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Four ASEAN countries to sign deal in cross-border power trading

Singapore is set to ink an agreement with Laos, Thailand and Malaysia at an ASEAN meeting next month to advance cooperation on cross-border power trading, Singapore’s Second Minister for Trade and Industry Tan See Leng said on October 26.

The memorandum of understanding for the Laos-Thailand-Malaysia-Singapore Power Integration Project (LTMS-PIP) is expected to be signed at the 38th ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting, which will be hosted by Vietnam mid-November, Tan said in a speech at the Singapore Energy Summit, which is part of the Singapore International Energy Week (SIEW) 2020.

The LTMS-PIP currently involves the sale of electricity from Laos to Malaysia, with Thailand acting as a transit country, according to a September 2019 report by the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Establishing multilateral power trading would allow ASEAN member states to tap into the potential benefits of an integrated ASEAN power system, including reduced costs and an increased ability to integrate variable renewable energy resources, the IEA said in the report.

Tan quoted an ASEAN Energy Outlook report set to be published next month as saying that the ASEAN Centre of Energy has predicted that the regional energy demand would increase by more than 70 percent between 2020 and 2040.

To ensure a sustainable energy future, the ten member states have agreed to lower energy intensity and grow the renewable portfolio in their energy mix, he said.

Within ASEAN, there are also extensive discussions to promote the use of natural gas through a well-coordinated and connected regional gas market, the minister added./