ASEAN Biweekly News Updates-January 13- January 25

Demand for Decarbonise Loans increased significantly; 15 million tonnes of lithium found in Thailand; Relocations to Southeast Asia; 7-Eleven Malaysia launched the 7EGoGreen campaign; Getting ready for the green utility tariff; Thailand's GDP growth forecast for 2024 upgraded; Feasibility study on a green hydrogen project; hailand announces genuine funds for Green Investment; Banpu Signs THB 2.4 Billion Agreement; JS Solar and Samaiden bag the RM100 million Kulim project; First large-scale green hydrogen production project in Malaysia signed

Demand for Decarbonise Loans increased significantly as SMEs explore green operations

In fiscal year 2024, 158 small and medium-sized (SMEs) requested for a total of 1.9 billion baht through the Thai SME Fund’s Decabonise Loan, surpassing the 1.4 billion baht amount from the previous fiscal year.

The government-sponsored fund is offering loans to SME operators who want to improve or invest facilities and equipment that have a lower environmental impact—particularly by lowering the amount of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere.

The director at the Office of Thai SME Fund said that they were surprised by the volume of loans applied for in this fiscal year. Consequently, the office was forced to decide whether to start a new loan programme with comparable advantages or raise the Decarbonise Loan fund limit by an additional 2 billion baht.

T小編按: 這項貸款旨在促進環保實踐,支持投資於減少二氧化碳排放設備的中小企業經營者。泰國中小企業基金辦公室最初在2024財年為去碳貸款撥款了15億泰銖,但由於需求激增,正在考慮將基金上限增加20億泰銖或推出一個新的類似貸款計劃。這股需求激增表明中小企業在採用綠色經營方面的興趣日益增長。

15 million tonnes of lithium found in Thailand

According to a government official on Friday, Thailand discovered over 15 million tonnes of lithium deposits, which is good news for the country’s ambition to become a regional centre for the manufacture of electric vehicles.

After Bolivia and Argentina, Thailand now boasts the third-largest lithium reserves, however it’s unclear how much of these can be used for commercial purposes.

According to government deputy spokeswoman Rudklao Intawong Suwankiri, the 14.8 million tonnes of lithium are split between two different locations in the southern province of Phang Nga, The Nation television station said.


Geopolitical tensions still drives relocations to Southeast Asia

Over the past two years, geopolitical tensions have forced global investors to move or expand their manufacturing bases to Southeast Asia; nonetheless, the region’s ability to sustain emerging sectors and its infrastructure have allowed it to preserve its advantage in luring new investment.

Among the places that benefited from the production base relocation were Thailand and Vietnam.

Vietnam has triumphed in the electronic industry, particularly in terms of components for smartphones and other electrical devices, while Thailand has an edge in the automotive sector.

The company also anticipates that as EV sales increase, more foreign investors in the automotive industry will locate their operations in Thailand.

T小編按: 泰國已將自己定位為汽車行業的領導者。隨著電動車(EV)銷售預期上升,公司預計更多外國投資者將選擇泰國作為其業務的戰略位置,進一步增強該地區對全球投資的吸引力。

7-Eleven Malaysia launched the 7EGoGreen campaign

The 7EGoGreen Waste2Life campaign has been introduced by 7-Eleven Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. (7-Eleven). Through the collection of recyclables, this year-long programme seeks to educate, empower, and promote recycling behaviours among Projek Perumahan Rakyat (PPR) people. Knowledge-sharing events will also be a part of the initiative to give locals access to precise recycling information. Together with NGOHub and Alam Flora Environment Solutions (AFES), the campaign will be carried out.

Through its “Buy Back” scheme, AFES will provide people with cash incentives for bringing in recycled materials. When recycling 500g or more of recyclable cardboard and plastic, participants will also receive a 7-Eleven treat bag in addition to the monetary incentive from AFES.

T: 7-Eleven馬來西亞推出了為期一年的7EGoGreen Waste2Life活動,旨在促進住在Perumahan RakyatPPR)項目的居民之間的回收行為。這項活動反映了7-Eleven馬來西亞對環境可持續性和社區參與的承諾。

Getting ready for the green utility tariff

It is anticipated that the announcement of a green utility tariff (GUT), scheduled for February will represent a major advancement in the utilization of renewable energy to boost local businesses and attract global investment.

