Three Asean countries agree on interconnected transmissions
Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia have agreed to build three interconnected power transmission networks worth US$1 billion.
According to Indonesian energy and mineral resources minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro, the agreements were part of the ASEAN Power Grid project.
Indonesia, represented by state-run electricity company PLN, and its partners from the two neighboring countries would jointly build three power transmission lines connecting Sarawak in Malaysia with Pontianak in the Indonesian province of West Kalimantan; Penang in Malaysia with Riau in the Indonesian island of Sumatra; and Singapore with Batam and Bintan in Riau Islands of Indonesia.
According to The Jakarta Post, PLN would use the cross-border transmission networks to buy electricity from either Singapore or Malaysia to cope with the electricity shortages in Sumatra and Kalimantan.
PLN, which is currently engaged in a crash program to provide an additional power supply of 10,000 megawatts by the end of 2009, also intends to use the facilities to sell its power surplus to the two neighboring countries.
"In the future, we could take advantage of gas production from the Natuna gas block to build a power plant in Batam. The electricity from the island could be sold to Singapore," PLN executive Syaiful B. Ibrahim said, adding that the company could also build a coal-fired power plant in Riau, where coal reserves are abundant.
ASEAN is pursuing 11 power interconnections under the project, five of which are scheduled to be in operation by 2010.
Syaiful said three projects were still under examination but were targeted to be completed by 2012.
PLN will cooperate with Malaysian companies Sesco and Tenaga Nasional Berhad to build the power electricity lines connecting the two countries. PLN will cooperate with Singapore Power for its connections with Singapore.
ASEAN will need around US$ 100 billion in investment to meet the increasing demand for electricity in the region over the coming years.