TLG presents on tariffs, benchmarking, and preparations for the next regulatory period in Peninsular Malaysia.
We are proud to announce Paul Buckland's promotion to Partner at TLG. Paul joins Mike Thomas, Stefan Robertsson, David Kim, Chris Starling, and external directors Dave Carlson and David Broadstock, as part of TLG’s senior leadership team.
Paul heads TLG's Deep Analytics Resources & Tools (DART) Team, which develops and maintains TLG’s QUAFU modelling platform, designs and implements bespoke models for specialised client problems, and creates cool productivity tools for a wide range of applications. Our clients depend on TLG's DART team to apply (and develop) the right tools for each engagement. The DART team has exceptional experience working across a wide range of energy sector analytical challenges. Whether it is engaging with client-side analytical specialists on virtually any analytical model, tool, or topic; probing extraordinary volumes of bidding data to understand market dynamics; or evaluating the challenges and opportunities arising from increased renewable energy, the team has the specialist capabilities and deep experience to support decisions requiring the most complex analytical support.
Paul has nearly two decades of modelling experience in the energy industry, employing both deterministic and stochastic optimisation techniques, neural networks, and time series analysis in his approach to answering client requests. He excels in crafting specialised tools for end-users to enable analysis and produce useful insight. He builds the methodologies and mathematics behind these tools, along with their design and creation from a software engineering perspective. Paul holds a BA and MSc in Mathematics from Otago University, New Zealand and studied toward a PhD (Systems and Information Engineering) on a Japanese Government Scholarship, University of Tsukuba, Japan. Paul is fluent in English and competent in Japanese.
We are extremely pleased to announce the opening, in Shanghai, of our first office in Mainland China.
For many years, we have been advising clients in the Mainland on energy sector issues and challenges from our original office in Hong Kong and through our successful alliance and then later acquisition of the team from the Nicobar Group. Our clients include a range of leading multinationals, as well as leaders in the IPP and energy project financing sectors in China.
Over the past year we have been advising clients on the outlook for availability and pricing of green and conventional electricity supply, the market for I-RECS and other types of renewable energy certificate instruments, the opportunities for grid-based solar and wind as well as for rooftop solar, strategies for entering the renewable energy sector, the selection of renewable energy implementation suppliers, the projection of electricity and natural gas prices, and the evolution of regulation and policies affecting the energy sector.
TLG Shanghai joins our teams in Hong Kong, Singapore, Seoul, Perth, and Bangkok to deliver a holistic, integrated team of deeply committed professionals operating as one firm, sharing experience and expertise without silos, fiefdoms, or boundaries.
Our Shanghai office is located at 300 Huaihai Middle Road in the K11 Hong Kong New World Building 26F, Suite 2621.
2020, the Year of the White Metal Rat, proved to be an unexpectedly challenging year in every respect. Life disrupted. Travel virtually ceased. Health and safety prioritised.
It also was the year The Lantau Group turned 10. It was a most extraordinary and transformative year in which we laid a strong foundation for our future. As we prepare for Year of the White Metal Ox in 2021, we wanted to take a moment to share some of our experiences.
It was an important year to embrace the Rat’s strengths: its insightfulness, adaptability, curiosity, and assiduous hard work. We focussed on expanding our market coverage, regional depth, and our team. Most importantly we worked even more closely together, despite being spread across locations throughout the region. All of us, young and old(er), rose to new challenges in our unique ways. Equally, we avoided the Rat’s short-sightedness and indecision; instead acting on opportunity and investing in our future purposefully and strategically.
One thing that really stood out about 2020 was how the energy sector continued – and arguably accelerated – its dramatic transformation throughout the region. We undertook projects for clients in more than 20 markets, including in Southeast and Northeast Asia, South Asia, China, Australia, and New Zealand. We also continued our work in select Middle East markets, with team members in Abu Dhabi and Riyadh and projects in Oman.
A growth area has been the end-user side of the renewables business. We combined traditional market and regulatory insights in each of the markets in the region, including market modelling, with our long-standing work on retail electricity and gas tariff trends that we have generally done for industrial clients. We leveraged that to support developers and end-users looking at new opportunities in different markets around the region in terms of corporate PPAs and green power sourcing and supply. Corporate entry into the energy sector is the beginning of a transformative trend that will also reshape regulation, policy, the role of incumbent power companies, and market design.
In terms of geographic markets, TLG’s original focus markets in Southeast Asia, such as the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Singapore, continued to be as active and dynamic as ever across a very wide spectrum of commercial, regulatory, and strategy engagements. But we were both pleased and even surprised by the extent to which the energy sector in China has become more innovative and dynamic. It’s well known that the Chinese market is incomparable in sheer size. But what is less commonly known is the multitude of regulatory changes currently liberalising both wholesale markets and supply to corporate end-users. China’s power sector is quickly becoming more diverse and complex — in good and necessary ways.
We were also very pleased to see the business momentum we have created in the Australian market, exemplified by the opening of our first local office and the establishment of a TLG presence in both Western Australia and the eastern-based National Electricity Market. And looking into TLG opportunities further abroad and into the future, we followed our clients into Japan. Here we established a local team focussed on renewable energy and market modelling for commercial end-users and investors.
Best wishes for a healthy, happy, and prosperous Year of the White Metal Ox. This is a year rewarding hard work. Strong and reliable, the Ox inspires others. We’re determined to continue to embody its spirit and demonstrate these traits to the benefit of our clients and ourselves.
We take a somewhat deeper look at our regional activity below.
