How did you come to be in the energy industry?
Since my big passion from my university years has been Judo (Japanese martial art), I wanted to work for a company that supported the sport. My first employer Tokyo Gas had a corporate Judo team and a facility to practice Judo, hence my decision to be in the energy industry.
What do you believe is the greatest challenge to our industry’s future growth?
I believe that realising true collaboration among all key stakeholders to enable upstream resource project development is our industry’s greatest challenge.
We all know that tremendous value can be generated by successfully enabling upstream projects. Yet we also know that the development of such projects is fragile in nature without the full underpinning and alignment of all key stakeholders (resource owners, LNG buyers, financiers, EPC partners and government).
With the oil price still suppressed and LNG market oversupplied, I believe that all key stakeholders need to transparently and extensively collaborate (and share in on the associated benefits) for allowing such projects to be developed.
Where do you see the greatest opportunity in today’s global energy markets and how are you positioned to capture this opportunity?
The greatest opportunity is the fact that the oil price is still suppressed and LNG market oversupplied. This allows for many key stakeholders to have an open mind about innovative thinking, collaboration and different ways of doing things. This is especially key for Transborders Energy as a start-up energy company to play in the “land of the giants.”
We also believe that the timing is now to capitalize on the counter cyclical opportunity for gaining access to hydrocarbon at low-premium value, and for proactively seeking support from the EPC community and other key stakeholders to enable upstream project development.
And for those who are in the LNG industry, Transborders Energy plans to achieve First LNG from our Floating LNG (FLNG) project by 2025. While we do not depend on the forecasted LNG supply shortage in mid 2020 to be profitable, we definitely look forward to capturing upside if this situation eventuates.
If you could wave a magic wand over our industry, what would you change and why?
In the book “Lean In,” COO of Facebook Sheryl Sandberg asks “What would you do if you were not afraid?”
We all know that the time is now to enable upstream project development. The industry is screaming for good deals to be executed now since favourable terms can be secured from the EPC community and resource owners can position themselves to capture upside when the forecasted LNG supply shortage eventuates in mid 2020s.
Hence, if I had a magic wand I will wave it to take away people’s fears to trust their instinct during this counter cyclical time, and commit themselves to enabling upstream project development.
What are the strategic priorities for your company in the next 12 months?
The strategic priority for Transborders Energy is to execute deals with each of our key stakeholders to underpin the roll out of our FLNG projects.
Our project management system is designed to progressively align and bind all of our key stakeholders based on pre-agreed key milestones. Our key milestone by Dec 2018 is to agree on hydrocarbon access terms with the resource owner, progress engineering, execute Heads of Agreement for LNG offtake and finalise the terms of commercial / financing structure for delivering our FLNG project. This will position us to reach “FID ready” status by end 2020, followed by our target First LNG in 2025.
What differentiates your company from similar companies working in Asia Pacific?
Transborders Energy (TBE) is different from industry peers in that we deploy our predetermined low-cost ~1.0 MTPA FLNG development concept to gas resources that fit our concept. This is quite different from the conventional approach of first conducting extensive Pre-FEED to generate and select the most suitable and bespoke development concept to commercialise each resource.
TBE’s low-cost FLNG concept is also predicated on achieving a unit EPC cost target for the total project (wells, SURF and FLNG vessel) of ~ USD1,000 / liquefaction tonne. This allows a breakeven LNG price (Freight On Board; FOB) of USD 6.5 / MMBtu, which positions TBS’s project in the 2nd quartile of cost competitiveness among all existing, under construction and proposed LNG projects worldwide.
Another key business distinction is that TBE does not take exploration risk. All of TBE’s target gas resources have wells already drilled and gas in place confirmed.
How would you describe your company in one sentence to a new client/partner/investor?
We generate a step change in industry value creation by accelerating the monetization of discovered but stranded gas resources via deployment of our predetermined low-cost ~1.0 MTPA FLNG development concept.
What takeaways would you like attendees at our Asia Pacific Assembly to go home with regarding your company and your work both in Asia Pacific and further afield?
Transborders Energy, with partners Add Energy and TechnipFMC and technical advisor MODEC, generates a step change in industry value creation by accelerating the monetization of discovered but stranded gas resources via deployment of our predetermined low-cost ~1.0 MTPA FLNG development concept.
What is your proudest work-related achievement to date?
I am proud of starting the business of Transborders Energy (TBE) and continually growing TBE with my colleagues and EPC / O&M partners Add Energy, TechnipFMC and MODEC.
What one businessman/woman do you most admire and why?
I admire my father Daesun Cha most. He started his career as a construction worker and foreign immigrant in Japan straight after graduating from high school. He then entrepreneurially moved into real estate, rode the wave of the Japanese economic bubble and spread his business into owning Pachinko parlours (casinos). While his tremendous work ethic, continuously long work hours and stress unfortunately took his life at a young age of 49, he has set a living example for me that hard, diligent and persistent work pays off.
What was the wisest advice you received from a mentor?
“Enter opportunistically, and exit strategically.”
What advice would you pass onto a recent graduate wishing to work in the energy industry?
Look globally, and look into the upstream sector for job opportunities. Upstream project development work is especially fascinating!
All-time favourite book?
“Good to Great” by Jim Collins
All-time favourite film?
“Back to the Future”
What three items would you take with you to a desert island?
Food, water and a weapon
About Daein Cha
With 20 years of oil and gas work experience, Daein specialises in LNG major capital project management, LNG business development and LNG procurement and trading. He joined Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd in 1998 and has since served roles of increasing responsibilities including Manager of LNG procurement & trading, and Manager of LNG upstream business development.
Daein joined Chevron Australia (Chevron) in 2012 as Deputy Business Manager and in 2014 as Deputy Project Manager for the Gorgon Expansion Project. He subsequently also served in project management roles for Chevron’s Gorgon Stage 2 and Jansz-Io Compression projects.
Daein has taken on the role as Managing Director of Transborders Australia Pty Ltd since early 2017.
Daein received his Bachelor’s degree in Management from the International Christian University (Japan), and his MBA from the University of Virginia Darden Graduate School of Business Administration (USA).