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29-Sep-2017 : AMEM focusses on energy cooperation

|     Danial Norjidi     |

THE Asean energy ministers gathered in Manila, Philippines to convene the 35th Asean Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM) held for September 27 to 29.

Themed ‘One Asean Community through Resilient and Sustainable Energy’, the annual meeting was chaired by Alfonso G Cusi, Secretary of Energy of the Philippines with vice chair, S Iswaran, Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) of Singapore.

Other related meetings that also took place in conjunction with the 35th AMEM were the 14th Asean+3 Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM+3), the 11th East Asia Summit Energy Ministers Meeting (EAS EMM), and the 1st Dialogue between AMEM and the International Renewable Energy Agency (AMEM-IRENA Dialogue).

Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Awang Haji Mohammad Yasmin Umar, the Minister of Energy and Industry at the Prime Minister’s Office represented Brunei Darussalam at the 35th AMEM and its related meetings.

According to a press release from the Energy and Industry Department at the Prime Minister’s Office, the 35th AMEM discussed the progress of the Asean Plan of Action on Energy Cooperation (APAEC) 2016-2025 Phase 1: 2016-2020 that entails strategies on the seven programme areas namely Asean Power Grid, Trans-Asean Gas Pipeline, Coal and Clean Coal Technology, Energy Efficiency and Conservation, Renewable Energy, Regional Energy Policy and Planning, and Civilian Nuclear Energy.

The APAEC objective was established in the importance of energy as the key enabler in the realisation of the Asean Economic Community (AEC) and Asean Vision 2025.

The press release also notes that at the 11th EAS EMM, Brunei Darussalam had the opportunity to report to the EAS energy ministers on the progress of the Renewable and Alternative Power Generation (RAPG) Work Stream that is co-chaired by Brunei Darussalam and the United States of America under the EAS Energy Cooperation Task Force.

The RAPG Work Stream has completed its four-year work programme and at the meeting was introduced to a new work plan for the next two years that will have a focus on Floating Solar PV and storage innovative solar and storage technologies.

The 1st AMEM-IRENA Dialogue, among others, discussed the potential of collaboration between IRENA and Brunei Darussalam on providing expertise in managing renewable energy projects in Brunei.

Asean also agreed to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with IRENA to formalise a long-term cooperation.

The meeting saw the launching of the 5th Asean Energy Outlook published by the Asean Centre of Energy.

The report forecasted that the Asean Primary Energy Supply would increase by 3.9 per cent per annum with oil remaining as the largest fuel type and coal as the main source for power sector by 2025.

It was shared in the press release that the key highlights of the meetings include concurrence among the Ministers on the importance of renewable energy as the future with liquefied natural gas as a fuel that could help reach this sustainable future.

The renewable energy industry requires innovative solutions, competitive market, conducive environment for investment as well as concerted commitments from all members. There was also a general sentiment on the need for the LNG market to be more flexible and competitive.

The 36th AMEM and its Related Meetings will take place in Singapore in October 2018 back to back with the annual Singapore International Energy Week.

Borneo Bulletin