We strengthened our management team and extended our consulting team bench strength. All in all, 10 new staff joined us at TLG, and at every level of TLG. It wasn’t planned, but 2020 proved to be the most transformative in our history – whether because of the pandemic, or in spite of it.
As the new year of the White Metal Ox begins, we combine our hard work with a clear focus on helping our clients meet the challenges of the energy transformation. 2021 also promises to be the year we launch new publication/subscription options for those interested in deeper divers on specific issues or general periodic coverage of key markets. Relatedly, we will soon be publishing our first premium industry report, prepared with Tecnon OrbiChem, on China’s Chlor Alkali sector – a sector for which power is a key cost input. Over time, we will look at other highly electricity intensive sectors and for similarly exceptional specialist partners with whom to develop insightful studies for our clients.
Regionally, our work expanded in multiple countries and dimensions.
Our work in Northeast Asia has grown steadily, driven by the twin pillars of natural gas and renewable energy. Some highlights:
Japan – We took the leap and added on-the-ground, in-country expertise in Japan, through a prior client and renewable energy expert, Shintaro Doi. The impact was immediate given the strong interest in corporates for renewable energy options and the challenges they face in Japan’s complex market. We are also preparing our Japan electricity market model roll-out for early 2021 to assist our clients with the insights they need to make better decisions about opportunities in the sector, including off-shore wind.
Korea – Based on growing interest in Korean renewables and general electricity markets, especially since 2018, we opened our Seoul office, with a team of David Kim, Soyeon Park, Tina Cui, and Minji Kim. We continue our work with large end users and sector stakeholders, allowing us to even better support domestic and international clients looking at the opportunities in the Korean renewable energy and energy technology sectors. In particular, we used our in-house modelling tools to advise on the outlook for Korea’s Renewable Energy Credit (REC) market and its energy market. We also advised on a major district heating and cooling project, the viability of new fuel cell project, and on several major LNG opportunities being developed or contemplated by our Korean clients throughout the region.
Mainland China – We continued building the foundations for our upcoming Shanghai office, which we expect to launch in 2021. In China, we’ve seen steady interest in renewable energy development behind the meter and on-grid. And after many years of tracking and analysing tariff formation for end users, we are applying our insights to assist renewable energy developers evaluate behind the meter solar opportunities. In collaboration with several stakeholders, work began on a provincial power dispatch model.
Taiwan – We continued to advise multiple generation developers and financial stakeholders on opportunities off and on-shore and advised end users on energy costs and renewable energy contracting opportunities. In 2020, the market focus shifted even more strongly to offshore wind with some of the region’s most dramatic project announcements. The corporate PPA space is also becoming more active as global supply chains face greater pressures to ‘go green’ over the next decade and beyond.
We grew our regulatory and commercial work throughout ASEAN. In the area of regulatory economics, we expanded our work on tariffs, cost of service, wholesale market development, third party access, and performance-based regulation. In the fast moving commercial and industrial end user energy and rooftop solar space, we played an integral role advising some of the key regional rooftop solar/C&I energy and services transactions/investments, supporting Olympus Capital Asia’s investment into Constant Energy and Norfund-KLP’s investment into BECIS. We also supported the development of a debt platform for one of SE Asia’s largest rooftop solar players. All of this was additional to our extensive strategy and analytics work for stakeholders looking at transactions or future directions. Some other highlights:
Vietnam – The astonishing developments across the Vietnam market are no fluke, as they accelerated throughout 2020 and are continuing in 2021. Vietnam kept Covid-19 under control with almost the fewest cases of any country anywhere in the world, and certainly of a major emerging market. Benefitting as well from supply chain interest in diversifying in the region, Vietnam has continued to impress as an energy sector focus area:
By the end of 2020, there were few aspects of Vietnam’s electricity and gas/LNG markets that we had not covered in some way or another.
The Philippines – We have been steadily engaged with our clients in the Philippine energy sector since 2007. Over that time, we have worked across virtually all aspects of the Philippine energy sector from regulation, commercial activity, and business strategy. Using our modelling suite and deep sector knowledge, we have had the opportunity to advise on virtually all major transactions either on the buy- or sell-side. Some other observations include:
Malaysia and Singapore – Members of our team have worked on energy sector engagements in both Malaysia and Singapore since the late 1990s. We have a deep understanding of these crucial energy markets and their respective challenges and opportunities. More specifically:
TLG’s latest frontier has been to the west, and in 2020 we continued our expedition. South Asian markets are becoming increasingly important to our clients. We also continued our work in Oman, which, as a relatively smaller, but very dynamic market, shares many of the same challenges and opportunities as many of the smaller electricity and gas markets we work in throughout Asia.
Our South Asia work has been centred around two areas: one is (of course) renewable energy, with India a global leader, with our work in 2020 encompassing both batteries and corporate green energy options, and where Bangladesh and Pakistan (in our view) now look poised to see a significant ramping up in renewable energy in near or medium term. The other main area of our work has been in LNG and gas-fired generation, where TLG’s two-legged expertise in power and gas/LNG has been fitting when looking at the intersection of upstream and downstream gas-to-power projects. In 2020, we boosted our execution capacity for South Asia in several ways. We refined our models for the electricity markets in Bangladesh and Pakistan. There was also the appointment of new people well experience in the Pakistan LNG sector, complementing our already strong track record in LNG related projects in Bangladesh. We established strategic relationships with very strong locally based energy experts in all three markets of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.
