Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei and the Philippines will set up a sub-regional focus group to promote existing connectivity and achieve sustainable green energy development.
The region is currently interconnected through the ASEAN Power Grid (APG) project and the Trans-ASEAN Gas Pipeline (TAGP).
Indonesia's Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources Secretary-General, Dadan Kusdiana, said that it was part of the key agenda of the 41st ASEAN Energy Ministers' Meeting (AMEM).
He added, "With enhanced resource sharing, we will do what can be done immediately. Indonesia and Malaysia are already connected. Malaysia will be connected to Brunei later. At present, we are still watching the Philippines. The southern part of the Philippines has been connected through North Sulawesi is connected to Indonesia. This is good for North Kalimantan and for both Indonesia and Malaysia.”
The Kalimantan region has large hydroelectric plants operated by Indonesian and Malaysian companies, while the Philippines is one of the largest producers of geothermal power in the world, according to Dadan Kusdiana.
Beyond that, Dadan gave no further details on the project, but noted that the four countries will issue a joint statement once the agenda is discussed.
He emphasized that "interconnection", including not only grid interconnection but also gas pipelines interconnection, is the theme of this year's 41st AMEM.
Earlier, Indonesian Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Arifin Tasrif, in his opening address to AMEM, emphasized that for ASEAN's sustainable growth, the region needs to be more interconnected through APG, TAGP and "other cross-party commitments".
Under the ASEAN Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation (APAEC), the region has committed to archive a target of renewable energy comprising 23% of its Total Primary Energy Supply, as well as 35% of its installed power capacity by 2025.
According to the ASEAN Energy Center (ACE), the ASEAN Interconnection Master Plan Study (AIMS) III estimates that APG will need 47.7 billion USD in funding by 2025 to further leverage renewable energy and, achieve the ASEAN renewable energy goals.