Saturday, October 31, 2009

Petrol at pump may follow market price next year

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Kuala Lumpur: Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah Tuesday did not discount the possibility that petrol price at the pump could follow the market price or without subsidy once the restructuring of petrol subsidisation is implemented early next year.

The Second Finance Minister said with the new structure, the offer of subsidy will be more targeted to the qualifying group or the holders of MyKad to enjoy the subsidised petrol price.

"The system is being developed and will be implemented between the first and second quarter," he told reporters after officiating the National Taxation Seminar 2009, here, Tuesday. - Bernama

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Hydrogen + Oxygen = Fuel

Though hydrogen fuel cells had existed since the early 1800’s, the General Motors Electrovan became the first hydrogen-fueled vehicle in 1966. And now, with federal funding for hydrogen-powered car research cut, neither GM nor Long Island is giving up on the possibility of a hydrogen-fueled future.

Monitor inside the Chevy Equinox


The Project Driveway Program is one more to add to a laundry list of “green” ideas, only this one could land you in the driver’s seat of a brand new car for two months. Here’s how it works. General Motors loans you an automobile which appears to be a regular, ordinary Chevy Equinox equipped with the usual gadgets and gizmos—AM/FM radio, OnStar Emergency help and a navigation system—however, this Equinox has been converted into a fuel cell. In a fuel cell vehicle, hydrogen combines with oxygen. The two are so attracted to each other they actually create electricity, and the only byproduct is water. GM is running this market test to spread awareness and interest and gain feedback from test drivers. Bari Wien, an intern at EmPower Solar Clean Energy Solutions in Island Park, is one of those drivers. “It seems as if people are fascinated by this new technology that is environmentally and politically beneficial,” says Wien. “What better way to satisfy intrigue and fascination than to drive it yourself?” For more details and to apply to be a test driver visit

Under the Hood -- Hydrogen Fuel Cell


Vehicles running on hydrogen use no petroleum and have zero tailpipe emissions Clean steam is the only thing that comes out the back of the car. But certain obstacles have to be overcome before hydrogen cars hit the market on a large scale like: improving battery life, lowering the market price and tweaking the technology. Hydrogen is difficult to make and the process sometimes requires fossil fuels. Some stations rely on waste hydrogen products from factories, instead of fossil fuels. Right now, there is no electric car that can go farther than 200 miles and all batteries have a limited lifetime.


A pumping station in Point Lookout, scheduled to open in September at the Town of Hempstead’s Conservation and Waterways headquarters, will provide pure hydrogen, blended hydrogen compressed natural gas, as well as pure natural gas fuels for a variety of vehicles.
Hydrogen will be trucked in huge tubes to the station, then fed through pipes controlled by a computer. You attach the tube pipe to the vehicle just like you would during a regular gasoline fill-up. The only difference is you are injecting compressed air rather than a liquid. The station will be part of an engineered network of stations under New York State’s hydrogen roadmap. For more information visit

—Danielle Valente

Government Can Lead In Energy Conservation - Academician

KUCHING, Aug 19 (Bernama) -- Government departments and agencies can lead by example, in practising sustainable energy management.

This would be part of the national initiatives to save energy due to serious challenges posed by the global climate change, said Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) Johor Process Systems Engineering Centre (Prospect) director Professor Dr Zainuddin Abdul Manan.

He said government officers could make a positive difference by convincing the people through awareness programmes and campaigns that energy conservation could bring economic, social and environmental benefits to the public.

Dr Zainuddin was speaking to government officers and heads of departments from the various state and federal ministries during a talk, 'Sustainable Energy Management' organised by the Sarawak National Institute of Public Administration (Intan) here Wednesday.

He said it was anticipated that the world would see 200 million refugees by 2100, due to rising energy demand, widespread pollution and climate change.

Currently, Malaysia and Brunei are the only two Asean member countries that provided fuel subsidies, following the third global oil shock last year while tax incentives were given to companies to generate renewable energy under the Budget 2009, said Dr Zainuddin.

Players in the execution of energy efficiency measures through developing and utilising alternative sources and minimising negative environmental impacts, included the Economic Planning Unit (Energy division), energy, green technology and water ministry, Energy Commission and Pusat Tenaga Malaysia.

He said the country, which was moving towards renewable energy to gradually replace fossil fuel -- one of the biggest sources of greenhouse gas emissions -- currently only utilised 0.3 per cent as compared to 20 per cent in Germany as it still lacked the supporting structure from the commericalisation aspect.


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Shell Announces Availability Of New RON95 Fuel

July 07, 2009 - Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR, July 7 (Bernama) -- Shell Malaysia Trading Sdn Bhd announced today that its Shell Unleaded 95 fuel is now available at the Alisha Station along Federal Highway Batu 3 (Klang bound).

