiency is the key in this. It’s money, it’s environment, it’s everything.”

Even if the tower is near a grid — say, 300 or 400 metres away — the cost of putting up a transformer to deliver energy to the tower site is in the range of $30,000 to $70,000. In areas with no grid access, power from diesel, wind or solar is used to run the tower, with the excess stored in the Eltek batteries to be discharged later. The fastestgrowing markets for such hybrid stations are in Africa, the Middle East and parts of Asia like for example Myanmar.. “In Singapore alone, little Singapore, we have 6,000 systems; they are placed on rooftops, car parks, shopping malls,” Mr Bodahl said.

Eltek’s Dariusz Kowalczyk with the Bokosso team and Bokosso villagers. Photo: Eltek

“If you look at Africa, the thing in the past was that it was kind of acceptable that the network went down at night. So they could sustain operations from 6am to 12 midnight, then switch off the network. That’s not acceptable anymore. Even in Africa they have smartphones. In Myanmar, 65% of users on the network are active data users, 24/7. They use it for business, for private, for Facebook, for whatever. So the emerging markets are now basically overtaking the developed world when it comes to the technology on this, because they have wireless internet everywhere.” In areas with no grid availability, diesel is the standard means of producing energy. “And that’s, of course, extremely costly, noisy and dirty,” Mr Bodahl said. Indeed, dependency on diesel energy remains the Achilles’ heel of developing regions, particularly for those out-of-the-way villages detached from the power grid. “I think you can say in the range of 5 to 10%to 30% of the diesel that is distributed for telecom networks is not being delivered or is being stolen,” Mr Bodahl said. “So it’s well known all over the world that the ‘diesel mafia’ is significant. In Malaysia, we have installed a significant number of these hybrid systems, and diesel consumption went down 80%.”

“Telecom systems consume 4% of the world’s produced energy,” Mr Bodahl said. “So energy efficiency is the key in this. It’s money, it’s environment, it’s everything.” Traditionally, villagers in Cameroon would haul a single car battery by motorbike to a charging station and return home at night to “fire up a couple of light bulbs, an extremely inefficient way to get power”, he said.

“The way forward is towards more centralizsed and containerised power systems, with village power distributed to the village. Solar power can feed the telecom tower, and the surplus energy can go to the village. “What we focus on continuously is ensuring energy efficiency, lower cost of deployment and lower cost of ownership. And they have the same or higher expectations as us in the developed world with regard to the service. They’re so hungry for this new technology.” The Cameroon villagers will ultimately enjoy a range of 3G-level wireless services, though speed and bandwidth restrictions could limit the experience somewhat. “We have the technology, we have the expertise, and we have the people who can do it,” Mr Skaug said. “With some loan arrangements — from the Norwegian government, for example — we hope to lend these people money to speed up the process, because they don’t really have much money.” In the fullness of time, those souls may yet take for granted the simple act of flipping on a light switch.

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Challenges Facing the Mobile Telecom Tower Industry By Eric Baker


elecom tower companies face a threat from “mafia” trying to steal their diesel in areas where the power grid is not developed, especially in Myanmar and India. They use diesel generators and batteries to back up the system, as most telecom towers are required to provide network availability 24 hours a day.

There are many efforts underway to combat the diesel mafia, who often depend on siphoning off energy assets from the towers as their sole source of income, with Norway’s Eltek leading the way by promoting green energy telecom towers. The idea is if renewable energy is captured and stored at these base stations, it is a lot more difficult for people to steal it. Eltek has developed equipment that stores energy from renewable sources, be it solar, wind, fuel cell or diesel, and converts it to energy suitable for household appliances. In addition to diesel generators being noisy and spewing pollutants, it is estimated that up to a quarter of the diesel intended for telecom networks is not distributed or is stolen. Often the engineers who are assigned to run and maintain the telecom towers are the ones who work with the mafia to pilfer diesel, reported last year. It has gotten so bad in India some telecom operators believed the only way they could combat the diesel mafia was to shut down the tower, which of course hurt the company’s revenue and led to poor service quality in that area. A senior official of a tower company told the website diesel bills are typically inflated by 4-5% in India to compensate for the theft, and that it is the land owners on which the towers are located who are often the thieves. Some tower companies have tried to hire more retired police officers and army officials as security guards, but the diesel mafia can usually overpower them or buy them off. Another source who wished to remain anonymous told the website the land owners and security guards are the biggest hindrance to stopping diesel theft.


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A former manager of a telecom tower offered several solutions that mostly involve automating the system. He said decreasing the number of people involved in the diesel distribution process would lessen the likelihood of theft, as well as modifying the tank and locking mechanism of the diesel generators. Other methods include sealing the hour meter and cross-checking the diesel filling and load ratings of the generators. An automated shut-off switch when higher than normal diesel usage is detected, surprise visits by maintenance managers and requiring an automated card to access the diesel are all potential solutions to reducing diesel theft, but these are all geared to diesel-powered towers and miss the efficiency savings inherent in switching to alternative forms of energy.

