VIENTIANE, May 23 (Xinhua) -- More work is needed for ASEAN's power grid to be connected to enhance cross-border electricity trade, officials and experts from energy sectors have agreed here at the ASEAN Power Grid Summit held from Monday to Wednesday.
In his opening remarks at the summit on Monday, Lao Minister of Energy and Mines Khammany Inthirath referred to the ASEAN Vision 2020, in which leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders gave importance to efficient, reliable and resilient electricity infrastructure to meet growing demand, and the potential advantages of an integrated system.
"These interconnected electricity networks will add strength to ASEAN's economic integration, at the same time providing those countries with abundant natural resources but with little demand to generate income from their surplus supply; Laos is one of them," local daily Vientiane Times on Wednesday quoted Minister Khammany as saying.
"On the other hand, countries with higher power demand can meet their electricity shortfalls by importing energy from neighboring countries at reasonable prices," he added.
He also referred to an assessment by the ASEAN Center for Energy, which noted that 100 billion U.S. dollars was required for ASEAN to meet the increasing demand for electricity and some 7 billion U.S. dollars for gas pipeline networks.
This required increasing regional governmental support and greater participation by the private sector to ensure that proposed projects were commercially realistic and financially viable.
This year's implementation of the first phase of the Laos-Thailand-Malaysia-Singapore Power Integration Project by Laos, Thailand and Malaysia to supply up to 100MW in cross-border power through existing interconnections was mentioned as an outstanding example of energy cooperation within ASEAN.
The ASEAN Power Grid Summit 2018 is themed "Enhancing ASEAN Power Grid Investment towards Regional Energy Optimisation."
In his remarks, the Chairman of Confexhub (a network solutions provider of strategic marketing), Datuk Abdul Aziz Kadir, referred to the rapid growth of the ASEAN economy which he said was fuelled by rapid urbanisation and energy-intensive industries.
He said electricity demand in ASEAN was projected to grow by 6.1 percent to 7.2 percent per annum.