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Energy Trade in South Asia: Opportunities and Challenges

Energy Trade in South Asia: Opportunities and Challenges

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The South Asia Regional Energy Study provides interventions to improve regional energy cooperation in different timescales, including specific infrastructure projects which can be implemented during these periods.
The South Asia Regional Energy Study provides interventions to improve regional energy cooperation in different timescales, including specific infrastructure projects which can be implemented during these periods.

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Published by: Asian Development Bank on Apr 04, 2012
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02/11/2013

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Norwegian
Agency for
Development
Cooperation

Grant
7.1 million

Grant
0.4 million

Loan
57.7 million

Ministry of Finance, Lao PDR

Commercial
Banks

Export Credit
Agencies

Electrité du Laos

Nordic
Hydropower
AB

MDX Lao
Public
Company
Ltd.

Equity
66.0 million

Equity
22.0 million

Equity
22.0 million

Loan
6.9 million

Loan
64.8 million

130.3 million

110.0 million

Theun-Hinboun
Power Company
240.3 million

72.5 million

Loan
7.3 million

United
Nations
Development
Programme

Asian
Development
Bank

Nordic
Development
Fund

Loan
65.6 million

Loan
58.6 million

Lao PDR = Lao People’s Democratic Republic.
Note: Grants, loans, and equities are in US dollars.
Source: Authors.

Energy Trade in South Asia_6th.indd 89

3/24/2012 6:14:19 PM

90 Energy Trade in South Asia

(iii) interconnection capital costs and input electricity supply costs,
the basis for calculating transit charges, and benefits due to
interconnection;
(iv) financing structures for interconnection facilities and scope for
“project finance” and public–private partnerships;
(v) legal agreements for electricity purchase and sale; and
(vi) institutional arrangements to facilitate the interconnection.

In practice, a power transmission interconnection between two countries
would involve separate implementation and operation of power transmission
facilities in country A and country B through joint venture companies in each
country, and with major equity held by the developers of the respective power
transmission facilities. Other equity can be held by the power transmission
companies of the countries involved, and possibly by multilateral or bilateral
financial institutions. The project finance structure would then need
access to the best possible sources of debt with leverage applied through
participation of multilateral financial institutions in the project, and comfort
gained through realistic agreements for project implementation and
electricity purchase or sale. A similar approach and project structure can
be adopted in the case of private sector participation in interconnections
for petroleum products and natural gas transmission. Figure 24 shows a
possible equity holding structure for the proposed Iran–Pakistan–India (IPI)
natural gas pipeline.

Figure 24 Possible Financing Structure for the Proposed
India–Pakistan–India Natural Gas Pipeline

Internat
Co

Iran

Pakistan

10%

50%

90%

10%

10%

90%

40%

Iran
Pipeco

IRAN

PAKISTAN

INDIA

India

Pipeline

Pipe
Holdco

Others

Pakistan
Pipeco

India
Pipeco

Source: Authors.

Energy Trade in South Asia_6th.indd 90

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Scope for Private Sector Participation 91

Annex 2 provides illustrative economic analysis formats for electricity, natural
gas, and petroleum products transmission. The risks associated with project
finance-based energy transmission projects run parallel to those perceived
in the case of a power generation project, and would need similar risk
mitigation strategies. The LNG receiving and gasification process and the
crude oil refining process are also, in essence, energy transfer projects and
their financing for private sector funding can also be structured on the
lines of a private sector-funded gas transmission project. The proposed
400,000 barrels (bbl) per day (20 million metric tons per annum [MMTPA])
Jubail Oil Refinery in Saudi Arabia, which is expected to cost $8 billion,
is an example of a recent project finance-based financial structure with
Aramco and Total having 75% of the equity, and several commercial banks
and export credit agencies targeted for the debt in the envisaged 65/35,
debt/equity split.

Conclusion

There are many opportunities for the private sector to participate in both
intra-regional and interregional cooperation activities, particularly when
establishing related infrastructure such as cross-border electricity and
transmission lines and electricity generation stations. Such participation can
already be seen in cross-border power generation and transmission, which
can take different forms. In this regard, the relevant governments will play
an important role by providing the necessary policy, legal, and regulatory
frameworks for such private sector involvement in cross-border projects. It
is best that such common frameworks are developed as a part of a regional
cooperation exercise.

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92

Chapter 11

Conclusions
and Recommendations

The South Asian region is one of the fastest-growing regions of the world.

This growth increases the demand for energy. At the same time, an
adequate supply of energy should be ensured to sustain the momentum
of growth. The energy sector’s challenges are enormous—ensuring access
to energy for all, meeting the increasing demand in a cost-effective manner
amidst increasing oil prices, and minimizing pollution of the local and global
environment. This report argues that regional cooperation provides better
opportunities for addressing these challenges. The report recommends key
policy initiatives that would promote energy trade expansion opportunities
for the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) member
states (SMSs), and identifies the specific project activities that need to be
pursued in the short and medium term.

Regional cooperation in energy has provided significant economic benefits
for some regions. This report shows that similar potential exists for the South
Asian region. The report recognizes that with greater political will on the part
of the SMSs, coupled with improved and harmonized institutional, legal, and
regulatory frameworks, and wider opportunities for private sector participation,
the pace of intra-regional and interregional trade can be accelerated. The
report also highlights the need for pursuing in parallel the development of
institutions and infrastructure to enable the region to meet growing energy
demands. These options include the development of an expanded regional
power market, a regional refinery, a regional liquefied natural gas (LNG)
terminal, and a regional power plant. The need to promote greater penetration
of nonconventional renewable energy (NCRE) resource utilization through
innovative technical and commercial initiatives is also emphasized.

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Conclusions and Recommendations 93

The SMSs need to cooperate more closely to improve the integration of
their energy markets through feasible electricity or gas interconnections,
provide transparent open access to energy transmission infrastructure,
agree on common protocol, and move toward standardization of rules
and procedures to simplify transaction mechanisms to reduce energy
trade costs. In operationalizing the regional cooperation agenda it is
necessary to

(i) Develop an SAARC Regional Energy Trade and Cooperation
Agreement,
(ii) Harmonize legal and regulatory frameworks,
(iii) Carry out more detailed studies and develop a comprehensive
energy database,
(iv) Identify the opportunities for private sector participation and
financing mechanisms,
(v) Enhance regional institutional capacity, and
(vi) Implement the projects identified in this report.

The rest of the chapter briefly summarizes these activities.

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