In a statement, Shell said the fuel will be available at all of its stations nationwide by September this year in compliance with government's directive to introduce the RON95 fuel to the market.

"We are pleased to offer our customers the opportunity to try our Shell Unleaded 95 fuel with fuel economy formula at this site," said the company's managing director Datuk Mohzani Abdul Wahab.

"Our customers can be assured that this new fuel continues to deliver on Shell's fuel quality promise and complements our aspiration of helping our customers get the most out of every drop," he said.

Shell also said that to address the need for fuel efficiency, tips are available at the website to help motorists save up to 10 percent in fuel consumption.

"Shell will continue to work to educate drivers on ways to optimise their fuel consumption, and very soon we will be addressing RON95 public awareness as well," Mohzani said.


RON 95 pumps up popularity among motorists

Thursday July 2, 2009 - The Star online

KUALA LUMPUR: Motorists are taking to the newly- introduced RON 95 petrol.

Petronas Dagangan Berhad senior general manager (retail business division) Mohd Fadzlan Abdul Samad said early sales at Petronas stations in Putrajaya showed that many people were buying the Primax 95 petrol.

Mohd Fadzlan said 65% of users at the two Petronas stations at Putrajaya offering the petrol have switched to using the product since it was launched in May.

“We predict that by the time it’s available nationwide on Sept 1, more people will switch to RON 95,” he said when launching the sale of Primax 95 at the Petronas station at the Middle Ring Road 2 in Kepong here on Tuesday.

Petronas is the only company offering RON 95 for now. The new petrol grade is priced at RM1.75 per litre.

The station in Kepong was also the first Petronas station in Kuala Lumpur and the third in Malaysia to provide RON 95.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Oil money fuels Malaysia’s economy

By CECILIA KOK - The Star Online - Saturday 20 June 2009

IT is black, but it is also gold. Petroleum, or crude oil, is one of nature’s most precious gifts to mankind. Those who strike oil will strike it rich. The commodity is so useful that the world is predominantly powered by it.

Malaysia has been blessed with an abundance of natural resources, all of which have contributed to the country’s development in their own ways.

But it is oil and gas that have, over the years, superseded other resources in becoming the major fuel of economic growth.

A key component of Malaysia’s economy, the oil and gas sector accounts for 30% of the country’s manufacturing income and about 8% of the annual gross domestic product.

Last year, total oil production in the country stood at an estimated 720,000 barrels per day, of which around 550,000 barrels per day were refined for local consumption.

Total production of natural gas last year was around 2.3 trillion cu ft, of which 50% were consumed locally.

And as a net exporter of oil and gas, it is no doubt that Malaysia will benefit from the rising oil prices.

The higher prices will raise the national income, as well as the Government’s revenue.

Crude dependency

The oil and gas sector has been an important contributor to the Government’s coffers since the 1970s. This is evident in the amount of money it has received from Petronas through the years.

According to the national oil company, it has paid the Government a total of RM403.3bil between 1974 and 2008.

Last year alone, Petronas’ payment was RM67.6bil, or 63.1% of its profit for the year.

That amount represented 44% of the Government’s revenues for 2008.

The trend of the Government becoming increasingly dependent on oil revenues can be traced back to the early 2000s, when there was an emergence of a strong and sustained rally of crude oil prices, mainly as a result of the geopolitical tension in the Middle East.

However, economists have pointed out that the growing proportion of oil revenues is worrying.

They believe that high dependency on oil revenues to finance fiscal spending is not a viable long-term option, as it increases the vulnerability of the Government budget, and hence the country’s economy, to fluctuations in the commodity’s prices.

So, fiscal adjustment is needed for the Government to ensure long-term stability of its finances.

There is a need for the Government to seek other sources of revenue through diversification and to focus on increasing its non-resource-based revenues, such as taxes.

Among the potential initiatives are tax reforms and reinvestment of oil money in revenue-generating assets.

Previously, the Government had considered implementing goods and services tax (GST) by 2007, but the plan has since been shelved.

Another issue that the Government has to contend with is the subsidies for fuel and gas. In Malaysia, both oil and gas are subsidised, hence their retail prices are lower than market prices.

While high oil prices are a boon to its kitty, it also means that the Government will have to fork out more to subsidise the public’s consumption of fuel.

The Domestic Trade, Cooperative and Consumerism Ministry has said the Government did not have to pay fuel subsidies as long as crude oil prices were below US$65 per barrel.

But now that the commodity has exceeded that level, it appears that the Government will have to pay subsidies again.

