USAID Southeast Asia Smart Power Program (“SEA SPP”)
Natural Gas Systems Lead – Job Description
Abt Associates’ International Development Division (IDD) manages projects that are pioneering new approaches in governance, energy, health, agriculture, food security, climate change, and economic growth—as well as monitoring and evaluating projects within these sectors. We work throughout Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East for chiefly governmental clients, including the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Millennium Challenge Corporation, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The anticipated five-year, USAID South East Asia Smart Power Program – (SEA SPP) program will be a task order under the Energy II IDIQ designed to support and assist USAID and Southeast Asian partner countries achieve sustainable economic growth through targeted energy sector reforms. These reforms will promote energy security in the SE Asia region by improving reliability, increasing access, and providing affordable electricity as well as supporting countries and their utilities achieve financial stability and avoid adverse health impacts from the energy sector by accelerating clean energy solutions. Toward these ends, the project will be structured to include the following six tasks:
- Task 1: Southeast Asia Power Utility Modernization
- Task 2: Energy Efficiency: Southeast Asia’s Energy Security Cornerstone
- Task 3: Southeast Asia Energy Innovation and Emerging Trends
- Task 4: Southeast Asia Center for Competitive Procurement
- Task 5: Southeast Asia Power Trade and Grid Integration
- Task 6: Assess and Optimize Natural Gas System Performance
Abt Associates seeks a qualified Natural Gas System Performance Lead to execute USAID’s SEA SPP program technical activities under Task 6 Assess and Optimize Natural Gas System Performance. The Natural Gas System Performance Lead will manage a team to provide technical assistance and capacity building support for regional and domestic stakeholders. This assistance will include supporting the development of long-term strategies and plans, promoting regional collaboration, catalyzing private sector investment, reducing short-lived climate pollutants, and providing direct technical assistance in order to expand the use of domestic and imported natural gas.
The position will be based in Abt’s Bangkok office and is contingent upon program award and USAID approval.
Key Roles and Responsibilities
- Reports to the Technical Deputy Chief of Party.
- Provides technical leadership on all gas activities, ensuring alignment with the program’s overall vision and cross-cutting deliverables and reporting.
- Provides leadership, management and supports strategic direction, including managing a team of technical specialists covering topics including regional gas partnerships, gas sector policy and planning, natural gas and LNG markets, mobilizing private sector investment for gas infrastructure, identifying and deploying innovative solutions along the gas value chain to reduce short-lived climate pollutants, and national-level natural gas and LNG master plan development.
- Coordinates and leads partnership activities with the Asian Gas Partnership, the USEA Energy Utility Partnership Program, Climate and Clean Air Coalition, National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, and other relevant regional gas institutions.
- Provides technical assistance to governments, regional institutions, and stakeholder organizations to develop, advise, and build capacity for:
- Long-term energy or gas plans.
- Country-level strategies and plans that promote of gas as a tool for expanding renewable energy.
- Approaches for measuring, monitoring, and reducing methane emissions.
- Environmental, economic, and social cost of natural gas expansion analyses to build resiliency and energy security.
- Studies to understand technical, legal and regulatory, and financial/economic aspects, of proposed LNG hubs in the region.
- Roadmaps and feasibility studies to support countries increase domestic and imported natural gas.
- LNG master plans and investment strategies.
- LNG policy and regulation, including fiscal incentives.
- Environmental permitting processes.
- Supports regulatory agencies to develop guidelines and rules for third-party access to common infrastructure including LNG import facilities, gas pipelines, high-voltage transmission lines, and related facilities.
- Increase civil society participation in planning processes.
- Directly engages private sector financiers and project developers to mobilize investment in natural gas infrastructure and government officials to improve and de-risk the enabling environment for private sector investment.
- Manages legal, technical, financial and project development support to private developers and public entities to develop and implement projects across the gas value chain.
- Advocates and builds capacity for reducing the emission of short-lived climate pollutants in the gas value chain, including methane and black carbon.
- Liaises with team and Director of Partnerships and Communication to ensure private sector participation in gas market activities.
- Directly supervises the Task 6 Natural Gas System Performance team members, consultants, and embedded advisors.
- Liaises with Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) manager on task-relevant data collection, monitoring and evaluation activities.
- Supports knowledge management and communications on energy innovation and emerging trends;
- Coordinates cross-cutting activities with other task leads, Director of Partnerships and Communication, Gender Equality and Social Inclusion Lead, Communications Manager, Technical Deputy Chief of Party, Operation’s Deputy Chief of Party, and Chief of Party.
- A Master’s degree in energy/environmental policy, international development, or a related field;
- 10+ years of experience leading, managing, or implementing gas, LNG, and other energy projects, preferably in Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, and Vietnam, USAID or donor-funded initiatives desirable.
- Advanced knowledge and experience supporting the development of gas markets and infrastructure.
- An understanding of how natural gas can be used to increase the adoption of variable renewable energy.
- Deep knowledge of gas value chains, the associated emissions at each point in the value chain, and the leading best practices to reduce climate and hazardous air pollutants.
- Demonstrated experience working with policymakers, regulators, utilities, investors, financiers, and project developers to develop gas markets, including project structuring and development, pricing, contracts, financing, risk management, environmental and social impact, safety standards, and emerging technologies.
- Experience providing expert advice on technical, legal, regulatory, financial, and economic aspects of gas markets and LNG hubs.
- Experience supporting the development of rules for third-party access to common infrastructure including LNG import facilities, gas pipelines, high-voltage transmission lines, and related facilities.
- Previous USAID experience preferred.
- Knowledge of Southeast Asian countries’ renewable energy, energy efficiency, and climate change policies, laws, and capacity constraints.
- Experience managing teams to ensure high-quality, timely submission of technical work and deliverables;
- Demonstrated capacity in facilitating in-depth and effective dialogues with internal team as well as with external stakeholders.
- Highly self-motivated and adaptable to learning and understanding new concepts.
- Ability to work both independently and in a team-oriented, collaborative environment.
- Strong oral, written, and interpersonal skills are required.
- Fluency in English is required; knowledge of a regionally relevant second language is an asset (Thai, Lao, Khmer, Vietnamese, Tagalog/Filipino, Bahasa Indonesia, etc.).
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