Bilateral minerals and energy cooperation with the Republic of Korea
About Australia's bilateral minerals and energy cooperation with the Republic of Korea
For over 20 years, the governments of Australia and the Republic of Korea (ROK) have engaged in close bilateral cooperation in the minerals and energy sectors.
This cooperation began with the Energy Consultations Group initiated at Prime Ministerial level in 1984, and the Korea-Australia Committee for Mineral Resources Development which was established in 1990.
Trade and investment opportunities between the two countries received a boost with the signing of an Agreement on Cooperation in the Fields of Energy and Mineral Resources, which was signed in Canberra, Australia on 30 August 2004 and came into force in October 2005. As a result, the Korea-Australia Energy Consultations Group and the Korea-Australia Committee for Mineral Resources Development were amalgamated into the Australia-Korea Joint Committee for Energy and Mineral Resources Consultations and Cooperation (JCEM).
The JCEM Consultations provide a framework for the exchange of information and views on developments in the energy and minerals field including trade, investment, technology and policy consultations. The consultations provide an opportunity to develop a better understanding of the latest developments in the resources and energy sectors in each country.
The latest (26th) JCEM Consultations were held in Seoul, Korea on 22–23 February 2012.
Over 30 Australian delegates and a similar number of Korean delegates from government, industry and research organisations were in attendance.
Discussions at the 26th JCEM covered:
- changing global trade patterns and the outlook for supply and demand of commodities such as petroleum, LNG and uranium
- long term energy demand in Korea, status of Korea's overseas mining investments
- global and domestic policy perspectives and Australian policy developments, such as the impact of the MRRT and expanded PRRT on Australian resource consumers
- capacity constraints on coal and iron ore exports from Australia, and barriers and opportunities for investment and the expectations of Korean investors in Australian resource projects
- opportunities for Korean investment through Australia's 2011/12 offshore Acreage Release
- uranium investment
- transport opportunities for uranium including international routes
- approach to sustainability
- Australia's Indigenous land owners
- occupational health and safety (OH&S) issues
- the international market for uranium and potential to strengthen the Australia-Korea relationship in uranium supply matters
- clean energy and energy efficiency policies and programs of both countries—including opportunities for research and technology collaboration and investment between Australia and Korea, the main barriers to the deployment of renewable energy in Korea, the barriers to Korean investment in Australia-based renewable energy companies/deployment projects, and what the Australian Government could do to remove these barriers. Discussion also included priorities for collaboration, including areas of Korea's focus for investment in terms of deploying renewables over the next 5–10 years and opportunities for greater cooperation on renewable energy.
Industry members of the delegation also took a prominent role in the consultations. Shell provided an update on its Prelude Floating LNG (FLNG) project—a world first, which will commercialise a stranded gas resource using Korean engineering (Samsung) and provide a successful example of the complementary nature of the two economies. Discussions highlighted that further opportunities for similar projects exist with significant offshore resources available for exploration and production in Australia and numerous Korean engineering firms keen to work with Australian companies.
To coincide with the 26th JCEM, the Australian Chamber of Commerce in Korea (AustCham) hosted a breakfast seminar on 22 February 2012. Ms Tania Constable, Head of Resources Division addressed the breakfast meeting and highlighted the positive investment climate in Australia illustrated by the breadth of major investments in the resources and energy sector over the past two years.
The next meeting of the Australia-Korea Joint Committee on Energy & Minerals Consultation and Cooperation will be held in Australia in 2013.
For more information about Australia's bilateral cooperation with Republic of Korea email RETInternational@ret.gov.au.
For more information about Australia's bilateral and mineral cooperation with other countries, see Bilateral Minerals and Energy Cooperation.