According to the Economic Planning Unit (EPU), the total amount of subsidies borne by the Government between 1997 and 2008 was roughly RM78bil.

The total subsidies last year came to about RM20bil, compared with RM16bil in 2007.

Former deputy director of the Energy Section of the EPU, Dr Pola Singh, who is now an independent energy analyst, says Malaysia is a laggard in removing subsidies.

“An environment where fuel prices are kept artificially low will do more damage than good in the long term,” he explains.

He added that it is necessary for the Government to reduce the level of subsidies gradually for retail prices to reflect market prices and to wean Malaysians off their addiction to cheap fuels even though this will not be a popular move.

“We are generally wasteful when prices are low,” Pola argues.

He cites the example of petrol stations experiencing a significant decline in the demand for fuel when pump prices went up to RM2.70 per litre in July last year.

But following the lowering of pump prices to the current rate of RM1.80 per litre, Malaysian consumers have reverted to their old ways, and their consumption pattern is now back to normal.

Depleting resources

Meanwhile, there is no quick fix to the world’s dependence on oil. As the global economy continues to expand (despite the current hiccups, which it has been suffering over the past one year), demand for oil and natural gas as sources of energy continues to grow.

Reserves are fast depleting, as oil and gas, being non-renewable commodities, are continually being extracted to feed global consumption.

The combination of growing demand and depleting reserves may turn many net oil exporters into oil importers.

In the case of Malaysia, if domestic demand continues to grow at 4% annually and the country’s oil and gas production remains at a flattish 2.7% per year, there is a possibility of the country becoming a net importer within the next 10 years.

Held by Petronas, Malaysia’s total domestic reserves of oil and gas as at Jan 1, 2008, stood at 20.13 billion barrels of oil equivalent, while its total international reserves of oil and gas was at 6.24 billion barrels of oil equivalent.

In 2008, Petronas’ reserve replacement ratio stood at 0.9 times, down from 1.4 times and 1.8 times in 2007 and 2006, respectively.

The ratio is a measurement of new reserves discovered to volume of production. It is an indication of the company’s track record in maintaining a stable reserve of oil and gas.

There are various efforts to find new reserves. It is reported that Petronas spends about RM40bil per year on exploration and development activities, and it has indeed been successful in making discoveries, particularly in the deepwaters of Sabah and Sarawak over the years.

In addition, Petronas has overseas ventures in more than 30 countries now.

This could boost its reserve replacement ratio and provide opportunities for local oil and gas services providers to penetrate international markets via the national oil company, which usually prefers to award contracts to Malaysian companies.

However, the thinking that as long as we continue to invest, we will keep finding new oil reserves and that we may not run out of oil will give rise to a lack of a sense of urgency to devise new strategies for a fallback plan, says Pola.

There are no short cuts to counter the depleting fossil fuel resources, he says, but policymakers and corporations can accelerate initiatives to improve energy conservation and develop renewable energy to reduce consumption of oil and gas.

On the role of consumers, Pola says they can practise voluntary restraint and conservation to reduce pressure on oil demand.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Top 5 questions about climate change

1. Why is climate change happening and is it not too late to fix?
Climate change is probably the biggest challenge the world is facing, but it’s not too late to fix it.

First of all, it is important to clarify that climate change is happening because of human interference. This fact that has been confirmed by the Nobel Peace Price-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

If you don't believe us, take a look at this and see if we can convince you.

Each year we release almost 30 billion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, mainly as a result of burning fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas.

The main sectors responsible for fossil fuel consumption and climate polluting CO2 emissions are:

• energy generation


• industry

• households

This means that we need political action to make changes happen. One of the most important steps is a global agreement once the current Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012.

We need to ask our leaders to agree on a more ambitious post-Kyoto regime, with CO2 emission reduction targets in the order of 80% by the middle of the century.

But this does not only rely on politics and leaders, there's also a lot we can do to fight climate change on our daily lives.

2. Sure, but how serious do governments really take the Kyoto Protocol and how will any new agreement help stop climate change?

First, we need to go back in history a little bit. In 1992 the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was established and, to date, 189 countries have ratified it, giving it legal force at the national level. A couple of years later, in 1997, the convetion led to the creation of the Kyoto Protocol.

The famous protocol is the main mechanism by which the UNFCCC plans to reach its aim to: stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.

In plain English, this means that the Kyoto Protocol tries to minimize the human impact on climate change. The protocol entered into force in 2005 as the only mandatory and legally binding global treaty for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

A few countries have not ratified the Kyoto Protocol. These countries, such as the United States, demand more effective mechanisms, but fail to present an environmentally effective and economically feasible alternative.

Governments of developed countries that have ratified the protocol are referred to as Annex I countries. These countries have agreed to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by a collective average of 5% below their 1990 levels.