In 2020, our work in Oman focussed on direct sales (corporate PPAs) and the scarcity pricing mechanism, each building on prior work on retail choice and on potential unintended consequences of aspects of the incentive regulatory framework. With the addition of Ian Benfield (see below “Laying our Foundation”) to our regulatory economics team, we took a big step forward in strengthening our capabilities across the region, particularly with respect to the challenges of smaller, dynamic, energy markets. By end of 2020 we had TLG staff and/or Senior Advisors on the ground in Riyadh and Abu Dhabi.
The competitive energy markets in Australia and New Zealand are amongst the most advanced in the world, with many insights arising from their maturation and evolution over the past three decades. Some of us started working on energy sector reforms in New Zealand as early as 1989, deep in the era of fax machines, acetates, Lotus 1-2-3, and very long-distance telephone calls – well before modern email or the now ubiquitous Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint. Electricity spot markets were new concepts heralding untold possibilities of fundamental changes to the vertically integrated utility.
In 2020, we opened our Perth office to support our growing work in both Western Australia and the country’s Eastern Seaboard. We were engaged to advise on key parts of the WA Government’s wide-ranging energy market reforms, extending on our prior work on the reserve capacity mechanism, with a particular focus on transitioning the capacity market to operate within a constrained network framework and allowing for battery storage capacity to participate.
While battery storage integration in capacity markets was one major theme, we also tackled more strategic questions around opportunities for batteries versus other technologies to provide longer duration storage or otherwise contribute profitably to maintaining reliability. Another area of common interest in both countries was the framework for pricing and investment in transmission. New Zealand’s transmission pricing methodology – an area on which we have long advised -- has been debated and contested for over a decade. New Zealand is set to head in a challenging direction as it moves to put a more complex economic framework for transmission pricing in place. The prospect of rising tension between theory and practice will something to watch.
Energy and data have been together for a long time.
They started dating early, better to focus on the fundamentals of their relationship. They quickly mastered the joys of least cost dispatch, merit orders, system alphas, marginal costs, nodal pricing, energy and reserves market co-optimisation, market trading, competition dynamics, bidding strategies, and constraint management or constraint-pricing arbitrage.
More recently, though, they face new challenges. The role of data and advanced analytics in the energy world has expanded multi-fold to support (1) efficient and reliable integration of variable renewable energy resources; (2) optimisation of energy storage; and (3) smarter applications of time-of-use pricing, demand response, and prices-to-devices concepts. Beyond these, there remains the further challenge of mastering complex, multi-product energy / industrial / transportation systems. Energy and data have always been close. They are now almost inseparable. Indeed, the only thing that should get between energy and data is a good model.
The Deep Analytics Resources and Tools (DART) initiative at TLG is all about the specialist nature of solutions to complex energy challenges. The importance of advanced analytics to our success to date and any success we might hope to have in the future cannot be over-stressed. DART@TLG supports our client and internal initiatives requiring advanced analytical capabilities, mastery of big data sets, application of machine learning techniques, development of specialised forecasting tools, as well as the evolution and application of our powerful QUAFU market simulation modelling framework.
We utilise simulation frameworks for almost every market in the Asia Pacific region using our constantly evolving QUAFU modelling tools. As problems become more complex and granular, we add new capabilities to our growing tool kit. We also partner with our long-term clients on deep analytics issues, provide deep integration support, tools, and strategic advisory.
Meet the Team
Paul Buckland heads up the DART initiative at TLG, which manages TLG’s QUAFU modelling platform, creating powerful decision-support tools to enhance our capabilities to assist our transaction-focused clients. Paul has more than a decade of modelling experience in the energy industry, employing both deterministic and stochastic optimisation techniques, neural networks, and time series analysis in his approach to answering client requests. Paul excels in crafting specialised tools for end-users to enable analysis and produce useful insight. He is comfortable creating the methodologies and mathematics behind these tools, and equally so in their design and creation from a software engineering perspective. Paul holds a BA(Hons) and MSc in Mathematics from Otago University, New Zealand. He is fluent in English and competent in Japanese.
Dr Ashim Basnet recently joined the DART team at TLG based in Hong Kong. Ashim brings extensive mod-elling and analytical skills acquired from his studies in engineering and mathematics, and has experience building complex optimised solutions that provide insight into market and policy problems. Ashim holds a Bachelor of Engineering from Tribhuvan University, Nepal, a Master of Science in Engineering from the University of Hong Kong, and is a candidate for Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering from the University of Hong Kong. He is fluent in Eng-lish, Nepali and Hindi.
David Broadstock is a non-executive Director of The Lantau Group. David brings to TLG a reputable back-ground in analytics, and applied econometric modelling of energy related issues, with an emphasis on topics in consumer behaviour and energy finance. David’s experiences have spanned international consulting, working with NGO’s and international institutions, and with the academic sector, as both a researcher and educator. David started his professional career in the UK, but has now spent over a decade in Asia, including being permanently based for some time in each of Chengdu, Hong Kong, and now Singapore. In addition to supporting TLG, David currently serves as a Vice President for the International Association for Energy Economics (IAEE), and Editor of The Energy Journal, one of the leading academic journals dedicated to the economics of energy markets/systems.
Prof Grant Read has been closely involved with the electricity sector for the past 40 years, both as a researcher and a consultant on economic optimisation, reservoir management, pricing, modelling, and market design. He played a key role in developing New Zealand's pioneering co-optimised energy/reserve market, and subsequently in Australia, Singapore, and elsewhere. More recently, his research has extended into gas, water, and environmental markets. Prof Read, who holds a BSc with 1st Class Honours in Mathematics, and a PhD in Operations Research, is a former Associate Editor of Energy Economics and Energy Systems. For many years he lead the Energy Modelling Research Group, at Canterbury University, in New Zealand, where he is currently an Adjunct Professor to the Electric Power Engineering Centre.
