China is the new center of the global energy and natural resources marketplace. While most other countries’ energy demand growth slowed, China’s almost doubled in the last decade. With the ongoing transformation of its economy and revolutionizing of its technology, China’s energy and natural resources demand – and supply, both domestic and overseas – will only continue to grow. On the other hand, quick yet critical shifts in policies and lagging legislation complicate the approaches to success in this industry.
DaHui has accompanied and even assisted a wide spectrum of businesses through the last decade’s many major transitions in this industry. From the focus on oil, gas and even coal early in the decade through the balancing over to natural gas, wind and solar in 2014 and 2015 to the latest recalibration bringing transmission, storage and other alternatives like shale to the fore, we have continuously provided timely, practical and not only legally but also politically incisive advice.
China has been opening up more and more of these sectors to private and even foreign investment, streamlining project approval processes and relaxing pricing and various other controls. For example, foreign parties are no longer limited to minority stakes in joint ventures with national oil companies to participate in upstream oil and natural gas projects. In targeted sectors, the government is taking extraordinary measures to attract private investment, e.g., the reduced 4.2% resource tax on shale gas production in place for a period from April 2018 and the subsidies on all unconventional production extended to 2023. Even such areas as city natural gas distribution pipelines have opened to foreign investment.
At the same time, businesses must still satisfy numerous hard and soft obligations to enter the market, ramp up operations alone or more often with partners and, most importantly, adapt to and retain an edge on not infrequent shifts of policy and law. For example, on the one hand China’s growing concerns over climate change and pollution led it to account for almost half of the world’s wind and solar capacity additions in the last few years, but on the other hand, curtailment and other issues have resulted in sudden reductions in subsidies and other preferential policies. Yet wind and solar still comprise less than 10% of China’s power generation, and technological and business solutions to transmission and storage would not only probably open the domestic field further but allow for more distribution overseas, which is no doubt China’s long-term plan for renewables.
DaHui regularly advises on all aspects of energy and natural resources projects, from exploration and acquisition to development, production and monetization – both domestically and abroad. We have long experience particularly in coal, oil, gas and heavy metals while we have developed deep expertise in new electric technology and solar, where China dominates global manufacturing. Our outbound investment practice frequently ties into our work in the natural resources industry, and we regularly represent major Chinese entities in their international investment projects, international project financing, joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, and divestures. We are equally adept at advising on transactions in developing countries as we are at advising on those in the developed world.
Feb 1, 2023
Nov 28, 2022