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Philippines joins Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia on grid interconnection project

The Philippines, Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, and Malaysia are working on a cross-border energy trading initiative aimed at establishing an integrated power system among the island nations in Southeast Asia.

Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Raphael Lotilla told reporters that the energy ministries of the BIMP (Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines)-East ASEAN Growth Area signed an agreement to conduct a feasibility study on interconnecting the power grids within the “archipelagic ASEAN” during the 41st ASEAN Energy Ministers Meeting in Bali in August.

The BIMP-EAGA countries also agreed to set up a working group to assess the potential of the project.

The working group is expected to provide the results of their study to illustrate the feasibility of cross-border electricity trade among the four countries by 2025, according to Lotilla.

The Energy chief expressed optimism that an interconnected BIMP-EAGA is viable since this has already been done in continental Southeast Asia with the Laos-Thailand-Malaysia-Singapore Power Integration Project.

“This was shown to be feasible in continental ASEAN… so [we] want a feasibility study for the archipelagic ASEAN,” Lotilla said.

“This is the vision… Everything starts out with a vision,” he said.

The interconnection of power grids in BIMP-EAGA was aimed at ensuring energy security, Lotilla said. 

“We need to diversify our sources of power…  Emphasis is on energy security; there is power available,” he said. — VBL, GMA Integrated News