|Laos will push for the acceleration of energy integration under the Asean Power Grid (APG) to address the imbalance in the distribution of power-generating resources in the region.|
The Energy Policy and Planning Department Director General Dr Daovong Phonekeo told Lao media during a senior official meeting in Vientiane yesterday to prepare for the 32nd Asean Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM) today.
The move comes after energy integration has been talked about for years but the project has not progressed, it is still largely as before.
Dr Daovong, who is also the senior official for Laos, said any integration was mainly conducted among neighbouring countries, not broadly and systematically connected to the wider Asean countries.
“We will take the opportunity of the 32nd Asean Ministers on Energy Meeting in Vientiane to push for the acceleration of energy integration in Asean,” he said.
The APG aimed to connect countries with surplus power generation capacity to those who face a deficit.
The intention is to link up power lines in the 10 Asean nations by 2020, but there is still a need to further harmonise business regulations, technical standards and systems that impact the interconnection of national power grids.
Laos will also propose to the Asean ministerial meeting an initiative to undertake a pilot project to explore cross border power trade from Laos to Singapore.
The scheme could serve as a pathfinder to further enhance multi-lateral electricity trading beyond neighbouring borders to support the realisation of the APG. The pilot project will involve the four Asean member states of Laos, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore.
Singapore has agreed in principle to purchase 100 MW of electricity from Laos under the pilot scheme, while Thailand and Malaysia have offered their support.
The Lao electricity transmission line is already connected with Thailand’s, while the Thai network is connected with Malaysia’s and the Malaysian transmission line is connected with Singapore.
AMEM is an Asean mechanism for strengthening energy cooperation to address major energy challenges and ensure a secure and reliable energy supply in the region.
Ministers and delegates from nine Asean member countries, six dialogue partners, Asean Secretariat, International Energy Agency, Economic Research Institute for Asean and East Asean Centre for Energy, as well as other Asean agencies on energy, will attend the meeting.
Up to 300 participants are expected to attend the 32nd AMEM and its related meetings. These include Asean Plus Three (three dialogue partners – China, Japan and the Republic of Korea) Energy Ministers Meeting and Asean Plus Six (China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand) Energy Ministers Meeting.
On Monday, senior officials discussed various documents at the preparatory meeting for the ministerial meeting today. The meeting also reviewed cooperation projects implemented over the past year.
The Asean officials also discussed cooperation projects for the next five years before holding a meeting with their counterparts from the plus three nations of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea to discuss cooperation, notably on issues related to energy training and exchange lessons between Asean member countries and the plus three nations.
By Somsack Pongkhao
(Latest Update September 23, 2014)