There are many efforts underway to combat the diesel mafia, who often depend on siphoning off energy assets from the towers as their sole source of income. Eltek has had great success in rural Africa, specifically with solar power and CDC (charge-discharge cycling) battery hybrids. In some instances, the company can build a solar off-grid site consisting of a cabinet with a solar charger and a cyclic battery, providing 1-1.5 kilowatt per site. Solar seems to be the renewable energy choice for telecom towers to this point, mainly because of cost. The return on investment can be five to six years for wind power including the cost of the tower, turbine and interconnection with the telecoms system, said Eltek. Operators tend to look for a return on investment of less than two years, so the high cost and lack of commonality of turbines is limiting wind as a power choice. Fuel cells typically run on a gas, so the company has to pay to get the

already compete without subsidy with the more expensive parts of the traditional power market.” The key to tower companies switching to renewable energy sources are storing solutions through the use of hybrid batteries. There is also a movement afoot for energy supply companies (Escos), separate from the telecom tower company, to assume the responsibility and risks of power provision.

This fueltruck in Mongolia has seen better days. Photo: istockphoto

gas to the tower site, and also has to top up and monitor consumption. Solar power and a CDC battery hybrid avoids a lot of these obstacles, and offers an energy that is much harder to steal than diesel. It is also better for the environment, which has become a priority for several governments recently. Of course operators are most concerned with costs, and solar panels reducing by over 50% in price the past five years helps with the decision calculus. In fact, the price of solar cells is primed to keep dropping, according to Swanson’s law, as reported by The Economist: “Swanson’s law, named after Richard Swanson, the founder of SunPower, a big American solar-cell manufacturer, suggests that the cost of the photovoltaic cells needed to generate solar power falls by 20% with each doubling of global manufacturing capacity. The upshot is that the modules used to make solar-power plants now cost less than a dollar per watt of capacity. This means that in sunny regions such as California, photovoltaic power could

Experiences in India and Southeast Asia have provided three models for Escos. One is a fixed fee operating lease where the Esco puts the power equipment in and sells or leases it to a tower operator for a fixed cost over a fixed period. An energy-saving agreement sees the tower operator pay a percentage of the operating expense savings to the Esco on a monthly basis based on a comparison of costs before and after installation. Another solution is power purchase agreements, where an Esco installs, services and owns the power equipment and sells power to tower operators at an agreed upon rate. The problem is the Escos and tower operators have not been able to agree upon an acceptable rate thus far, so most of the Escos have used the fixed fee operating lease model. But this model does not ensure long-term value creation as the agreements are usually for the short term. Eltek proposes Escos could diversify their services to create more value or try to form joint ventures with equipment and service providers already engaged with telecom towers.

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Tips on How to Reduce Energy Bills By Eric Baker


e could all stand to save some baht on our power bills. Here are some minimal-effort tips on how to cut power consumption.

Motion sensors automatically turn lights on and off so you only pay for light when you need it. They’re great for bedrooms because they won’t turn on when you move in your sleep.

Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs)

Buy appliances with the level 5 energy efficiency label This label means the appliance meets certain energyefficiency guidelines set by the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat). The US’s Energy Star programme believes using appliances bearing its label can cut power bills by 30%. Just replacing an eight-year-old refrigerator with a new level 5 model can save up to 3,900 baht a year in electricity bills. Check with your utility company or local home centre for programmes for old appliance pick-up and recycling.

Service your air conditioner Roughly half of an average home’s annual energy bill (gas and electric) is spent on cooling. Air conditioners placed in direct sunlight use up to 10% more electricity. If yours sits in the sun, plant tall shrubs or shade trees nearby, but don’t enclose the unit or impede the airflow. Place window units


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Turn off your home electronics when you’re not using them Some 75% of the electrical use by home electronics occurs when they’re turned off, reports the US Energy Department. These “energy vampires” can cost an extra 3,500 baht per year, so unplug them or even better, use a power strip and unplug it.

Some switches are installed in junction boxes, others are wireless. You can also buy light fixtures with built-in motion sensors. You’ll need special motion sensors for electronic ballasts that control CFLs.

This is one of the quickest, easiest ways to save money. CFLs use about 75% less energy and last up to 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs. This can mean savings of up to 1,200 baht in electricity costs over the lifetime of each bulb. Thailand appears to have an Energy Star labelling programme that mimics the one designed by the US Environmental Protection Agency. Choose CFLs with the highest rating of five to get the greatest savings. Keep in mind that light fixtures with dimmers require special CFLs; read the label.

off. Be sure the timer you buy is rated for motors, not just lighting.

Install motion sensor switches

Use timers to control bath fans so the fan will run for a preset time to air out the room and then automatically turn

Continued on page 64

Home solar panels. Photo: istockphoto

on the north side of the house or install an awning over them.

