ASEAN Energy Ministers Discuss Electricity Interconnection System To Enhance Energy Security And Sustainability

Representational image. Credit: Canva

In a recent development aimed at achieving energy transition goals and global emission reductions, ASEAN member countries are prioritizing energy security through enhanced connectivity. During the 20th ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM) 41 held in Bali, the focus was on establishing an interconnection system among ASEAN countries to ensure efficient electricity distribution according to regional needs.


The ASEAN energy tagline encompasses three key pillars: sustainability, security, and interconnectivity. Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) Arifin Tasrif emphasized the importance of these pillars in driving energy connectivity for sustainable ASEAN growth. Arifin highlighted the role of interconnection systems, which can serve as a backbone to balance electricity supply and demand within the region.

Arifin Tasrif further explained that the Trans-ASEAN Gas Pipeline (TAGP) and ASEAN Power Grid (APG) are key mechanisms to increase interconnectivity and realize energy security. While these efforts are not entirely new, their successful implementation requires collaboration and shared goals among ASEAN member countries.

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Darmawan Prasodjo, Main Director of PLN, noted that Indonesia and Malaysia have taken significant steps towards interconnecting their energy systems, particularly in regions like Kalimantan and Sabah. He acknowledged the challenges posed by policy, technical, and commercial aspects of cross-border energy interconnection but highlighted the potential benefits, especially in the context of Indonesia’s ambitious plan for renewable energy development.

Overcoming these challenges requires a spirit of collaboration, unity, and shared prosperity among ASEAN countries. Darmawan emphasized that the effort to enhance energy security through interconnectivity aligns with ASEAN’s economic growth and can strengthen relations among member nations.

Dato’ Indera Ir. Baharin, President and Chief Executive Officer of National Energy Berhad welcomed the collaboration and noted that the electricity interconnection plan offers investment opportunities. While the endeavor demands substantial financial resources, the potential returns and the strong collaborative approach make it an attractive opportunity for the entire region.

The discussion during the AMEM meeting involved the participation of ASEAN power companies, including PLN from Indonesia, Tenaga Nasional Berhad from Malaysia, Electricite du Laos from Laos, and the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT). The collaborative dialogue focused on realizing the vision of a comprehensive electricity interconnection system that would contribute to ASEAN’s energy security and sustainability goals.

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