‘BIMP-EAGA can cooperate to improve energy security’

National 1 minute, 57 seconds


THE four countries under the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) should focus more on the development of its energy infrastructure and services to ensure that resources are utilised effectively to improve energy accessibility.

“Our sub-region is endowed with energy resources where a significant capacity is still untapped. Not just conventional energy, our renewable energy resources are also very encouraging in this area,” said Dato Paduka Hj Jamain Hj Julaihi, permanent secretary (Downstream & Power) of the Energy Division at the Prime Minister’s Office (EDPMO).

The permanent secretary was speaking at the third meeting of the Power & Energy Infrastructure Cluster (PEIC) yesterday at the Prime Minister’s Office.

The annual two-day meeting was attended by delegates from Malaysia and the Philippines.

Participants include representatives from relevant agencies such as the BIMP Facilitation Centre, Asian Development Bank and the BIMP-EAGA Business Council.

The meeting is scheduled to come to a close today.

Discussions at the meeting comprise dialogue on the Post-2016 PEIC Sector Roadmap; issues on emerging developments and trends in the PEIC sector and their impact on BIMP-EAGA cooperation, strategies and activities that contribute to trade, tourism and investment and to narrow the development gaps in BIMP-EAGA.

“Some areas in our region only have 71 per cent electrification rate (Mindanao). The highest electrification rate besides Brunei is Sarawak with 91 per cent,” said Dato Paduka Hj Jamain.

He stressed the need to continue improving access to basic electricity in BIMP-EAGA with regards to rural electrification sourced by renewable energy.

“Our Tenaga Suria Brunei photovoltaic plant, for instance, can be utilised for further research in view that our climatic conditions are quite similar,” said Dato Paduka Hj Jamain.

The permanent secretary pointed out that PEIC can be an effective platform for the four countries to collaborate towards its goal on increasing energy security at a smaller, achievable sub-regional level.

He explained that the PEIC – established in 2013 – is one of the key clusters in BIMP-EAGA that hold significant opportunities for cooperation.

Dato Paduka Hj Jamain also expressed hopes that BIMP-EAGA would collaborate with the relevant forums under the ASEAN Ministers of Energy Meeting purview to ensure the efforts complement each other with the on-going activities under the ASEAN Plan of Action on Energy Cooperation (APAEC) especially the ASEAN Power Grid (APG) and Trans-ASEAN Gas Pipeline (TAGP).

The Brunei Times