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Aurex Insights: APAC Renewables – Nov 2021

Welcome to Aurex Group's Asia monthly snapshot for the Renewable Energy industry where we highlight some of the factors and events influencing the industry for talent and businesses. In this issue, our specialists discuss how the price of lithium and supply chain crunch will affect EV and ESS buyers as well as ponder the impacts of psychometric assessments on diversity and inclusion.

What people are talking about

OMERS buys 49% of FRV Australia; 642MW operational & construction + 2.7GW pipeline.

Nexif Energy for sale; bids due mid-November.

Athena Energy to be acquired by Manhattan Resources.

Sembcorp to bring 1GW of solar power by sub-sea cable from Indonesia to Singapore.

Singapore to explore geothermal generation at Sembawang Hot Springs.

Canopy Power secures investment from SUSI Partners for solar+battery microgrid projects.

Woodside Petroleum invests into Heliogen, concentrated solar energy.

Malaysia’s Yinson Energy invests in marine energy storage solutions in SEA through Canadian company Sterling PlanB Energy Solutions (SPBES) for battery swap at sea.

What we are currently working on

For the full job descriptions regarding the roles below, please contact us directly.

  • Lead Engineer, Wind & Solar, South Korea

  • Legal Counsel, Renewable Energy, South Korea

  • Contract Manager, Wind & Solar, South Korea

  • Chief Engineer, Contracts & Claims, Hydropower, Pakistan

  • Contracts Engineer-1, Hydropower, Pakistan

  • Commercial Manager, Solar, South Korea

  • Buy-side Deal Manager, Renewables, Singapore

  • Junior Development Manager, Solar, Taiwan

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Bo-hoo-hoo cried Cindy Lou Who along with all the EV and ESS buyers 

We have all been hearing about the looming supply chain crunch with hundreds of container ships stuck in some of the world’s largest ports while unable to unload, and the media warning that we should all start buying Christmas presents now as there are not enough shipping containers to meet demand in the coming months. But, did you know that the same challenges that might make Cindy Lou Who cry boo-hoo-hoo when her made-in-China toys do not arrive in time might make battery storage investors and project developers boo-hoo too?

Currently, Jiangxi Ganfeng Lithium Co., based in China, is the world’s largest lithium metal producer in the world and Tiangqi Lithium, also headquartered in China is the #3 producer. Together, these two companies comprise a significant amount of the global lithium production, over 25% of the world’s raw lithium, while Chinese companies account for more than 80% of the world’s battery materials as a whole including cobalt and graphite according to Mining.com and manufacturing.

Although lithium prices were on a steep decline from 2018 to the end of 2020, dropping from $16,500 to $6,124 per ton last December, prices have rebounded in 2021, reaching a new record high in October 2021 of $28,690. While this is great for mining companies, it has made production of electric vehicles and ESS systems more costly.

At the same time, the container freight cost index has shown shipping costs have increased 734% since the start of the pandemic from $1,331 in March 2020 to $11,104 in September 2021 based on the spot rate for a 40-foot shipping container.

Benchmark Mineral Intelligence (BMI) is predicting an acute shortage of lithium from 2022 onwards. This comes from projections of increased demand for both electric vehicles, which are projected to triple over the next 5 years, as well as for large-scale energy storage systems (ESS) which are estimated to reach 5,000GW by 2030 according to ESS InfoLink. There has also been no notable investment into additional large-scale mining capabilities for lithium in 2021.

With so much price volatility as well as shipping delays, it will be interesting to see what alternatives project developers and automotive companies may find for their storage needs.

Is psychometric assessment working against your diversity and inclusion efforts?

Psychometric testing dates back to the 1880s and has expanded over the years to include not just cognitive skills, personality traits, and leadership styles but also to dig down into pattern recognition, numerical reasoning, and verbal and written assessments.

While pattern recognition and numeric reasoning can provide an additional tool to filter out candidates that do not perform well in tasks they will be faced with on a regular basis, such as in the engineering and financial services sectors, it can be more difficult to interpret and integrate some of the softer skill assessments.

