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July 03, 2003 13:50 PM E-mail this news to a friend Printable version of this news

Moggie Says Asean Leaders Are United On Energy Network


PHOTO SHOOT… ASEAN Energy Ministers take a break from their 21st annual meeting for a photo shoot in Langkawi, Thursday. The meeting was earlier chaired by Energy, Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Amar Leo Moggie.

LANGKAWI, July 3 (Bernama) -- Asean must send a message to the rest of the world that ministers of member countries remain united and focused on the need to accelerate the implementation and realisation of the Trans-Asean energy network, said Energy, Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Amar Leo Moggie.

"The 21 years of coming together to meet, discuss, guide and share information on policies, strategies and action programmes to promote energy cooperation is the solution to energy security," he said in his welcoming address at the 21st Asean Ministers on Energy Meeting (Amem) here on Thursday.

Amem, the highest authority on energy matters in the region, is an annual forum for Asean Energy Ministers to meet and cooperate in this sector between the 10-member countries.

"We have acknowledged that the development of energy infrastructure, diversification of energy supply, improvement in energy efficiency and the utilisation of new and renewable energy technologies in Asean would greatly contribute to our region's sustainability and security of energy supply," he said.

Moggie said the 21st meeting of Amem would chart another two important milestones in the implementation and realisation of the Trans-Asean Energy Network after the signing of the Asean MoU on Trans-Asean Gas Pipeline (TAGP) last year.

"Malaysia is honoured to be selected as the host of the Asean Council of Petroleum (Ascope) Gas Centre and we are pleased to lead the development of this regional gas institution into becoming a centre of excellence to serve Asean," he said.

Moggie said in strengthening the institutional structure, the Asean Gas Consultative Council would play an important role in addressing the various cross-border issues including harmonising the technical, legal and other related arrangements.

"Likewise, the completion of the much-awaited Asean Interconnection Masterplan for the Asean Power Grid will provide clearer direction to guide its implementation," he said.

He said Malaysia was looking forward to the new Asean Petroleum Security Agreement.

It is currently under review and will be tabled at the meeting.

Moggie said the agreement should take into consideration the new dimension by offering short, medium and long-term alternatives to enhance energy security.

He said in the long-term, this cooperation could be extended to include other Asian countries, particularly West Asia.

"This move will enhance petroleum security for Asean+3 (China, Japan and South Korea) and Asia," he said.

"After having to endure some economic downturn and setbacks over the last 21 years, we are now wiser and more resilient to face the future."

He also said the energy environment was becoming more challenging and less predictable.

"Globally, the future geo-political order will continue to remain unstable for years to come," he said.

As such, the issue of energy security had become a high priority on the agenda of many international meetings, forums and dialogues, he said.

Moggie said the recent Asean+3 Petroleum Security workshop in Kuala Lumpur was timely as it would lead to closer cooperation between Asean and its dialogue partners in China, Japan and South Korea on enhancing the region's energy security.

Under the Asean Vision 2020 and Hanoi Plan of Action 1999, Asean had placed great importance on the Asean Power Grid and TAGP projects, he said.

"There are vast energy resources within the Asean region such as oil, gas, hydro and renewables that have not been fully exploited.

"We could cooperate to attract investments, funding and technology transfer from our three dialogue partners to exploit these resources," he said.

"In this regard, we collectively hold the view that the accelerated implementation of our leaders' vision of an integrated Asean energy network will not only significantly enhance economic integration within the region but will also solve energy security," Moggie said.

-- BERNAMA

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