ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Malaysia mulls over plan to buy electricity from Laos
KUALA LUMPUR: Laos, Thailand and Malaysia may proceed with a planned cross-border power trade minus Singapore, which had some concerns over the initiative, said Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili.
The Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister said his officers were exploring the possibility for the pilot project, known as the Laos PDR, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore (LTMS) Power Integration Project (PIP), to be carried out in two phases.
“Under Phase One, Laos, Thailand and Malaysia can embark on this project with Malaysia buying the proposed 100MW from Laos through Thailand,” said Ongkili during the opening of the 33rd Asean Ministers on Energy Meeting (Amem) at Grand Hyatt Hotel.
The LTMS-PIP is part of the Asean Power Grid initiative to ensure energy security and greater utilisation of shared resources among member states.
The LTMS-PIP plan was initiated during the last Amem meeting in Vientiane, Laos, in 2014.
Officials from LTMS countries had met 11 times since then and a memorandum of understanding (MoU) among the partners was supposed to be signed during this week’s meeting.
“Unfortunately, I have been made to understand that due to certain reservations, this MoU will not be signed,” he said.
Ongkili said Singapore practised transparent and competitive bidding for its supply of power.
He said they were not prepared at this moment to impose and take a load of 100MW.
“Singapore needs more time to decide whether to make a direct award or direct absorption by-passing the normal competitive bidding process,” he said.
Ongkili is confident that these issues can be ironed out in the next six months while the three other countries can absorb the 100MW in the meantime.
He pointed out that the electricity utilities in the three countries were vertically integrated and only a Power Purchasing Agreement ?needed to be signed.
Ongkili said strengthening energy co-operation would bring the region closer to its goal of achieving greater energy security and realising Asean connectivity.
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