The Association of Southeast Asian Nation’s (Asean) plans to forge closer energy ties have taken a major step forward after Malaysia, Thailand and Laos sealed a cross-border trading arrangement.
The Energy Purchase Wheeling Agreement (EWPA), described as the region’s first multilateral power grid deal, allows Malaysia to purchase up to 100 megawatts of electricity from Laos using Thailand’s transmission grid.
The agreement falls under phase one of the Lao PDR, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore Power Integration Project, an initiative under the proposed Asean Power Grid (APG).
Asean energy chiefs meeting in Manila witnessed the signing of the pact on Wednesday between officials of Electricite du Laos, the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand and Tenaga National Berhad).
APG is one of the major components of Asean’s 2016-2025 Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation, which outlines areas were cooperation can be enhanced to attain regional energy security, accessibility, affordability and sustainability.
Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, who called for increased energy investments in the region, welcomed the development.
During the joint opening ceremony of the 35th Asean Ministers on Energy Meeting and the Asean Energy Business Forum, Cusi highlighted the region’s growth potential and efforts to make Southeast Asia a primary investment destination.
Topics being discussed at the AMEM include clean coal technology, civilian nuclear energy, regional energy policy and planning, renewable energy efficiency and conservation and a trans-ASEAN gas pipeline in addition to the proposed Asean power grid.