We are delighted to (finally) announce the opening of our newest office in beautiful Perth, Australia. Our work in the WA energy sector goes back two decades covering issues such as the reserve capacity market, market power and competition issues, access arrangements, outlook and strategy, wholesale and retail market reforms, and sector structure and governance. WA is in the midst of a huge energy transformation. We are pleased to have been part of that, and are looking forward to continuing our involvement into the future.
Leading our team in Perth is Bobby Ditric. Bobby has more than a decade of experience in the energy sector, with particular expertise in market developments such as capacity mechanism, robust commercial and regulatory interpretation and application of legal instruments, such as procedures and rules applicable to the operation of the Wholesale Electricity Markets. In addition to his work in WA, Bobby has been advising on market developments and opportunities in Singapore, Malaysia, New Zealand, and Oman.
Prior to joining TLG, Bobby was Project Lead on the Electricity Market Review for the Public Utilities Office, Department of Finance in Western Australia. Before that, Bobby was with the Independent Market Operator (IMO). Bobby holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Curtin University, Perth, Australia.
An important part of TLG's success is our operation as a single entity despite our multiple locations. Our team members work very closely together regardless of where individuals are based. We mastered business distancing years before social distancing became a thing. Our work in Oman has benefitted from perspectives gained from our work in WA, Malaysia, Singapore, and New Zealand. Our work in Malaysia draws from our experience in WA, the eastern NEM, Korea, the Singapore NEMS, New Zealand, Korea, the Philippines, and the USA. Our work in Singapore draws from our experience in WA, New Zealand, and eastern Australia as well.
In exchange, our work in WA benefits from insights gained around the region, particularly from experience in smaller markets where challenges related to lumpiness of investment, competition and market power, and the cost vs benefit of certain approaches or potential reforms can matter a great deal. Indeed, one of the reasons we got involved in the WA market's reserve capacity mechanism many years ago was because of an analogy we drew to problems Korea had experienced with its administratively determined capacity payment.
We look forward to catching up with you (in person!) at some point soon. Our new office is located on the Ground Floor, 45 St Georges Terrace, Perth WA 6000, Australia. As soon as we all can get together, come and visit us for a coffee
I am very pleased to welcome Dave Carlson and Stefan Robertsson as new members of TLG’s Board of Directors – effective 1 December 2019. Stefan will also become a Partner of TLG, having joined TLG 5 years ago. Dave, previously a TLG Senior Advisor involved in major engagements in Australia, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East, now becomes a full member of the TLG team. All of us at TLG are delighted to have their strong support as we help our clients navigate the region’s challenging and dynamic energy space.
Dave is originally from New Zealand and is an experienced energy market operator, designer, and change manager with a track record spanning Asia, Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Most recently he was a Senior Business Development Director at SGX, responsible for new initiatives in the gas and power sectors. Prior to that he ran the Singapore electricity wholesale market, serving as CEO of the Energy Market Company, EMC, the national electricity market operator. Dave has served on and chaired many industry and governance panels to further liberalise energy markets including market rules evolution, the implementation of retail contestability, developing gas trading, and introducing electricity derivative products. Recently he has been working with TLG in Oman (which has been part of TLG’s recent expansion in the Middle East) and Malaysia.
Stefan, currently the token Swede in our very internationally diverse TLG team, has over 25 years of experience in market analysis, business development, M&A, and corporate and project finance across the Asia Pacific region. In recent years he has led most of TLG’s work in Vietnam’s fast-growing electricity sector. Prior to joining TLG, he spent nearly ten years with the CLP Group, where he served as head of Corporate Finance and Development for all non-Hong Kong activities (in China, India, Southeast Asia, and Australia). He led the CLP Group Investment Committee and Chaired the Risk Committee for all CLP's Australian trading and business activities. He also had significant involvement in CLP's investment activities in China, India, and South East Asia, covering the full spectrum of energy assets and opportunities. Stefan joined CLP from ABB Equity Ventures (the infrastructure Private Equity arm of the ABB Group), where he spent a decade working on greenfield and M&A projects on the power sector (including T&D assets) around Asia Pacific, including China, Malaysia, Australia, and India. Before leaving ABB in 2003, he led the company’s sell-side team, which divested the regional asset portfolio.
The Lantau Group is a specialist consultancy focussed on the economic, regulatory, commercial, and strategic challenges facing energy sector stakeholders throughout the Asia Pacific region.
The Lantau Group is pleased to announce our second joint Lantau Group and First Economics training course on Economic Regulation on 21 and 22 August 2019.
The course aims to equip professionals working in the energy, utility and infrastructure industries with the knowledge and understanding they need to engage in regulatory work. Suitable for junior to mid-level professionals, the course will cover how regulators set price controls, how assessments of efficiency can be carried out, how risk and incentives can be allocated, how costs of capital may be determined and alternative and emerging forms of regulation. A series of case studies will also be presented to enable delegates to engage in material more deeply to cement their learning. If you work in a regulated industry, or seek to invest in and enter a regulated sector, this course can help you understand the opportunities and challenges regulators and companies are seeking to navigate.
Please click here for more information or to register to attend. Please click here to view the programme.
James has continued to build and expand the partnership with ASCOPE with another highly successful presentation. On 8 May James delivered a whitepaper on Gas Advocacy to the ASCOPE GA Taskforce. This is part of TLG’s ongoing ASCOPE work to develop a gas advocacy business strategy and roadmap.
