The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) and the Energy Market Authority (EMA) held a public consultation on the proposed amendments to the Gas and Electricity Acts from 22 June to 16 July 2018. The proposed amendments are to enable more effective regulation of the gas and electricity markets, enhance the security and reliability of our gas and electricity supply, protect critical infrastructure, and enhance competitiveness in Singapore’s energy market.
2 MTI/EMA received a total of 13 submissions from industry stakeholders and members of the public, which we will respond to individually. MTI/EMA notes that most respondents sought to clarify details of the proposed amendments to the Gas and Electricity Acts.
3 For instance, on the amendments to the Gas Act, some respondents raised feedback that the proposed gas emergency powers could be too broad. MTI/EMA highlights that the proposed amendment has been worded broadly to provide flexibility for MTI/EMA to avert or deal with emergencies, such as a severe and prolonged gas shortage situation. MTI/EMA will only issue gas emergency directions in extremis, after exploring commercially viable alternatives. MTI/EMA further notes that the definition of severe gas shortage in the Bill clearly sets out the circumstances in which a gas emergency direction will be issued. Respondents have also raised feedback that extending the Special Administration Order (SAO) powers to cover any gas licensee could be too broad and should only apply to the gas-related business of licensees whose business activities include non-gas related activities. Hence, the Bill clarifies that a SAO may be issued in relation to the gas-related business/activities of licensees.
4 On the amendments to the Electricity Act, some respondents raised feedback that the scope of EMA’s power to issue a direction to facilitate the expansion of the electricity transmission network should be clearly defined and cover direct/indirect losses suffered as a result of the connection. MTI/EMA have therefore included specific triggers stating that the direction will only be given if EMA considers the connection to be necessary in the public interest or to ensure the security and reliability of the supply of electricity to the public. These will make clear that EMA’s power to facilitate the expansion of the electricity transmission network is strictly for ensuring safe and reliable electricity supply to consumers. MTI/EMA have also adjusted the compensation provision in the Bill to allow reasonable compensation for loss resulting from the connection.
5 MTI and EMA would like to thank all industry stakeholders and members of the public who have participated in the public consultation exercise. We have considered and studied all feedback received and incorporated them within the proposed Bills, where appropriate. The proposed Bills have been introduced in Parliament on 10 September 2018, and the Second Reading is currently scheduled for the later part of the year.
MINISTRY OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY
13 September 2018