In addition to infrastructure to support operations, clean power is a must for many companies looking to grow into Thailand in order to meet their carbon reduction goals.

Users can determine how much they must pay for clean power, and suppliers of renewable energy will know how much they will profit from electricity sales once the GUT’s specifics are revealed.

T小編按: 2月即將宣布的綠色公用事業費率(GUT)將成為利用可再生能源促進經濟增長並吸引全球投資的一個重要里程碑。

Thailand’s GDP growth forecast for 2024 upgraded by the IMF

Thai GDP growth is predicted by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to reach 4.4% this year, up from 2.5% in 2023. According to the IMF Executive Board 2023 Article IV Consultation with Thailand, which was released on Monday, headline inflation is predicted to average 1.3%, while real GDP growth in Thailand is predicted to be 2.5% in 2023, driven by an acceleration of services exports and private consumption in the fourth quarter of last year.

The fund stated that while the economic recovery was probably modest last year, it is anticipated to pick up speed in 2024 due to increases in private consumption driven by the government’s fiscal stimulus and improvements in external demand.,up%20from%202.5%25%20in%202023.

T小編按: IMF2024年的經濟加速預測歸因於政府的財政刺激,這將有助於提高私人消費水平,並改善外部需求,預示著泰國來年的經濟復甦將更加強勁。

Green Hydrogen: A Possible Area of Interest for WHAUP


In order to meet the increasing need for clean power, particularly in the digital technology sector, WHA Corp, Thailand’s largest industrial land developer and operator, through its subsidiary WHA Utilities and Power (WHAUP), which is listed on the SET, is presently undertaking a feasibility study on a green hydrogen project.

The results and a decision regarding the project are anticipated by 2025. Green hydrogen is created by splitting water molecules into oxygen and hydrogen using electricity generated from renewable energy sources. Green hydrogen can be utilised to power manufacturing activities and power generation.

T小編按: 泰國最大的工業土地開發商WHA Corp正在探索綠色氫作為清潔能源解決方案的潛力,特別是對於數字技術行業。通過其在泰國證券交易所上市的子公司WHA Utilities and PowerWHAUP),公司目前正在進行一項有關綠色氫項目的可行性研究。預計到2025年將公佈項目的結果和決定。

Thailand announces genuine funds for Green Investment to meet carbon targets

As regulators work to diversify the capital markets and give money to industries that support the objective of carbon neutrality, asset managers in Thailand will soon be authorized to establish funds to invest in forestry and tree planting projects.

Pornanong Budsaratragoon, secretary-general of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), stated that the “green investment trusts,” as Thai authorities are referring to them, will first be restricted to investments in projects that produce income from carbon credits. She stated that after feedback from numerous stakeholders, the so-called green funds’ full details and regulations will be worked out by the middle of the year.

T小編按: 該國的資產管理公司將很快獲准建立專注於林業和樹木種植項目的“綠色投資信託”,最初僅限於從碳信用中產生收入的項目,預計證券交易委員會(SEC)秘書長Pornanong Budsaratragoon將於年中完成對詳細規定的制定。

Banpu Signs THB 2.4 Billion Agreement with ADB to Support Battery and E-Mobility Sectors

An expansion of a lithium-ion electric vehicle battery manufacturing facility in Jiangsu province, People’s Republic of China (PRC) to accommodate 1,500 six-seater e-Tuk Tuks, as well as related energy support such as charging stations for micro-scale transit services in Bangkok, Thailand, totaling 1.3 gigawatt-hour, were among the many energy-related projects that Banpu Public Company Limited, a leading international versatile energy provider, signed a THB 2.4 billion loan with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for a THB 2.4 billion loan.
This fund will accelerate the Greener & Smarter transition and fortify Banpu’s Energy Technology company.