On 11 December, we celebrated a very special seventh birthday party with our largest ever gathering of friends and clients. 2017 has been a fantastic year for the Group. We welcomed James Ooi as our fourth partner, and we opened a new office in Singapore, significantly enhancing our presence in Southeast Asia. We continued to win and succeed in major projects across our business service lines, including particular growth in our Disputes and Arbitration and Regulation and Markets work.
Please click here to view more photos.
James Ooi, former APAC head of Power Gas Coal & Renewables consulting at IHS Markit (formerly IHS CERA), has joined TLG as partner and will be based in our new Singapore office.
With 20 years of experience in the energy industry, James brings a special strength and focus on Asia’s LNG markets. He is an expert in areas related to energy market design, asset valuation, commercial contracting for gas and power projects (SPA, GSA and PPAs), corporate strategy, planning and operations.
‘The Lantau Group’s expert focus on gas and power in Asia Pacific makes it the ideal fit for me after my time working both as an energy consultant and as a power professional in South East Asia,' noted James. 'Joining as partner to expand the Group’s Singapore base was a natural next step for me, allowing me to contribute to the growth of a very special player in the APAC energy space and to really expand its offerings in energy, including the LNG value chain.’
James began his energy career in Malaysia, when he worked for Tenaga Nasional Berhad and the Economic Planning Unit of the Prime Minister’s Department, after which he joined the energy and environment practice at Charles River Associates (CRA), where he joined Mike Thomas and Sarah Fairhurst, and later Tom Parkinson, all founding partners of TLG.
'I'm thrilled to welcome James back as a colleague,' said Mike. ‘We worked together very closely when he was at EPU and TNB and again when he joined CRA in New Zealand and later when several of us transferred to Hong Kong. Since then, James has gone from strength to strength. He has an outstanding reputation in the gas and power space, complementing our capabilities, but also expanding them significantly. Having a partner based full-time in one of Asia’s most important energy hubs marks a terrific milestone for TLG and for our clients.'
‘With so much happening in the gas and power industries in Asia Pacific, it is great to be reunited with someone of James’ calibre. His gas and LNG knowledge, in particular, really build on and expand our current skillset in that area,’ added Sarah. ‘I am delighted that he will be helping us to build up an enhanced Singapore presence, while contributing to our client’s needs across the region.’
The Lantau Group (Singapore) Pte Ltd is based at Level 39, Marina Bay Financial Centre Tower 2, 10 Marina Boulevard, Singapore 018983, and you can contact us on +65 6818 6011.
Update (14 September 2017): This event is now fully subscribed and closed to new registrations. Further dates/locations will be announced in due course.
The Lantau Group is pleased to announce a joint Lantau Group and First Economics training course on Economic Regulation on 25 and 26 October. The course aims to equip professionals working in the energy, utility and infrastructure industries with the knowledge and understanding they need to engage in regulatory work. Suitable for junior to mid-level professionals, the course will cover how regulators set price controls, how assessments of efficiency can be carried out, how risk and incentives can be allocated, how costs of capital may be determined and alternative and emerging forms of regulation. A series of case studies will also be presented to enable delegates to engage in material more deeply to cement their learning. If you work in a regulated industry, or seek to invest in and enter a regulated sector, this course can help you understand the opportunities and challenges regulators and companies are seeking to navigate.
Please e-mail Mark Clifton (TLG) or John Earwaker (First Economics) for more information or to register to attend. Please click here to view the programme.
John Earwaker, Director of First Economics and a seasoned regulatory advisor, joins The Lantau Group as our most recent Senior Advisor. John has twenty years’ experience advising companies and regulators in the utility and transport sectors, providing them with regulatory expertise on a broad range of economic and financial matters. He is an expert in the regulation and liberalisation of infrastructure industries and has a detailed understanding of the approaches that companies, governments and regulators use to improve efficiency and quality of service to customers. John will be an important part of TLG’s growing Markets and Regulation team, also boosting our on-the-ground presence in Singapore.
On 25 July, the International Energy Research Centre (a joint venture between Shanghai Jiaotong University and the China Energy Fund Committee) celebrated its fifth anniversary by holding the 2017 International Energy Forum. Chinese and international experts were invited to discuss the international energy situation and China’s energy development. Dr Xinmin Hu and Dr Leo Lester were invited to participate in the discussions, with Dr Hu presenting on the ongoing financial, technical and policy challenges facing the low-carbon energy transition in China and across the world.
On 27 April, The Lantau Group, in collaboration with Renmin University of China, hosted a public seminar, bringing together renowned Chinese scholars with our own in-house consulting experts. Across the two sessions, there were presentations on the link between China's economic growth and its electricity use, with the possible conclusion that economic growth may have been underestimated; on China's household energy survey, providing an insight into geographic and demographic patterns of energy use; on the implications for renewable energy from the latest energy policy reforms; and on China's continuing struggle with the curtailment of its renewable energy. Questions flowed from an audience drawn from industry, academia and non-governmental organisations ensuring a lively, interesting and insightful discussion.
All presentations were given in Chinese; please click here to view the slides.
Please click here to sign up for notifications of future events.
Robert Linden is joining us as a Senior Advisor. Robert brings considerable experience in both natural gas (covering the full length of the value chain, from pipeline construction to market operation and policies) and the power sector. Starting his career in the USA’s Gulf of Mexico, his client advisory work now reaches across Europe, Asia and the Americas.
Jan Stempien is joining our Hong Kong office as a Consultant to further build out our regional energy-systems analytical capabilities.
Together they will reinforce and enhance our exceptional team of energy sector advisors focused on the commercial, regulatory, policy, and strategic challenges facing our clients throughout the Asia Pacific region.
