Asian power grid MOU to be presented in July

16 May 2006 – A memorandum of understanding on the formation of an Asean Power Grid, that will be an important step in the establishment of power trading within the region, is to be presented to the 23rd Asean Ministers on Energy Meeting scheduled in Vientiane, Laos, in July, according to the Malaysian Energy, Water and Communications Minister Dr Lim Keng Yaik.

In a speech at the 22nd Head of Asean Power Utility and Authority (HAPUA), delivered on behalf of the Minister by the Ministry secretary-general Dr Halim Man on Monday he said that the development of the Asean Power Grid is also an important step towards optimizing resource development.

Dr Lim said there would be interconnections to enable power exchange and assist member countries in developing and maintaining demand-supply balance. This can be done through bilateral arrangements between utilities, he added.

As for cross-border investment, Dr Lim said Asean member countries could participate to invest and realise strategic interconnection projects or in new capacity with HAPUA assessing and considering the proposals.

He said the completion of the Asean Interconnection Masterplan Study in 2003, and the phased implementation of the interconnection at bilateral level had shown that the Asean Power Grid was accepted by all countries to be the tangible output resulting from HAPUA.

Tenaga Nasional Bhd’s president and chief executive officer Che Khalib Mohamad Nor said the MOU would basically set the parameters and framework to work towards realising the full Asean interconnection.

The plan is to have all the Asean countries to be linked and interconnected like Europe, he said, adding that Malaysia now has power exchange arrangements with Thailand and Singapore.

Malaysia is now in negotiations for a similar arrangement with Indonesia, he told reporters after the official opening of

Under the Asean Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation, the project to link power grid between Peninsular Malaysia and Sumatra has been identified as feasible interconnection.

Che Khalib said that funding is not an issue for the interconnection project but it must be commercially viable and feasible.

Among other bilateral arrangements, Thailand now has interconnection with Laos, and in the future with Myanmar, while Laos which has huge hydro-electric potential, is considering a link to Cambodia.