Malaysia, Thailand ink MoU to facilitate cross-border power trade

The morning sun against a series of huge electricity pylons along Jalan Bintulu-Bakun. The state grid criss-crosses hundreds of kilometers of mountainous terrain from Bakun and Murum dams to the industries in Samalaju. -- ZULAZHAR SHEBLEE / THE STAR

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia, Thailand and Laos have inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to facilitate the implementation of a multilateral cross-border power trade up to 100 MW through Thailand. 

The Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry said the MoU would pave the way for Malaysia to purchase up to 100MW of hydro power from Laos and transmitted through Thailand by 2018. 

“The multilateral power trade is the initial stage of the Asean Power Grid initiative which is a flagship project under the Asean Vision 2020. 

“The project is aimed at enhancing energy security in Asean through the establishment of a network of interconnections between Asean member states,” it said in a statement. 

The MoU was signed on Wednesday on the sidelines of the 34th Asean Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM) in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar. 

Malaysian Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Johnity Ongkili, Thai Energy Minister General Anantaporn Kanjanarat and Laotian Energy and Mines Vice-Minister Viraphonh Viravong represented their respective governments. 

The ministry said the signing of the MoU also marked Malaysia’s commitment to increase the share of renewable energy in its fuel mix by 2020 as part of the mitigation action to reduce carbon emission in the power sector. 

It said currently the fuel mix of Malaysia was dominated by coal and gas and the Government was committed to rationalise this as per the commitment made in the Paris Agreement at end of 2015. 

“The initial capacity of 100 MW could be increased in the future and would positively balance our fuel mix to be more environment friendly,” it said. 

Meanwhile, Ongkili said the pilot project would pave the way for other multilateral power trading in Asean as a means to enhance energy security in the region which would be of significant advantage to Malaysia. - Bernama
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