TLG was pleased to be part of a Malaysian delegation to Southern California Edison to hear more about energy regulation, electricity pricing, demand response, transaction energy, and renewables integration.
We are pleased to see the announcement that Sabah-owned Sabah Energy Corporation Sdn. Bhd. (SEC) has acquired a PETRONAS gas contract and its related gas pipelines on 11 October 2022. The Lantau Group (TLG) Principal Azrina Abdul Samat and Senior Advisor Fazal Othman Ghazali led a TLG team including Rajat Sarawat, Neil Lessem, Oscar Ng, Raihana Idayu Rahmat, Sam Winward, Chris Starling, Tom Wilson and Dave Carlson advising SEC on key commercial and regulatory aspects of the transaction.
This marks an important milestone for the Sabah natural gas industry with both the gas transportation and distribution as well as the shipping functions consolidated under SEC, setting up SEC as the largest gas supplier in Sabah.
We proudly announce the opening of our new office in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It's been a long time coming!
In this new year of the Water Tiger, we are delighted to welcome Azrina Abdul Samat and Raihana Idayu Rahmat to the TLG Asia Pacific team. Azrina brings experience in electricity, gas, and airport regulation having worked in all three sectors. Together, Azrina and Raihana extend and complement our core capabilities and experience in Malaysia and across the region.
TLG team members have been advising stakeholders in Malaysia's energy sector for nearly 30 years, dating back to the early 1990s when Stefan Robertsson, then wearing an IPP developer hat, worked on one of Malaysia's seminal IPP projects. Later that same decade, Mike Thomas advised EPU and the IGSO Task Force on energy market restructuring options. Since then TLG team members have engaged with key stakeholders in Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah, and Sarawak on many energy sector initiatives, including: new regulatory frameworks and applications such as third party access, IBR, carbon markets, and tariff design; commercial energy sector transactions; PPA disputes; and a broad range of sustainability and energy transition opportunities and initiatives.
TLG operates seamlessly from offices throughout Asia Pacific to combine the best of local understanding, international experience, and rigorous analysis. Whether it be...
...TLG helps our clients make decisions that are well-informed by a deep understanding of the underlying economics and fundamentals.
Our Malaysian office opening is in many ways well overdue. It was a client in Malaysia who suggested over a decade ago that our company name was a little odd, but would be easy to remember. It was a client in Malaysia who offered one of our first major engagements during our extraordinarily challenging starting-up period. It was a team in Malaysia that started working together in 1998 and has stayed in touch over these many years. It's been a professional journey, but also a personal one.
We are incredibly excited to announce the opening of a new office in Bangkok, Thailand, headed by TLG Partner Chris Starling – another milestone in expanding our on-the-ground presence throughout the Asia Pacific region. More than anything, our offices in China (Hong Kong), Singapore, Australia, Korea, and now Thailand enhance our service to clients, our ability to recruit and retain the very best talent, and our considerable advantages in deep energy sector insights and analytics.
TLG always takes a unified approach to our clients. We work as an integrated firm without the impediments of structural silos or regional fiefdoms. Clients prefer the right team to the close team. The experience of decentralisation and work-from-home throughout the pandemic has underscored the benefits of always putting the right team together - no matter where we each may be. But there is something special about an actual office: of its immediate tangible reality and its future potential.
Our involvement in the Thai energy markets dates back nearly two decades, when members of the TLG team assisted an oil and gas major with valuing offshore gas field access to the Thai and Malaysian markets. Over the years, we have expanded our Thai connections. Through our work with a wide array of clients – including traditional investors, private equity funds, developers, as well as public stakeholders and multilateral institutions across the IPP, SPP, and C&I solar rooftop segments. We have now positioned ourselves as a confident, equipped, esteemed name in the region.
In the last two years alone, TLG teams have been engaged on multiple mandates by clients with a Thai market focus, including the two largest C&I rooftop solar transactions. We have also provided commercial due diligence for an SPP gas cogeneration platform, advised on the acquisition of an onshore wind portfolio, and undertaken numerous strategic and market reviews for investors and developers covering IPP projects and the growing LNG sector. We have also worked with lenders as independent advisors, and with the ADB in developing its sector outlook and strategy for the Thai market.
Our expansion is equally motivated by the growing energy sector challenges and opportunities facing the ASEAN region more generally. We have long maintained an integrated ASEAN electricity sector modelling capability, anticipating the day when renewable energy might be contracted from, say, Laos to Singapore; an ASEAN gas hub might emerge; or focus might shift to the value of regional balancing and system optimisation to drive down costs and enhance security of supply.
“Chris and our entire TLG team have been going from strength to strength. We’re really pleased with the opportunity to be part of the Thai energy scene,” noted Mike Thomas, TLG’s managing director. Chris specialises in providing transaction support, due diligence and advisory services to IPPs, utilities, investors, and key industry stakeholders seeking to assess opportunities across the grid-based and distributed generation sectors. In addition to his experience in the Thai market, Chris has worked throughout Southeast Asia, particularly the Philippines, supporting the full panoply of energy sector stakeholders, from investors and developers to fuel suppliers through to the distributed energy sector and end-users.
TLG is a specialist energy sector economic consultancy combining deep sector expertise with exceptional analytics. We help clients throughout the energy sector value chain and in select adjacent areas make better decisions, supported by rigorous market models, insightful application of economics, and strategic insights.
Click here to download a copy of this announcement.
