Jakarta (ANTARA) - Four power companies of ASEAN countries discussed opportunities for interconnection systems between countries in order to achieve energy security amid achieving energy transition targets and reducing global emissions.

"The ASEAN energy tagline contains the three energy pillars of sustainability, security, and interconnectivity. These pillars represent our main challenge in accelerating energy connectivity to achieve sustainable ASEAN growth," Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) Arifin Tasrif noted in an official statement received in Jakarta, Friday.

Tasrif made the statement at the 41st ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM) in Bali, Thursday (Aug 24).

The minister remarked that the focus of discussion at the 41st AMEM this time is creating the electricity interconnection system.

The interconnection system can become the backbone if there is surfeit supply of electricity in an area, so it can be distributed according to the area's needs.

"To realize this, we will increase interconnectivity through the Trans-ASEAN Gas Pipeline (TAGP) and ASEAN Power Grid (APG) for sustainable ASEAN energy," Tasrif remarked.

The four ASEAN power companies that attended the 2023 AMEM meeting are State-Owned Electricity Company (PLN) from Indonesia, Tenaga Nasional Berhad from Malaysia, Electricite du Laos from Laos, and Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand.

PLN with three electricity companies from Malaysia, Laos, and Thailand discussed the opportunity for an electrical interconnection system between ASEAN countries.

Following up on the result of the meeting, President Director of PLN Darmawan Prasodjo explained that the interconnection system in ASEAN is not a new concept for PLN.

Indonesia and Malaysia have made aggressive moves to connect the Kalimantan system with Sabah. Prasodjo underscored the need for driving interconnection development, especially in the midst of the challenges of developing clean energy.

"With an ambitious plan for the development of EBT (clean renewable energy) generators in the Indonesian Energy Transition scenario, this initiative is also able to increase the flexibility of supply and demand in the electricity sector," Prasodjo affirmed.

He noted that the meeting between the ASEAN power companies in realizing energy security in the region is also a step to intensify relations between ASEAN member countries.

Meanwhile, President and Chief Executive Officer of Tenaga Nasional Berhad Dato' Indera Ir. Baharin stated that the electricity interconnection system plan is an investment opportunity in the future.

Baharin noted that although it requires a large budget allocation, with strong collaboration, it can become a profitable opportunity for all countries.

"An attractive investment climate as well as attractiveness, in terms of return on investment, is a challenge in itself. Even though this interconnection model has been successfully implemented in Europe, opportunities for this collaboration will be increased," Baharin explained.

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Translator: Farhan Arda Nugraha, Cindy Frishanti Octavia
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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