A panel on doing business in India at the Norway-Asia Business Summit 2015. Photo NBAI


Keep your air conditioner tuned up so it runs at peak efficiency. Every two or three years, call in a professional to check the electrical parts and the refrigerant.

One of the leading providers of corporate and investment banking services to the international Energy, Offshore and Maritime community.

If you have a central air conditioner over 12 years old, replacing it with a level 5 energy efficiency model can cut your cooling costs by 30% and save on maintenance costs. Keep your vents open with this type of air conditioning, as closing vents raises energy costs. Also the air conditioner filter should be changed every other month to promote ideal air flow. Create better air flow by using fans more than air conditioners. If you have a ceiling fan and it’s hot, spin the fan counter-clockwise to push hot air up and out. Ideally, the traditional open-air Thai house should also help to keep air flow steady. Seal your home if you plan on using a lot of air conditioning. Invest in quality windows to make sure most of the cold air you are generating in your home stays there.


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Will Electric Vehicles Put a Charge into the Thai Market? By Eric Baker


ooming electric car sales in Norway are old news. The country is perhaps leading the world in transforming its market to electric vehicles, with the chair of the legislature’s Standing Committee on Energy and the Environment calling for a full switch to electric cars in Norway by 2025.

But will we see electric vehicles in Thailand? Before you double over in laughter, consider this: they are already here. In March of this year, Chinese car and battery maker BYD introduced an electric bus and sedan to the Thai market. Based on sales in other markets, the company expects to sell 200 units of each model in its first year. Because of their high prices, BYD along with its Thai partner Loxley aim to target fleet customers such as the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA), the Transport Co, Airports of Thailand, the Royal Thai Police and taxi companies. The concept seems to be gaining some ground. A couple of months later in May, King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Lat Krabang and BMTA started a pilot programme with one electric bus operating a route between the former’s campus and Airport Link Lat Krabang. The bus can travel 250 kilometres on a single charge with a top speed of 70kmph. It needs four to five hours to fully charge and is equipped with ramps for wheelchair users. It’s also GPS-enabled for commuters to track its location. Even though it’s a pilot programme, the university and BMTA already signed a deal to expand the project, share research and coordinate future plans to replace over 3,000 Bangkok buses, which they say would reduce diesel fuel consumption by 120 million litres and carbon emissions by 320,000 tonnes per year. Then in June 2015, the BMTA announced it was giving free rides on three routes via its electric bus for the month. The authority was hoping to purchase 400 to 500 electric buses for use in the capital later this year, but as of press time no action had been taken. The BMTA’s acting director noted

Nissan’s electric car “Nissan Leaf” is being charged at the charging station of Nissan’s global headquarters located in Yokohama, Japan. Photo: istockhoto

in June that though electric buses are three times more expensive than natural gas-fueled buses, in the long run the former should be more cost-efficient. The starting price in Thailand for BYD’s sedan is 3 million baht, while the bus is 12 million. Loxley was lobbying for government support of the vehicles through tax breaks for completely knocked-down kits imported for assembly in this country. BYD created a novel leasing programme that helped it win a public tender in Brazil. As the batteries for electric vehicles make them more expensive than cars that use fossil fuels, BYD offered a leasing option by which taxi companies and drivers can get cars without batteries at the same price they would pay for a regular car, then leased the batteries. Electric buses had the same offer, and the money that would have been spent on fuel pays for the battery leasing. There is even a Thai company, Electric Vehicles (Thailand) Co Ltd, that produces mainly golf carts, scooters and shuttle buses. But industry veterans know the introduction of electric cars will take time in the kingdom, not least because Loxley plans to set up only five service centres and charging stations here initially. Further confirmation that old habits die hard was the news in August that the BMTA axed its plan to sell 2,860 old and decommissioned buses for new natural gas fueled-buses because there are not enough natural gas filling stations in the country. The old buses will instead be repaired and returned to service.

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DNV-GL brings a global standard to Thai hospitals By Eric Baker


s Thailand starts to become a global hub for expatriate healthcare services, it makes sense that hospitals would strive to receive accreditation from the leading global certification bodies.

The World Medical Center on Chaeng Watthana Road was the first Thai facility to receive accreditation from DNV-GL, a Norwegian multinational company that is one of the world leaders in verification, assessment, training and certification. The certificate of accreditation was presented on July 2, with Ambassador Kjetil Paulsen on hand to deliver the certificate. The accreditation means patients should feel more confident about using the World Medical Center’s facilities because DNV-GL has scrutinised all of its processes. “We check the environmental, quality and enterprise risk for the hospital,” said Stephen Leyshon, the global clinical officer and principal advisor in patient safety for DNV-GL. “How does hospital management control risk from viruses and contamination? Does the hospital follow workplace health and safety regulations? What kind of energy and environmental policies does the hospital have in place? Accreditation means the hospital operates under ethical medical rules and uses the latest technology. “Most importantly, we check to make sure risks are known and minimised, as that is DNV-GL’s core competency.” DNV-GL has certified 2,400 healthcare providers worldwide and collaborated with the World Health Organization to produce a guide for leadership on quality and safety. It was the first to create a managing infection risk standard and worked with hundreds of hospitals in the US and China to address risk management. “Independent research proves organisations that have done this accreditation and testing are safer than those that have not,” said Mr Leyshon, also a registered nurse with 25 years of experience in healthcare. “In theory this should mean you are getting better care at an accredited hospital.”