Developing countries, known as Non-Annex I countries, have no greenhouse gas emission reduction obligations.

But much deeper cuts in CO2 emissions are necessary in order to keep global warming below the danger threshold of 2°C.

3. If climate change is unavoidable, could we not adapt to it?

WWF’s main priority is mitigating climate change.

And we are optimistic that if we manage to achieve deep cuts in CO2 emissions to keep global warming below 2°C, we might also be able to keep the impacts of climate change within tolerable limits.

However, climate change is already happening and affecting people and nature all over the world. Extreme weather events, rainstorms and heat waves are affecting biodiversity and threatening precious ecosystems, thus putting decades of hard work and massive investments in nature conservation and sustainable development at risk.

The poor usually suffer most because they often live in heavily exposed regions, have limited ways to protect their livelihoods and face brutal challenges in the wake of natural disasters.

This is why, apart from mitigation to prevent things from getting worse, WWF also promotes adaptation and resilience.

From tropical forests to arctic glaciers and coral reefs, WWF focuses on understanding climate change impacts and developing solutions and strategies to build resistance and resilience in highly exposed ecosystems and communities.

Building resistance and resilience are management tools to help limit pollution, prevent habitat loss or invasive species, and establish protected areas.

But, again, only swift action to reduce CO2 emissions will bring about a long-term solution to the problems caused by climate change.

4. How can carbon offsets meaningfully contribute to solve climate change?

Offsetting emissions is only the second option. The best is always to avoid emissions altogether.

Offsetting through financing clean energy projects has become popular and gaining support from small and large emitting companies. A company avoids net carbon emissions through five important steps:
1.Assess current emissions (from production, heating, lighting or travel.

2.Avoid CO2 emissions by identifying all carbon-intensive activities which are not necessary (e.g. replace some business travel by video conferencing).

3.Improve energy-saving measures and ensure the efficient use of energy to stop the energy waste (e.g. replace inefficient office appliances).

4.Offset unavoidable emissions through investment in clean energy projects that are certified with the Gold Standard, initiated and supported by WWF.

5.Review the strategy annually to avoid more emissions and become more efficient every year, and decrease the amount of CO2 emissions that need to be offset step by step. The target should be to reduce offset to zero over time.

5. What else can realistically be done by WWF, companies, communities and you?

We can all help in different ways to tackle this global problem. Here you'll find some ideas on what you can do to help.

As an organizaion, WWF works to keep global warming well below 2°C. This is the danger threshold beyond which climate change is predicted to become uncontrollable.

WWF offers Climate Solutions, an energy vision for 2050 that shows how we can meet a global demand for energy while achieving the necessary drop of about 80% in global CO2 emissions to stay below 2°C.

The Climate Solutions report identifies six key solutions to the challenge of meeting global energy demand without damaging the global climate:

• Improving energy efficiency

• Stopping forest loss

• Accelerating the development of low-emissions technologies

• Developing flexible fuels

• Replacing high-carbon coal with low-carbon gas

• Equipping fossil fuel plants with carbon capture and storage technology

Source - WWF

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


EARTH HOUR : SATURDAY MARCH 28, 2009 - 8:30-9:30pm.

This year, Earth Hour has been transformed into the world’s first global election, between Earth and global warming.

For the first time in history, people of all ages, nationalities, race and background have the opportunity to use their light switch as their vote – Switching off your lights is a vote for Earth, or leaving them on is a vote for global warming. WWF are urging the world to VOTE EARTH and reach the target of 1 billion votes, which will be presented to world leaders at the Global Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen 2009.

This meeting will determine official government policies to take action against global warming, which will replace the Kyoto Protocol. It is the chance for the people of the world to make their voice heard.

Earth Hour began in Sydney in 2007, when 2.2 million homes and businesses switched off their lights for one hour. In 2008 the message had grown into a global sustainability movement, with 50 million people switching off their lights. Global landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, Rome’s Colosseum, the Sydney Opera House and the Coca Cola billboard in Times Square all stood in darkness.

In 2009, Earth Hour is being taken to the next level, with the goal of 1 billion people switching off their lights as part of a global vote. Unlike any election in history, it is not about what country you’re from, but instead, what planet you’re from. VOTE EARTH is a global call to action for every individual, every business, and every community. A call to stand up and take control over the future of our planet. Over 74 countries and territories have pledged their support to VOTE EARTH during Earth Hour 2009, and this number is growing everyday.

We all have a vote, and every single vote counts. Together we can take control of the future of our planet, for future generations.

VOTE EARTH by simply switching off your lights for one hour, and join the world for Earth Hour.

Click here to know more.
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