A growing trend in psychometrics is for companies to have all current employees perform a psychometric assessment in order to determine what skills, traits, leadership styles, and technical capabilities are most prevalent in various job functions and/or departments. The results are then used to produce an ideal candidate profile for future recruitment.

For example, at one of my previous employers, we did a psychometric assessment and found distinct trends between 3 different categories of employees – consultants, researchers, and executive assistants. Executive assistants scored consistently higher than consultants or researchers on being rule-conscious, perfectionists, and shy. Researchers tended to score higher on self-reliance, expediency, and vigilance, while consultants were generally more abstract, dominant, and socially bold.

When a clear trend is identified, the tendency can be to categorize it as a pattern and to assume that the highest likelihood of predicting a new employee’s success is determining how similar that person is to employees already in the company. While there may be some merit to this argument, there can also be a risk of creating a lack of diversity.

Because psychometric assessments aggregate data to determine a “standard norm,” people who experience and interpret the world differently may not perform as well. They also may not fit the pattern typical of your other successful employees. However, this person might be just what your company needs in order to shake things up and gain a competitive edge.

As much as diversity and inclusion efforts have become synonymous with gender and race, true diversity and inclusion goes far beyond that to bring varied viewpoints gained from varied life paths, educational, and professional backgrounds.

As 2021 comes to a close and companies consider their hiring efforts for 2022, consider whether your psychometric testing is helping you to select the best employees or simply helping you bring on more of the same employees.

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Market Moves

  • Wael Sawan has moved positions within Shell from Head of Upstream to Head of Gas and Renewable Energy.

  • Dev Sanyal joins VARO Energy Group as Chief Executive Officer previously Head of Gas and Low-Carbon at BP.

  • Anja-Isabel Dotzenrath moves from RWE where she held the position of CEO of RWE Renewables to BP as their new EVP of Gas and Low-Carbon.

  • James Chern joins Seraya Partners as Chairman and Managing Partner, previously, the Managing Director at I Squared Capital.

  • After leaving ARA Asset Management as Chief Executive Officer in Singapore, Grant Dooley has returned to Australia to join Breakthrough Victoria as Chief Executive Officer

  • Ethan Tsai moves from BNP Paribas where he was Head of MNC Coverage Taiwan to Taiya Renewables where he is now CFO.

  • Bopha Ly joined AMP Capital as Head of Energy in Australia to backfill Stasha Prnjatovic who left earlier this year to join OMERS as Head of Asset Management.

  • Lightsource BP secures SooYeol Lee as Representative Director in South Korea from Ecoplexus.

  • Amit Jain moves roles within ENGIE as their COO Renewables AMEA and Country Manager of India. Previously, he was Managing Director of Middle East, South & Central Asia and Turkey for ENGIE Solar. 

  • Chris Quint moves from Enel X to Lightsource Labs where he is Head of Business Development, ANZ.

  • Frank Hojerslev relocated to Vietnam to join K2 Management as Director of Vietnam from Partners Group where he was Chief Executive Officer of Formosa Solar in Taiwan.

  • Tristain Chao joins New Green Power as Chief Operating Officer from Orix where he was Head of Investment for Taiwan.

  • Nestle has hired Syamantak Dhar as Regional Category Lead for Energy and Utilities from Deloitte where he was an Engagement Manager for Energy and Utilities. 

  • Junwen (Wilson) Cheng joins ib vogt as Senior Development Manager for Regional EPC from Trina Solar where he was in a similar role.

  • In Korea, Jian Kwon joins Macquarie Capital as Senior Commercial Contracts Manager from Mitsubishi Hitachi-Daewoo Consortium where he was the Contracts Manager, Antimony Plant.

We always look forward to keeping in touch and exchanging ideas, insights, and opinions. If you are a company considering hiring, we welcome the opportunity to present our services and capabilities. If you are a candidate, please check our jobs page or reach out to us to discuss your background, skills, and future aspirations.

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Amy Marietta 
Consultant, Power Generation, Asia 

Aurex Singapore Pte Ltd 

amy.marietta@aurexgroup.com 

+65 9424 0023 

12 Marina View, #11-01 Asia Square Tower 2, Singapore 018961 

EA 18S9493 | R1878463​