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Global healthcare providers face several obstacles now: hospitals are still considered unsafe by some, as complications there are listed as the 14th-leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the world; there is unequal access, as the 34 OECD countries have 18% of the global population but make up 84% of the total spending on health; there is often fragmented care along a patient’s journey; hospitals need to change their focus to an epidemic of diabetes and obesity; climate change is leading to new disease patterns and food and water scarcity; rising healthcare costs make up 10% of the GDP in OECD countries now, but could reach 14% by 2060; there is much focus on acute care now but very little on prevention; and there is a shortage of workers, as it is predicted by 2025 the US will be short of 500,000 nurses and 125,000 doctors.

“Standards and accreditation help organisations to continuously improve and enact sustainable change because standards force you to look at your culture, resource allocation, understanding and emerging threats to plan and lead change.”

DNV-GL cannot solve these problems, but it can make sure hospitals have developed processes to deal with them. “There is a tendency to confuse good luck with good processes,” said Mr Leyshon. “That’s why DNV-GL focuses on the solid foundations of training, procedures and standardisation, and shared discipline to assess healthcare facilities. We first have to listen and pay attention to what is happening at the hospital. DNV-GL has developed a framework for seeing relationships rather than things,

Norwegian Ambassador, H.E. Kjetil Paulsen hands over the DNV-GL’s International Accreditation Certificate to World Medical Center in Thailand. Photo: DNV-GL

looking for patterns. The goal is more distributed risk with a person-centred approach to healthcare. “Standards and accreditation help organisations to continuously improve and enact sustainable change because standards force you to look at your culture, resource allocation, understanding and emerging threats to plan and lead change.” DNV-GL uses the Chelmsford private hospital in Australia for its case study in how a lack of risk calculus can lead to huge problems. The hospital used deep sleep therapy for its mental health patients from 1963 to 1979, relying on a cocktail of barbiturates that kept patients in a coma for up to 39 days. It also administered repeated electroconvulsive therapy to patients. Finally there were enough complaints that an inquiry was raised about patient deaths and injury.

Some 20-30 patients died while in treatment at the hospital and over a thousand survivors were left traumatised. One doctor at the hospital committed suicide over the investigation, a whistleblower had to leave the country for fear of his safety, and it led to a loss of trust in psychiatry in Australia. The country paid AUD 5.5 million in compensation payments. In studying the case, DNV-GL found a lack of oversight when introducing new therapies, a lack of data monitoring of processing and outcomes, ineffective regulations, and a questionable relationship between the healthcare provider and the policymakers. The hospital had a poor safety culture because felt unable to challenge the authority of those above them and the hospital failed to listen to patients. Social conditions were such that politicians felt

Thai-Norwegian Business Review


Continued from page 39

DNV-GL’s Stephen Leyshon, Global Clinical Officer and Principal Advisor in Patient Safety speaks at the ceremony at World Medical Center

comfortable questioning treatment by doctors, and the hospital had a charismatic leader able to persuade others to support unproven therapy methods. The requirements of the DNV-GL international healthcare accreditation are based upon those in DNV-GL’s NIAHO standards that have been approved by the US government’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. The international requirements have been adapted so as to have applicability globally, with sensitivity to local laws, practices and regulations, and have been accredited by the International Society for Quality in Health Care. The programme is designed to support the development and continual improvement of healthcare quality and patient safety in organisations. It also addresses general safety for workers, patients and visitors. The accreditation assesses key areas such as quality management systems and governance, pro-active risk management, high-risk services such as anaesthesia, obstetrics and emergency room, medication management, patient rights and the physical environment.

Knowledge fosters an organisation’s ability to embed standards and create lasting cultural change. DNV-GL offers training course to enhance preparation and understanding of its accreditation requirements. They include an accreditation foundation course (one day), and accreditation internal surveyor course (two days), and an accreditation implementation course (three to four days). DNV-GL’s managing infection risk programme is the first in its class and aims to use a structure based upon 18 elements that address all areas associated with the design, operation and management of healthcare facilities. The programme should reduce the potential for harm to patients, visitors and staff through a structured approach, thereby improving business performance and creating a significant competitive advantage through the reduction of errors, leading to a better reputation and higher cost savings.