Banpu Signs THB 2.4 Billion Deal with ADB to Bolster E-Mobility and Battery Businesses | Techsauce

JS Solar and Samaiden bag the RM100 million Kulim project
JS Solar

NUR Renewables Sdn Bhd has awarded Samaiden Group Bhd’s wholly-owned Samaiden Sdn Bhd and its consortium partner JS Solar Sdn Bhd a RM100 million contract to establish a solar power plant at Kulim Hi-Tech Park (KHTP) in Kedah.

The most recent engineering, procurement, construction, and commissioning (EPCC) contract, according to Samaiden Group Managing Director Chow Pui Hee, is evidence of the business’s fruitful partnership with JS Solar.

The project will provide green energy to all KHTP customers by developing a 50 megawatt (MWac) ground-mounted solar power plant (first phase). NUR’s ambitious 500MWac solar project is currently in its initial phase. It will be developed in partnership with UEM Lestra Bhd, the UEM Group’s green energy division.

First large-scale green hydrogen production project in Malaysia signed

An RM1.88 billion deal has been signed by Semarak Renewable Energy Sdn Bhd (Semarak RE) and China Hydropower (Malaysia) Co Ltd, a division of PowerChina International Ltd, to establish Malaysia’s first large-scale green hydrogen manufacturing project using floating photovoltaic power generation.

Semarak RE chairman Mohammad Shahil and Ye Haoliang, the assistant general manager and deputy general manager of PowerChina’s Asia-Pacific Regional Headquarters, signed the general contractual agreement.

In Perak, the project will use floating solar power generation to generate green hydrogen production and storage, which will aid in the transition to sustainable energy.

The design, acquisition, and building of hydrogen production and storage units, as well as floating photovoltaics, are among the project’s main goals.

T小編按: 該項目位於霹靂州,旨在利用浮動式太陽能發電產生綠色氫並進行儲存,促進該國向可持續能源轉型。協議包括設計、收購和建造氫生產和儲存單元,以及浮動式光伏設施。

Malaysia’s economy is projected to grow by 4.2% by 2024

Malaysia’s GDP is expected to expand by 4.2% in 2024, driven primarily by domestic demand.

Division of Statistics According to preliminary estimates, Malaysia’s GDP is expected to have grown by 3.8% in 2023, which is less than Bank Negara Malaysia’s forecast of 4% to 5%.

Selena Ling, chief economist at OCBC Bank, stated that the main drivers of growth will be elements of domestic demand, namely the stability of growth in private consumption and higher investment spending, both of which will be bolstered by a substantial medium-term reform agenda.

Although weaker global economy, dwindling commodities tailwinds, and continued geopolitical tensions are projected to pose challenges to Malaysia’s export demand, the stabilization of the electronics export downcycle could provide vital support to export growth.

Malaysia needs to build a comprehensive semiconductor infrastructure to attract investments

Executive vice president Chang Pei Zen of the Taiwan Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) stated that for Malaysia to see a rise in investments in the semiconductor industry, it must build a comprehensive semiconductor infrastructure.

Citing the country’s strategic location in the centre of South East Asia and wealth of natural resources, Chang acknowledged Malaysia’s advantageous position.

He highlighted that Malaysia has a greater supply of some materials than Taiwan and that the nation has a great opportunity to use these advantages to develop a strong semiconductor sector.

T小編按: 台灣工業技術研究院(ITRI)執行副總裁張沛禎強調,馬來西亞需要加強其半導體基礎設施,以吸引更多的行業投資。 張沛禎認識到馬來西亞的戰略地理位置和豐富的自然資源,他相信該國可以利用這些優勢發展強大的半導體行業,並指出在某些材料方面的潛力超越了台灣。

ESG principles to drive demand in office segment

According to JLL Appraisal and Property Services Sdn Bhd, environmental, social, and governance (ESG) principles would continue to be a major factor in driving demand for office space, particularly in Greater Kuala Lumpur.

According to Jamie Tan, managing director, the office market saw a spike in demand as businesses moved more frequently to contemporary, environmentally friendly buildings that adhere to ESG standards.

According to Tan, the market is being shaped by ESG. The need to draw and keep top personnel, coupled with the increased emphasis on corporate responsibility, led to this shift towards sustainable and compliant workplaces