We are proud to announce Chris Starling's promotion to Partner at TLG. Chris joins Mike Thomas, Stefan Robertsson, and David Kim, and external directors Dave Carlson and David Broadstock, as part of TLG’s leadership team.
Chris advises clients on a range of commercial matters across Southeast Asia’s power and renewable energy markets. Chris’s experience spans nearly 15 years, working for international utility, investment, and advisory firms focusing on power markets and renewables. At TLG, his work focuses on providing transaction support, due diligence, and advisory services to IPPs, utilities, investors, and key industry stakeholders seeking to assess opportunities across the grid-based and distributed generation sectors, particularly in the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Greater Mekong Subregion. His expertise includes quantitative modelling and analysis of power market fundamentals and generation economics, market sizing and opportunity screening, and wholesale market design and energy trading. Chris holds an MBA with Distinction and a BSc Natural Sciences (Honours) degree from the University of Bath.
The Lantau Group celebrated its 10th anniversary on 13 December, marking when the Hong Kong subsidiary of a global consultancy transferred officially to the three original TLG co-founders: Mike Thomas, Tom Parkinson, and Sarah Fairhurst. Tom and Sarah, each instrumental in TLG’s establishment, have since become alumni.
A curious thing about a duck on a pond is that for all its grace above, there is a furious paddling of feet below. Forty-three team members and affiliates, four formal offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, Seoul, and Perth, planned offices for Bangkok and Shanghai, and our countless valued clients make up TLG today. It hasn’t been easy. Reaching our 10th year is a milestone forged by a great deal of care, tenacity, and calculated risk taking, all supported by the exceptional experience, the steadfast belief, and the commitment of a whole lot of paddling feet. Plus a little luck, especially in attracting amazingly talented team members.
We recognised early that economics and analytics would matter increasingly as growth slowed in Asian markets, technology choices expanded, and life-of-asset power purchase agreements became ever rarer. Regulatory and policy matters would grow more complex. Tariffs and pricing would matter more strategically and commercially, and not just politically. Disputes requiring economic evidence would arise in new areas. Expertise gains its value because good decisions of consequence depend on mastery of nuance and detail. As Tom Parkinson once put it, TLG is where “the power of analysis meets the analysis of power.”
We’ve felt a sense of urgency to do work that matters, for clients who care, with colleagues that share a common bond of intellectual curiosity and focus on detail. Accordingly, finding ways to replicate the capabilities of much larger organisations when serving increasingly sophisticated and demanding clients across an expansive geographic space has always been one of TLG’s boldest commitments. Without our expertise, ambition, geographic diversity, and committed team, we would have been mere bystanders to important opportunities.... read more
TLG is delighted to welcome Dr David Kim as partner and director in our new office in Seoul, Korea, where he works with both inbound and outbound clients interested in investments in the energy sector. He particularly focuses on new energy opportunities throughout the region, helping to connect Korean and global companies into new markets and to help other companies evaluate opportunities in Korea. Prior to joining TLG, Dr Kim was the Managing Director at Hanwha Energy’s Energy Solution System Division. Previously, David was a Vice President at A.T. Kearney and a Principal at the Boston Consulting Group for over ten years. David holds a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Joining David in our new office, is Soyeon Park who recently relocated back to Seoul after spending two years in our Hong Kong office and several years in France. Soyeon has an exceptional interdisciplinary background, combining expertise in engineering with a sound understanding of economics and policy, including renewable energy policy and renewable energy markets such as the new REC market in Korea. She has worked on EPC projects, providing project management and risk analysis. In addition she has conducted country-level energy policy analyses for the IEA. Soyeon contributes across the full range of TLG projects throughout the Asia Pacific region, bringing particular strengths in project management and policy research across energy transition and market design work. Soyeon holds a Master’s in International Energy from Sciences Po, Paris, and a BEng from Yonsei University, Seoul.
We are thrilled to have such an incredible team in Korea; we can’t wait to show you more about our expanded capabilities.
Our new office is located at 18F, 302 Teheran-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul 06210. We look forward to seeing you there!
Electricity pricing influences behaviours, but not always in ways we might think or expect. Cross subsidies and tariff structure choices influence the prices each customer sees and, thus, what each customer responds to through their subsequent choices with respect to behind-the-meter solar, batteries, and energy efficiency or demand response. Whereas these downstream choices can be excellent value for the adopting customers, they can shift costs to be recovered from other customers if the pricing is mixed up. Despite being increasingly recognised as both an important economic efficiency and social equity (fairness) issue, resolution is often politically difficult. Difficult does not mean unworthy of effort and focus, however. The impetus for meaningful change often requires deeper appreciation of the underlying consequences of continuing on as “usual”.
Deepening such understanding given experience in the Western Australian electricity sector is the purpose of a new paper released through the Mannkal Economic Education Foundation (www.mannkal.org) entitled “The Role of Prices in Western Australia’s Electricity Sector” written by Professor Peter Hartley, Rice University; Mike Thomas, Partner, The Lantau Group; Andrew Pickford, PhD Student, University of Western Australia; and Josh Adamson, Master of Economics Student, University of Western Australia.
Please click here to download.
TLG is pleased to announce our half-day Energy Storage Investment Analysis Workshop at POWER-GEN Asia in Jakarta on 19 September from 2:30 – 6:00pm.
Participation is free to PGA delegates, but spaces will be issued on a first-come-first-served basis. Please book early to avoid disappointment.
This Workshop will give non-experts a unique hands-on opportunity to experience a typical SEA energy storage investment analysis example. Participants will first work through an investment case using TLG’s electricity market model and other supporting materials before being asked to present their recommendations. Participants will leave with the knowledge, skills and confidence to perform basic energy storage investment analysis.