Thai-Norwegian Business Review


Summer Party 2015 Summer was in the air when the Thai-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce arranged its annual pre-vacation bash on Thursday 11 June 2015 at Red Sky at Centara Grand at Central World. Free flow of Norwegian beer from Nøgne Ă˜ was sponsored by Beervana. This was also a chance for us to say farewell to Erik Svedahl, Minister Counsellor at the Royal Norwegian Embassy and thank him for his contribution to the chamber board.

The Dream of the Kra Canal Never Dies By Eric Baker

17 kilometres off the coast of Ca Mau, Vietnam’s southern-most province. The project was approved by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung. Vietnam couched its interest in this port in terms of wanting more abundant coal imports in the face of rapidly skyrocketing energy demand. But Graham Ong-Webb wrote in The Straits Times last month that the project didn’t really make financial sense unless Vietnam expected to gain from traffic through a Kra Canal.


he idea of building a canal through a narrow stretch of land in southern Thailand, linking the Pacific and Indian oceans, is at least two centuries old. Southeast Asia’s power du jour has long wanted a way to bypass the Strait of Malacca for countless reasons: geopolitics, avoiding piracy, cost savings and commerce potential being the main issues.

A canal across the Kra Isthmus, running from Songkhla to Satun provinces, is back in the news because Chinese media reported former Thai prime minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh signed a memorandum of understanding with Chinese businessmen in May to finance the waterway for USD 28 billion. But Gen Chavalit shot down that rumour almost as soon as it was published. Then in July, Vietnam announced it would build the USD 2.5-billion deep-water Hon Khoai Port on an island


Thai-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce

“The project has undergone two different configurations, but both set-ups cater to commodities beyond coal,” wrote Mr Ong-Webb.“The current configuration is the outcome of the 2015 feasibility study undertaken by Bechtel Corporation, the largest US construction and civil engineering company, in a deal signed with Vietnamese firm Van Phong. This set-up will see 12 transhipment berths planned for the port, half of which will be dedicated to non-coal imports. “The previous configuration, by the Vietnam Marine Administration in partnership with Australian-based N&M Commodities, called for 24 piers in which only half were for coal. The rest would cater to bulk goods, containers, petroleum, LNG (liquefied natural gas) and roll-on/ roll-off ships designed to carry wheeled cargo – the very commodities and products that would pass through the Kra Canal and coming from as far as the Middle East and Europe. “If the current arrangement with Bechtel follows through, Hon Khoai Port pins US commercial interests right at the centre of the new geo-economic picture shaped by the transformative power of the Kra Canal. In addition to the strong American clout brought in through Bechtel, it is also reported that 85% of the port will be financed by the US Export-Import Bank.

“Ex-Im Bank, as it is known, is the US export credit agency. The role of Bechtel and Ex-Im Bank likely signals strategic movements by the US to ensure it does not find itself on the outside of an Asian economic architecture being shaped by China.” A Kra Canal would also offer China several benefits as it recently announced its One Belt, One Road scheme that will attempt to create a Silk Road Economic Belt and a Maritime Silk Road. The goal is to create an economic sphere that is home to two-thirds of the globe’s population, and a 1,200 kilometre shortcut between Europe, North Africa and the Middle East and East Asia would certainly be enticing to cargo shippers. Chinese involvement would likely see its newly founded Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank involved in megaprojects such as a Kra Canal, said Mr Ong-Webb. Back during the George W. Bush administration, the US Defense Department concocted its “String of Pearls” theory that China was attempting to strategically strangle India by encircling it with leased naval bases. This theory was widely discredited, but China does have a tendency for expansionist tactics. Even though analysts give the One Belt, One Road about the same flimsy chances of materialising as the Kra Canal, the impact would be profound were the latter ever to come about. First and foremost, trade has always been Singapore’s claim to fame. In fact, it’s the sole reason the city-state exists. A Kra Canal would be a massive body blow to one of the region’s economic miracles.

The Panama Canal. Will the Kra Kanal in Thailand offer the same facilities? Photo: istockphoto

But most importantly, and the main reason a Kra Canal will not happen, Thailand would be drawing a very definitive boundary around its restive Deep South provinces, potentially igniting further ethno-religious security issues and continuing some two decades of violence. The Thai government has been able to do little to stop the insurgency in the Deep South, and only recently found out what the goals of the rebel groups are and who they represent. Given the ham-fisted way the Thai government and military have dealt with the region thus far, it is unlikely they would literally cut themselves off from the region.

Malaysia and Indonesia would also be affected economically, further straining relations between mainland ASEAN countries and maritime ASEAN members. A canal would physically and symbolically divide the two groups.

Like a siren, the lure of the Kra Canal keeps roping in curious investors. Yet the best advice is not to hold your breath. Thailand’s history is littered with failed projects to the point that it is something of a minor miracle when an infrastructure project does come to pass. And given the number of vested interests involved in a massive regional project such as this canal, it is hard to deny there would be too many fingers in the pie.

Whichever country was able to finance the canal, be it China, the US, Japan, would be thought to gain considerable leverage in a region where all three are angling for influence.

