Strengthening ties: Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah (centre) greeting Dr Ongkili, who led the Malaysian delegation to the Brunei Energy Week 2014.
KOTA KINABALU: Brunei is keen to sell its electricity to Sabah’s southwestern Sipitang district once its hydro-power plant is completed, Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili said.
Dr Ongkili, who returned after bilateral meetings with his Brunei counterpart Pehin Datuk Dr Mohammad Yasmin Umar, said Brunei was working with Sarawak to build a hydro electricity plant to produce electricity that could be exported to Sabah.
“Dr Mohammad has proposed to export electricity to the Sipitang area once the hydro power project is completed,” Dr Ongkili said, adding that he was in Brunei to attend the Brunei Energy Week.
Among other issues discussed with Dr Mohammad Yasmin, Dr Ongkili said that there were areas of mutual interest where bilateral cooperation and partnership could be enhanced between Malaysia and Brunei.
Dr Mohammad indicated that Brunei was keen to develop renewable energy projects, including hydroelectricity and was keen to learn from Malaysia.
“We are neighbours and friends and can work together including on the Sabah-Brunei interconnection,” Dr Ongkili added.
He also praised Brunei for its industry-driven training for the youths to match human resource for its oil and gas industry.
He said Malaysia could learn from what Brunei was doing in encouraging youths to have such careers.
“Malaysia and Brunei can also increase cooperation, such as in energy efficiency within the Asean framework.
“There is much to be shared as we can learn from each other to enhance our energy efficiency initiatives,” said Dr Ongkili.
Dr Ongkili presented a keynote address at the inaugural Brunei National Energy Research Institute (BNERI) International Annual Conference themed “Future Secure and Sustainable Energy Landscape of Brunei” held in conjunction with Brunei Energy Week.
In his speech, he said that Asean countries have also stepped up their cooperation on energy, with various initiatives promoted, including the Asean Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation for 2016-2020, which is expected to be tabled at the Energy Ministers Meeting in 2015, the same year the Asean Economic Community is to be implemented.
He said that Asean thus needed to further expedite the various initiatives under the grouping, especially connectivity projects like the Asean Power Grid (APG) and Trans-Asean Gas Pipeline (TAGP).
The latter will connect Sabah and Sarawak with Brunei and Indonesia to form a Pan-Borneo electricity network, thus forging closer bilateral relationship between the three countries.