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Asean energy demand to grow 70% between 2020 and 2040

SINGAPORE is set to ink an agreement with Laos, Thailand and Malaysia at an Asean meeting next month to advance cooperation on cross-border power trading, Second Minister for Trade and Industry Tan See Leng said on Monday.

The memorandum of understanding for the Lao PDR-Thailand-Malaysia-Singapore Power Integration Project (LTMS-PIP) is expected to be signed at the 38th Asean Ministers on Energy Meeting, which will be hosted by Vietnam mid-November.

“Tapping on regional power grids and electricity imports for cleaner energy is another key switch of our low carbon energy future,” Dr Tan said in a speech at the Singapore Energy Summit, which is part of the Singapore International Energy Week (SIEW) 2020.

The LTMS-PIP currently involves the sale of electricity from Laos to Malaysia, with Thailand acting as a transit country, according to a September 2019 report by the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Establishing multilateral power trading would allow Asean member states to tap into the potential benefits of an integrated Asean power system, including reduced costs and an increased ability to integrate variable renewable energy resources, IEA said in the report.

This comes as the Asean Centre of Energy has predicted that energy demand would increase by more than 70 per cent between 2020 and 2040, according to an Asean Energy Outlook report set to be published next month, Dr Tan said.

“To ensure a sustainable energy future, the ten countries have agreed to lower energy intensity and grow the renewable portfolio in their energy mix,” he said.

“Within Asean, there are also extensive discussions to promote the use of natural gas through a well-coordinated and connected regional gas market,” he added.

At the  opening address of the SIEW,  Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said the LTMS-PIP will create a pathfinder towards the broader Asean Power Grid vision, a long-standing goal for the bloc to integrate its power systems.

Mr Chan added that Singapore’s plans to join the project underlines its commitment to advance power grids as a solution to decarbonisation in the region.

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