Particularly with the Kra Canal, whether it was Japan in the 1930s, China in the past decade, or Vietnam now, consider other alternatives because the odds continue to remain against it.

Thai-Norwegian Business Review



Since 1986, A & S Thai Works has established itself as a leading developer and manufacturer of high quality fishmeal plants in the Asia Pacific region, with more than 260 plants delivered. Based in Thailand but true to our Norwegian quality heritage, we have opened the market for fishmeal production in several Asian countries. By taking care of the complete process, from design and planning to installation and commissioning, we ensure that our customers enjoy reliable and profitable production for years. After opening offices in Vietnam and Myanmar, we have recently established an office in The Philippines with the purpose of serving our existing customers there and participate in the modernisation of the fish and seafood industry. A & S Thai Works Co., Ltd., 99/199 Moo 1, Theparak Road Km 22, Bangsaothong, Samut Prakan 10540, Thailand Tel.: +66 2313 1540, Fax: +66 2313 1550, Email:

Other bits and pieces Petrol/litre (95 E10) NOK: TH Petrol/litre (95 Octane) NOK: NO McDonald BigMac price NOK: TH McDonald BigMac price NOK: NO Sources:




6.07 14.40 16.11 40.00









Stock Exchange Index (SET)

Exchange Rates 7.00 6.50 6.00 5.50 5.00 4.50 4.00 3.50

1,800 1,600 1,400 1,200 1,000 800 600 400

2000=100 1200 1000 800 600 400 200 0

180 160 140 120

100 Basic Figures: BOI. Comparisons: Wikipedia. GDP/Capita and Thai Population: Wikipedia/IMF. Thai GDP and CPI: Bank of Thailand. Quarterly GDP: NESDB. SET: Stock Exchange of Thailand. Exchange Rate THB/NOK: OANDA. Manufacturing Production Index: Thailand’s Ministry of Commerce. Bilateral Trade: Statistics Norway. Petrol and BigMac prices as of 17 October 2015


Bilateral trade 2014

Manufacturing Index 200

Apr15 May15 Jun15 Jul15 Aug15 Sep15


0 -1

2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014


2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014

A & S Thai Works Expands to The Philippines

69.9 mill 5.0 mill 10,300,000 875,000 71/76 79/83


0801 0807 0901 0907 1001 1007 1101 1107 1201 1207 1301 1307 1401 1407 1501 1507



Import 1,348 (1,550) MNOK Export 3,906 (2,494) MNOK

Chemicals Fish Pulp Engineering Others Metal prod Electronics Food Cloth/Text Machinery Cars Computers Others

Geography Geographic Area: TH 514,000 sq. km Geographic Area NO: 385,199 sq. km Highest peak TH: Doi Inthanon 2,565 m Highest peak NO: Galdhøpiggen 2,469 m Inland water areas TH: 2,230 km Inland water areas NO: 16,360 km Coastline TH: 3,219 km Coastline NO: 25,148 km Demographics Population TH: Population NO: Population Bangkok: Population Oslo: Life expectancy M/F TH: Life expectancy M/F NO:




Some comparisons


Thai Consumer Price Index






Thai GDP Growth (%)


One to nine books: THB 2,000 each plus VAT Ten or more books: THB 1,500 each plus VAT Available at the Thai-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce

80+ 70-74 60-64 50-54 40-44 30-34 20-24 10-14 0-4






พระบ�ทสมเด็ จ พระจุ ล จอมเกล้ � เจ้ � อยู ่ ห ั ว 24 กรกฎ�คม ค.ศ. 1907 197 Photo: King Chulalongkorn


King Chulalongkorn, July 24, 1907



“…they say that their church design is ‘old Norwegian’ although it is very similar to the design of temples in Myanmar…” “วัดนั้นทำ�ด้วยไม้ชำ�ฉ�ทั้งสิ้น แต่ได้สร้�งม�แล้วถึง ๘๐๐ ปีเศษ จนกร่อนหรอในที่ต่�งๆ รูปร่�งทรวดทรงเปน อย่�งนอรวิเยียนแท้ คล้�ยรูปวัดพม่�ม�ก”

Top 10 Exports Jan-Jul15 %/value USD bill Motor Cars and automotive 11.6%/14.5 EDP equipment 8.0%/10.1 Precious stones/jewellery 4.8%/6.0 Refined fuels 3.9%/4.9 Polymers etc. 3.9%/4.9 Electronic integrated circuits 3.4%/4.2 Rubber products 3.4%/4.2 Machinery and parts thereof 3.3%/4.1 Chemical products 3.2%/4.0 Iron and steel and their products 2.5%/3.2



พระบาทสมเด็ จ พระจุ ล จอมเกล้ า เจ้ า อยู ่ ห ั ว 12 กรกฎาคม ค.ศ. 1907


Norway’s buildings consume only 37% of the country’s energy and generate less than 5% of its greenhouse gas emissions because hydroelectric power is used for central heating. In Europe buildings generate 40% or more of the greenhouse gas emissions.