For more information please click here.
Mike Thomas, partner, led a study tour to North America as part of the Single Buyer project. A group from TNB and Malaysia’s KeTTHA (the ministry responsible for energy) met with stakeholders from California’s electricity market (PG&E, CPUC, CEC, and CAISO); Ontario (IESO); and the eastern USA (PJM) to learn about market structures, allocation of roles and responsibilities for planning, and the challenges of renewables integration and resource adequacy. This was part of TLG’s work for the Malaysian Single Buyer and Grid System Operator departments.
The TNB Single Buyer project called on almost everyone in TLG in some way, bringing together our diverse range of skills to produce great results for a long-standing client.
As Hong Kong’s 2015 competition ordnance continues to bed in, The Hong Kong Institute of Chartered Secretaries (HKICS) arranged a panel discussion on some of the likely issues and implications. Participants discussed the legal and economic issues arising in competition matters, generally; identified new challenges for company directors; and shared insights from application of competition law to the both the traditional, and the increasingly digital, economy.
Mike’s seminar appearance follows up on his Competition Ordnance Guidance Note, published by the HKICS in December 2016.
Stefan Robertsson, principal, delivered an overview of the Southeast Asia solar power market in a webinar for Solar Media on 31 August 2017. The webinar was part of Solar Media’s lead-up to the Solar & Off-Grid Renewables Southeast Asia conference, which will take place on 21-22 November in Bangkok.
Stefan discussed the development of solar power across Southeast Asia and gave clues as to what might be expected in the near term given current contracts and national development plans. Despite a sharp increase in interest among international investors, Southeast Asia has fallen behind the rest of the world in solar development, with installations of new capacity falling even as they accelerate in India and China. Stefan argued that the reason for this disparity lay in poor regulation and government policy. Examples of suboptimal regulations included cross-subsidies of electricity tariffs and the negative impact they have on both rooftop and utility solar applications, and how the slow pace of industry deregulation is holding back a buildout of solar power. Set against the low near term build out of solar power in Southeast Asia, Stefan argued that strong fundamentals, fuelled by continuous improvement in the economics of solar generation, will likely see the region’s ambitious targets reached and exceeded. Predicting when this uptick in momentum will kick in is the key, especially as it will continue to depend to a large extent on changes to regulations and government policies.
Click here to watch the webinar on YouTube.
Mike Thomas, Partner at The Lantau Group, discussed the changing economics of inter-fuel competition in Southeast Asia in a lecture entitled ‘The Choice of Fuel’, given to the Energy Policy and Development Program, in Manila, on 17 August. Through his lecture, Mike showed that diverse fuel mixes need not give flexibility and that flexibility can be constricted by specific contracts and regulation. Citing three main factors driving the future of gas, solar and coal power, Mike showed how recent increases in LNG supply have seen the gas-coal price differential narrow, enabling gas to become economic over a greater range of scenarios despite the increased competition from solar. The challenge for gas is no longer simply one of pricing: key is finding a regulatory and contractual arrangement that facilitates the necessary cost and risk sharing that can unlock both the value of flexibility and the flexibility of diversity. The University of Philippine’s Energy Policy and Development Program brings together energy experts and practitioners from across the Philippines, providing a neutral platform for the exchange of ideas on critical energy policy issues.
While China’s renewable energy credentials are world beating, there are challenges too that the country must overcome to successfully transition away from coal. China has continued to develop wind and solar energy resources but curtailment (the wastage of potential power) remains persistent and sizeable. Plans for a long-distance ultra-high voltage transmission grid have progressed well but the economics are faltering as provinces shy away from importing additional power from elsewhere in the country. The central problem is one of ubiquitous, nation-wide over-capacity. Coal capacity alone is enough to meet peak demand. For China’s renewable energy to fulfil its potential a more systematic approach must be taken to electricity policy and planning. The Lantau Group’s China team discuss these themes in the Nikkei Asian Review.
Leo Lester was invited to present on stakeholder management and international energy cooperation at the Fifth China-South Asia South East Asia Think Tank Forum on 12-13 June. The sole commercial delegate to attend, The Lantau Group was also the only non-Asian perspective to contribute to the discussion. Leo’s presentation on a non-traditional, systematic and quantifiable stakeholder mapping framework found immediate relevance across a wide range of regional political, social and commercial cooperative programmes being discussed. For more information on the framework, please contact Leo.
Mike Thomas, partner at The Lantau Group, presented on major industry trends driving change in the power sector at the seventh annual Power Industry Summit for Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau, hosted by CLP from 24 to 26 May in Hong Kong. The theme of the summit was “Sustainable Growth with Regional Focus”. Over 60 representatives from CLP, China Southern Power Grid, China General Nuclear Power Corporation and Companhia de Electricidade de Macau attended the three-day conference to share their knowledge and experiences on challenges and opportunities facing the power industry.
The Lantau Group is pleased to announce a TLG Seminar on China’s Energy Economy, hosted by Renmin University in Beijing. Attendance is open to all and free of charge.
In this seminar, we seek to discuss the links between China’s economic growth and its energy use. In Part 1, we ask the question of how energy is used across China’s economy, and by households. In Part 2, we look at China’s investment in renewables, how it may benefit from the ongoing reforms, and some of the challenges that must still be dealt with to help China effectively transition to a low carbon economy.
Each session will start with two short presentations, before we welcome an active discussion with the floor. All presentations will be made in Chinese.
Please e-mail Leo Lester for more information or to register to attend.
Please click here to view the program in English. Please click here to view the program in Chinese.