KUALA LUMPUR, June 26 — Malaysia’s natural gas industry can play a pivotal role in fuelling a sustainable future for the country.

Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs Dr Mohd Radzi Md Jidin said as the world’s fourth largest exporter of liquefied natural gas, Malaysia holds a significant position in the global market.

“The future prospects of the industry looks promising with global demand forecast to increase over the next decade.

“This growth trajectory reflects global aspirations of countries in pursuing prosperity, while ensuring sustainability,” he said in his speech at the Malaysian Gas Symposium (MyGas) 2019 here today, organised by the Malaysian Gas Association (MGA).

He said notwithstanding the ongoing global economic challenges, Malaysia had recorded consistent economic expansion, due to strong economic fundamentals and diverse sectoral strength.

“As the country looks to sustain the momentum going forward, the oil and gas industry, which is Malaysia’s second highest export earner, is definitely a key contributor to the country’s trade.

“The development of the oil and gas industry’s related mega projects, had produced numerous job opportunities and served as a catalyst for talent upskilling, particularly in surrounding areas.

“The spillover effect of this industry, has also enabled growth of the downstream economic value chain,” he added.

Mohd Radzi said natural gas had already played a crucial role as one of the primary energy sources of the country, accounting for 40.7 per cent in 2016.

He also said with the global climate movement to reduce carbon emission, natural gas can now play a bigger part in transitioning Malaysia to a sustainable energy mix.

Meanwhile, MGA president Hazli Sham Kassim said in line with global demand for clean energy, Malaysia had set the goal of boosting national renewal energy capacity by 20 per cent and achieving an eight per cent savings through energy efficiency by 2025.

He said with countries around the globe putting in place policies advocating the increased usage of natural gas due to its environmental benefits, it is estimated that by 2035, more than 70 per cent of energy demand would be met by gas and renewable energy combined, with the former supplying over 40 per cent of additional demand.

“Given the promising prospects, there is a need for a comprehensive roadmap and urge for it to be developed in consensus with relevant stakeholders.

“The roadmap should  encompass opportunities and challenges across the entire value chain, unlocking premium gas demand, promoting efficient allocation and utilisation of resources to ensure Malaysia’s long term energy security.

“With a clear natural gas roadmap that aims to future proof the industry, we look forward to an invigorated gas sector that is able to support Malaysia’s robust socio-economic growth,” Hazli Sham added. ― Bernama