ASEAN hopes to expand power cooperation with China

Oct 30, 2007 01:00 AM

Members of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) expressed the hope that Chinese power companies could expand cooperation with them in the field of electric power generation.
"Energy Ministers from the ASEAN agreed to establish a transnational power grid. We welcome Chinese companies to participate in bilateral and multilateral power cooperation projects," Nicolas Tandi Dammen, Deputy Secretary General of the ASEAN Secretariat, said at a forum on electric power cooperation held in the southern Chinese city of Nanning.

The Malaysian energy firm Sarawak Energy brought a package of electric power cooperation programs involving investment of more than $ 6 bn to the forum, arousing interest of major Chinese power suppliers including the State Grid, Huaneng Power, and China Datang Corporation which are all eager to pursue a "going-out" strategy for development.
"The domestic power industry is small-scaled and fragmented in Cambodia, comprising 24 small power grids. The rate of electrization is just 15 %, so there is ample room for development," said Khlaut Randy, the Cambodian power minister.

Cambodia is not the only power-thirsty nation in the ASEAN, with an electricity market growing 16 % a year, Vietnam is desperate for new power plants to meet domestic demand.
Indonesia has made an ambitious power development plan of raising the electrization rate to 100 % by 2020. Representatives from the country said the government is encouraging private sector to invest in power generation, distribution and transmission facilities. The China Electricity Council estimate that investment in the power sector of the ASEAN will amount to $ 200 bn in the next five to ten years.

Chinese power companies have launched programs to develop power resources with Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia. China Southern Power Grid has transmitted 3.4 bn kWh of electricity to Vietnam via five power transmission routes by the end of September this year.
"China's experience in power development can be shared with the ASEAN members. China encourage power companies to 'go out', and meanwhile we welcome competitors from the ASEAN to explore the vast Chinese power market," said You Quan, chairman of China Electricity Regulatory Commission.

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