King Chulalongkorn, July 12, 1907

“วันนี้นับว่าเปนวันขากลับ ถึงว่าวันข้างหลัง ยังมากกว่าวันข้างน่าที่ล่วงไปแล้วก็รู้สึกว่า เปนขากลับ มันขรึมๆ ในใจอยู่นั่นเอง โล่งว่ากระไรก็ไม่รู้ แปลว่าคิดถึงบ้านเท่านั้น” “วันนี้กรมขุนสมมตบอกศักราชตามธรรมเนียม ที่เคยบอกกันเมื่อบ่ายหัวเรือกลับ แต่บอกวิเศษขึ้นทบอกภาษามคธด้วย”




อ�ค�รต่�งๆ ในนอร์เวย์ใช้พลังง�นของประเทศ เพียงร้อยละ 37 และก่อให้เกิดก๊�ซเรือนกระจก น้อยกว่�ร้อยละ 5 ทั้งนี้เพร�ะมีก�รนำ�ไฟฟ้� พลังน้ ม�ใช้ในระบบทำ�คว�มร้อนให้กับอ�ค�ร ในขณะที่อ�ค�รในยุโรปก่อให้เกิดก�ร ปล่อยก๊�ซเรือนกระจกถึงร้อยละ 40 หรือ ม�กกว่�นั้น

“…as our ship turned around for the journey home… Prince Sommot proclaimed in Magadhi that “a new chapter in life had begun”…”



Mar15 Apr15 May15 Jun15 Jul15 Aug15

Can be aquired exclusively through the Thai-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce: Telephone: 02 650 8444















Norway is rightly famous for its winter display of the Northern Lights, or aurora borealis in Latin, which draws large numbers of visitors every year to Norway’s vast northern wonderland.




มหัศจรรย์แห่งธรรมชาติอันเลื่องชื่อของ นอร์เวย์ ได้แก่ปรากฏการณ์แสงเหนือในช่วง ฤดูหนาว หรือ “ออโรรา โบเรลลีส” ที่ดึงดูด นักท่องเที่ยวจำานวนมากให้มาเยือนดินแดน มหัศจรรย์ทางตอนเหนือของนอร์เวย์ทุกๆ ปี

Thai Population 2012



พระบาทสมเด็ จ พระจุ ล จอมเกล้ า เจ้ า อยู ่ ห ั ว 19 กรกฎาคม ค.ศ. 1907

GDP/Capita 2015 (TUSD)


King Chulalongkorn, July 19, 1907

“ห่างจากนอทเคปไม่ถึง ๕๐๐ ไมล์ อาจจะเห็นพระอาทิตย์ในเวลาเที่ยงคืน อาจจะเห็นนอทไลต์ แสงสว่างข้างฝ่ายเหนือ ซึ่งเปนโอภาศอันควรจะพิศวง”

Export Growth 2014 -0.3% Export Growth 2015 projected 3.5% Trade Balance USD 24.6 bill Current Account Balance USD 13.1 bill International Reserves USD 157.1 bill Minimum wage (Bangkok) Baht 300/day Unemployment 0.7% Corporate income Tax 10-20% Withholding Tax 0-15% Value Added Tax 7% Personal income Tax 0-35%


“…we fortunately witnessed both the midnight sun and the northern light phenomena from here…”


Basic Figures Thailand (2014)





200 Pages Collector’s Edition In Thai and English 64cm x 24cm Hard Cover




PM BE 4:47


EN 8/21/57 15





Thailand’s Economy at a Glance




To celebrate more than a century of close relations between Norway and Thailand, the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Bangkok has produced a 200 page book entitled ‘Modern Norway Then and Now’, presenting H.M. King Chulalongkorn’s impressions and photographs from his visit to Norway in 1907, with images of the modern Norway of today.

Thailand’s Economy at a Glance

Thai-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce

Thai-Norwegian Business Review


Membership Directory

Honorary member H.E. Mr. Kjetil Paulsen Ambassador Royal Norwegian Embassy Tel: +66 (0) 2204 6500 Fax: +66 (0) 2262 0218 Email:

Honorary member and Senior Advisor to the Board Dr. Kristian Bø 234/237 Discovery Place, Soi 23 Khlong 7, Pathun Thani, 12110 Thanyaburi Tel: +66 (0) 2957 0111 Fax: +66 (0) 2957 0222 Mob:+66 (0) 8 9129 9993 E-mail:

Board of Governors President


Ms. Vibeke Lyssand Leirvåg Felicia (Thailand) Ltd. Tel: +66 (0) 2637 6981 Fax: +66 (0) 2637 6997 Email:

Ms. Aina Eidsvik Aibel (Thailand) Ltd. Tel.: +66 (0) 3300 4040 Fax: +66 (0) 3300 4041 Email:

