Asean energy ministers open Manila meeting

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ASEAN energy ministers are meeting this week in Manila to push the development of an efficient, reliable, and resilient power infrastructure for the region.

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The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, as outlined in a 2016-2025 plan of action, is working on linking the region’s power markets, which was piloted in 2014 via the Lao PDR, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore Power Integration Project.

An Energy department official said that Malaysia, Thailand, and Laos would be sealing a trading accord this Thursday at the sidelines of the 35th Asean Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM).

Asked about the viability of the Philippines connecting with its neighbors, Energy Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella told reporters on Monday that geographical considerations were a primary consideration.

An Asean Power Grid is one of seven program areas outlined in the plan of action as the region’s power demand is expect to grow by 5 to 6 percent annually between 2016 and 2020.

Asean is also looking into the harmonization of legal and regulatory practices and technical standards as well as the identification of potential financing schemes.

The 2017 AMEM, which will run from September 25 to 29, is being held in Manila as the Philippines currently holds the chairmanship of the regional bloc.

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