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ASEAN push for Laos-Singapore power line

Asean senior energy officials have intensified talks on the Laos-Singapore transmission line project to expedite power trading within the Asian region.

Officials are expected to seal the project’s memorandum at the 33rd Asean Energy Ministers meeting scheduled for Oct 5 to 9 in Kuala Lumpur. The transmission line is a demonstration project involving Laos, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore, with Laos expected to export electricity to Singapore via Thailand and Malaysia. Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry Secretary General Datuk Loo Took Gee on Wednesday said a total of eleven meetings had so far been held to move the project forward.

“So far, the interconnection between Malaysia and Thailand is ready and also Malaysia and Singapore.

“Only the transmission line from Laos to Thailand has not been made,” she told reporters during a brief recess of the 33rd Asean Senior Energy Officials Meeting, here which she also chaired.

“We are talking about 100MW first and scale it up later. This will be the flagship project of Asean cooperation,” she pointed out. A study carried out by the Economic Research Institute for Asean and East Asia (ERIA) researcher, Dr Yanfei Li, said building the transmission line to carry electricity from Laos’ hydropower plants to Singapore can save as much as RM94 billion over 10 years for the four countries involved.

Among others being discussed at the meet, Loo said is the Sarawak-West Kalimantan transmission line, which is already completed and Sarawak is expected to export 50MW to Kalimatan by year-end. In line with the theme “Powering Asean Towards A Greener Community”, Loo said officials will also discuss renewable energy development and further explore the use of biomass, biogas and solar. The five-day meeting involves officials from 10 Asean member nations, namely, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

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