Vice President

Ms. Piyanuj (Lui) Ratprasatporn Tilleke & Gibbins International Ltd. Tel: +66 (0) 2653 5555 Fax: +66 (0) 2653 5678 Email:

Mr. Tom Varghese Telenor Asia (ROH) Ltd. Tel: +66 (0) 2637 04700 Fax: +66 (0) 2637 04726 Email:

Dr. Paisan Etitum, Ph.D Thai Transmission Industry Co., Ltd. Tel: +66 (0) 2678 6640 Fax: +66 (0) 2678 6649 Email:

Mr. Sverre Pedersen Total Access Communications PLC Tel: +66 (0) 2202 8000 Fax: +66 (0) 2202 8828 Email:

Mr. Alejandro Vollert Yara Thailand Tel.: +66 (0) 2664 9498 Fax: +66 (0) 2664 7488 Email:

Mr. Trond Tønjum Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (Thailand) Tel: +66 (0) 2652 6400 Fax: +66 (0) 2652 6401 Email:

Mr. Axel Blom Blue Business Solutions Ltd. Tel: +66 (0) 2627 3040 Fax: +66 (0) 2627 3042 Email: axel.blom

Mr. Michael Shum Jotun Thailand Ltd. Tel: +66 (0) 2022 9888 Fax: +66 (0) 3821 4373 Email:

Observer Mr. Erik Svedahl Minister Counsellor Royal Norwegian Embassy Tel: +66 (0) 2204 6500 Fax: +66 (0) 2262 0218 Email:


Thai-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce

Vice President Major Choakdee Dhamasaroj Nera (Thailand) Ltd. Tel: +66 (0) 2664 1464 Fax: +66 (0) 2664 4002 Email:

Thai-Norwegian Business Review


Continued from page 29

Use a water heater timer If you only use an electric water heater at certain times of the day, you’re wasting electricity keeping the water hot all day. Install an electronic timer and schedule it for the times you need to heat the water. To make your water heater even more efficient, drain the tank and flush out the sediment at the bottom.

Use a smart meter This tip might cost a little money, but could be worthwhile for heavy energy consumption households. The utility installs a smart meter that tracks how much electricity you’re using, making sure if the power grid nears capacity, the utility can shut off major appliances in the home for a short period (such as 15 minutes per hour). Some programmes pay for homeowners to sign up. Others let you choose off-peak hours (in Thailand, from 10pm to 9am), when power is the cheapest. Smart metering makes the most sense if you’re away from home all day — you won’t notice or care if things get turned off. Egat, the Provincial Electricity Authority and the Thai Energy Regulatory Commission are doing a feasibility study now about whether to offer the technology. Contact your utility or regulator and express your interest in the scheme.

Clean your refrigerator coils Your refrigerator uses more electricity than all your other kitchen appliances combined. To keep its energy costs down, clean the coils twice a year, which improves efficiency by 30-50%. Your fridge and freezer run more efficiently when they’re full. Put water containers in the fridge and ice bags in your freezer to keep them filled. Keep the refrigerator setting between 1.6 and 3.3 degrees and the freezer between -18 and -15 degrees.


Thai-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce

Refrigerator door seals wear out over time. Test your seal by closing a baht bill in the door. If it pulls out easily, replace the seal. If your fridge was made before 2001, it’s using at least 40% more power than the new level 5 models. Don’t hook up the old refrigerator in the basement or garage — any money you save buying food in bulk and storing it in an inefficient second fridge is lost in power costs.

Clean out dryer lint Not many people in Thailand have a clothes dryer, but a clogged lint screen or dryer duct drastically reduces the efficiency of your dryer. Clean the lint screen after each load and clean the exhaust duct once a year. You may be able to find an auger brush that attaches to a drill to clean out the ducts at home centres. A dirty lint screen can cause the dryer to use up to 30% more energy. Lint buildup is also a common cause of fires. Dry loads of laundry back-to-back so the dryer doesn’t cool down between loads (a warm dryer uses less energy). And only run the dryer until the clothes are dry. Overdrying damages your clothes and runs up your electric bill. When shopping for a new dryer, keep in mind a gas dryer is more efficient than an electric model.

Wash clothes using cold water Washer and dryer manufacturer LG Electronics reports heating the water in the wash drum accounts for about 90% of the energy your machine uses. Using cold water in the wash cycle is cheaper, and it won’t cause colours to run so easily, meaning you don’t have to separate lights and darks. Much of the information for this article was provided by

Bringing Internet for All with scandinasian passion

Mobile connectivity is for the many, not just the few. Bringing Internet for All means rolling out and managing vast mobile networks in far-flung areas, distributing SIM cards where where few people have set foot, and delivering digital services that people find useful and entertaining. Manisha is one of 21,000 Telenor employees in Asia who share a mission to bring the power of digital communication to as many people as possible. Looking after our supply chain sustainability, she has helped bring our Indian supply chain to award-winning quality levels. Now she is ensuring the same Telenor quality and sustainability in Myanmar.