ASEAN calls for energy investment

Source: Xinhua| 2017-09-27 21:03:26|Editor: ying
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MANILA, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) -- The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Wednesday called on investors to help fund the energy projects to boost power growth in the region.

At the opening of the 35th ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM), Philippine Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi laid out the ASEAN plans to ensure a sustained supply of energy in ASEAN, as the Philippines is the rotational chair of ASEAN this year.

"These are great plans, yes. But these are plans that will cost money," Cusi said, adding that "it is now imperative on us to draw in more investments and expertise to ensure that we are prepared for this new future."

Cusi said ASEAN has consistently tried to create a regulatory environment which is conducive to both regional and global investors.

Cusi cited renewable energy and liquified natural gas as key areas for energy cooperation. "ASEAN is committed to a future of renewables," he said.

Moreover, he said that the renewables industry must innovate towards a sustainable future.

"From reduced carbon footprints to lower emissions to cleaner air, we know how important it is that we invest in the future of renewable energy sources," Cusi said.

Ultimately, he said that renewable energy "must reach grid parity in a world where carbon-based energy like coal and oil is priced in a fair manner."

Cusi pointed to an increasing demand for relatively cheaper natural gas from Asia, complemented by increasing supply from the rest of the world like the United States. He stressed the need to strengthen connectivity in the region.

"Things are picking up on the regional front," Cusi said, noting that ASEAN begins pursuing the Trans-ASEAN Gas Pipeline that will link Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar and Indonesia.

He said the project will lower the costs to move gas around and will ensure the utilization of natural gas around the region with investments on pipelines linking Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar and Indonesia.

"We will need great commitment, bold ideas and innovative solutions in our pursuit to make our tomorrows better than today," Cusi said.

He added that "in our journey towards one ASEAN community through resilient and sustainable energy, I believe that it is imperative that we take stock of the emerging headwinds faced by the global energy landscape. These are headwinds that bring about new energy realities."

With the theme "One ASEAN Community through Resilient and Sustainable Energy," this year's AMEM focuses on ensuring accessibility to adequate supply of resilient and sustainable energy.

AMEM is an annual gathering of the ASEAN energy ministers, development partners, international organizations, foreign and local investors to discuss and guide the development of energy-related initiatives, plans and programs, policies and cooperation efforts in ASEAN.

The ASEAN energy ministers hope the conference can serve as a platform where best practices on renewables can be learnt and shared.