Nusa Dua, Bali (ANTARA) - Indonesia's state-owned electricity company PT PLN and two Malaysian corporations have agreed to conduct a study on underwater electrical interconnector to support energy security in the two countries.

"We are discussing cooperation between PLN and Malaysian electricity company TNB and Sabah," Indonesian Energy and Mineral Resources Minister, Arifin Tasrif, informed on the sidelines of the 41st ASEAN Energy Ministers Meeting (AMEM) in Nusa Dua, Bali, on Friday.

He informed that the cooperation is a follow-up of a consensus forged by ASEAN energy ministers on interconnectivity in the Southeast Asian region.

The collaboration between the three corporations from the two countries also sought the involvement of the ASEAN Center for Energy (ACE) on the sidelines of the closing of the 41st AMEM.

According to Tasrif, the ASEAN Interconnection Master Plan Study (AIMS) III has identified 18 potential cross-border interconnections with a cumulative capacity of up to 33 gigawatts by 2040, including two interconnectors proposed by the two countries to analyze their feasibility level.

However, the 41st AMEM meeting has not disclosed the specific potential value of the cooperation on the mega interconnection project.

He informed that the two interconnectors are located in Sumatra and Kalimantan, both of which share a border with Malaysia.

For this reason, ACE, PLN, and Malaysian corporation Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) will work together to conduct a feasibility study on the Sumatra-Malaysia interconnection route.

The study will focus on increasing investment in the required facilities, and supporting policy development and implementation, Tasrif said.

Furthermore, the feasibility study will determine the technical, financial, and economic feasibility as well as carry out a preliminary environmental impact assessment, he added.

According to him, the Sumatra-Malaysia electrical interconnection will be the first underwater connection in ASEAN region.

PLN and Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd, in collaboration with ACE, have also agreed to conduct a feasibility study in Kalimantan, Indonesia-Sabah, Malaysia, which will have the same scope as the study on Sumatra-Malaysia, Tasrif said.

The goal of the project is to achieve interconnectivity for sustainable energy security in the regions of Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines, he added.

Earlier, ASEAN energy ministers agreed to pursue regional targets to ensure interconnection through power generation networks, gas pipelines, and liquefied natural gas by 2045.

"We ask ASEAN member countries to initiate new multilateral projects for power trade and bridge the gap by connecting the north, south, and east subregions," Tasrif said.

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Translator: Dewa Ketut S W, Resinta S
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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