Natural gas plays a pivotal role in driving a sustainable socio-economic development of the country
by AZALEA AZUAR / Pic courtesy of Gas Malaysia
WITH the liberalisation of the domestic gas market under the Third Party Access (TPA), Gas Malaysia Bhd has successfully unbundled its business operations into two separate entities to comply with the TPA main requirement, which is the gas distribution arm and marketing arm. Hence, Gas Malaysia Energy and Services Sdn Bhd (GMES), a wholly owned subsidiary of Gas Malaysia, was incorporated on Nov 21, 2017. As a standalone legal entity, separated from its gas distribution sister company, GMES is licenced to procure gas from gas suppliers and market to its respective customers.
Advocating Natural Gas as a Cleaner Energy Alternative
Since its formation, GMES has successfully obtained the Shipping Licence and the Import Into Regasification Terminal Licence from Suruhanjaya Tenaga. In an exclusive interview with The Malaysian Reserve recently, GMES CEO Shahrir Shariff (picture) said natural gas plays a pivotal role in driving a sustainable socio-economic development of the country.
“The unique characteristics of natural gas combined with its promising prospects translate into potential for a steady growth in demand within Peninsular Malaysia,” he added.
Burning natural gas for energy results in fewer emissions and pollutants compared to burning other fossil fuel sources to produce the same equal amount of energy.
“GMES will continue its efforts to promote natural gas as a clean energy alternative to our potential customers. We remain optimistic that GMES’ longer-term growth is likely to be driven by natural gas playing a pivotal role in bridging the nation’s energy transition towards cleaner energy. We will continue to strengthen our marketing efforts to capitalise on gas demand as we move ahead,” Shahrir elaborated.
Providing Service Flexibility
Market liberalisation provides customers with service flexibility and possible pricing affordability. As such, competitive pricing is one of the major expectations that customers have in a liberalised market.
“Competitive pricing will enable us to reinvent and create new value for our loyal customers. Given our firm footing in the gas market, we are able to secure a better purchasing price which would translate into a better selling price to customers,” Shahrir commented.
All along, gas users in Peninsular Malaysia have become accustomed to predetermine subsidised pricing.
With the advent of market liberalisation, they would need to quickly adapt to a new situation where gas prices are pegged to the market and may probably fluctuate regularly.
“We believe that the government is fully committed to the liberalisation of the gas market. From our end, we welcome this initiative since it is a positive gesture to ensure a sustainable industry by virtue of energy security which will ultimately benefit the nation,” Shahrir added.
Meeting the Nation’s Energy Needs
The nation’s economic growth is dependent on its abundant energy resources, especially natural gas and crude oil.
This is important because any shortfall in the ability to meet the country’s energy needs such as energy shortages can dampen and have a major impact on the growth potential of the Malaysian economy.
In a way, GMES contributes to the Malaysian economy by meeting the nation’s energy needs. “Our industrial customers are involved in the manufacturing of rubber gloves, consumer products and tobacco or chemical products, glass, pulp and papers, steel, and aluminium copper products, among others.
“Since industrial customers account for over 99% of our total gas volume sold, our customers play a significant role in contributing towards the country’s GDP,” Shahrir explained.
“We play a vital role in supporting nation-building as we provide clean, safe and reliable energy solutions to power the nation’s economic growth,” he elaborated.
Outlook and Prospects
At the same time, GMES is leveraging on its ongoing digital transformation to maximise efficiency and shift to online platforms to better serve its customers.
The availability of e-services portal enhances customers’ convenience, precisely industrial, large commercial, residential and retail.
“From a macro perspective, the ongoing pandemic has taught us to adapt to the new norms of doing business precisely by providing customer-centric solutions. In this context, GMES is enhancing its customer relationship management strategy through various improvement measures with an aim to increase brand loyalty by retaining existing customers and gaining new ones,” Shahrir said.
Serving a large customer portfolio, GMES is better positioned to provide quality services in relation to competitive pricing and flexible terms of gas supply for its existing customers.
GMES is equipped with an experienced and skilled talent pool where almost all of its employees were part of Gas Malaysia Bhd for the past 30 years. Acknowledging the fact that a highly competent workforce is integral to the growth of a company, GMES has retained this strong talent pool and further guided them to refine their skills under a liberalised business environment.
“Conducting business in a competitive environment requires strategies that involve elements of competitive pricing, enhanced value, digitalisation as well as strong outreach and engagement efforts with customers,” Shahrir further explained.
Committed to Engage with Stakeholders
GMES engages with its stakeholders in a comprehensive manner, in an effort to build reputational trust as well as improve its capability to advance the industry in a sustainable manner.
“I believe that GMES will be able to advance its business reach throughout Peninsular Malaysia and possibly beyond. This is in line with our vision to be the premier total energy provider in Asia.
“However, we acknowledge that this is possible only with the unwavering support of our valued stakeholders,” Shahrir concluded.