1. The 26th ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM) was held in Bangkok, Thailand, on 7 August 2008. H.E. Lt. Gen. Poonpirom Liptapanlop, Minister of Energy for Thailand, chaired the 26th AMEM. H.E. Brig. Gen. Than Htay, Deputy Minister of Energy of Myanmar was the vice-chairperson.
2. The Ministers expressed their appreciation to Singapore for her chairpersonship of AMEM in the past year. The Ministers recognised the notable progresses achieved for the respective programme areas under the ASEAN Plan of Action on Energy Cooperation (APAEC) 2004-2009 and the Vientiane Action Programme (VAP) 2004-2010, during Singapore’s tenure as AMEM Chairperson.
3. H.E. Mr. Somchai Wongsawat, Deputy Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand, officially opened the 26th AMEM. In his Keynote Speech, the Deputy Prime Minister emphasised that ASEAN urgently and seriously needs to consider practical policy and strategies to enhance energy management, closer cooperation in energy project development, efficient energy use, clean energy promotion and development of alternative and renewable energy, including research and development of energy technologies. Seeing the high potential of ASEAN in new and renewable energy development – in terms of both know-how and feed stock, the Deputy Prime Minister encouraged all ASEAN Member States to enhance the cooperation in this area as this will be a very helpful means to reduce the impact of oil prices on the economies and, at the same time, this will create value of our agricultural products, resulting in better income for our farmers as well.
Accelerating Energy Cooperation in the ASEAN Economic Community
4. The Ministers affirmed on the importance to promote greater energy stability, security and sustainability, as a pathway to building the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) 2015. The Ministers agreed that ASEAN Member States should balance their economic development with environmental sustainability, through improving energy efficiency; developing competitive regional energy markets; investing in energy research and development, and promoting a clean environment. The Ministers underscored their commitments to foster closer dialogue and cooperation to effectively address global energy and environmental issues so as to benefit the region as a whole.
5. The Ministers recognised that the growing energy demand calls for new investments in energy production and infrastructural development in order to secure adequate and affordable energy which is essential to develop and promote economic development, improve human welfare, and increase living standards.
6. Recognising the concern on impact of the current soaring oil prices, the Ministers agreed that ASEAN should take a broad range of measures and appropriate policy responses to address the problem. The Ministers reiterated the need to intensify efforts to improve energy security, through promoting energy efficiency and conservation, increase the use of renewable energy sources, and explore alternative energy sources, including biofuels which would not adversely affect the production of food in the region, and civilian nuclear energy for interested parties while ensuring nuclear safety, security and non-proliferation issues are addressed. The Ministers encouraged efforts towards enhancing regional cooperation to develop cost effective carbon mitigation technologies, cleaner fossil fuel technologies including clean use of coal.
7. The Ministers welcomed the establishment of the ASEAN Power Grid Consultative Committee (APGCC) which will support, facilitate and assist the HAPUA Council in the implementation of the APG project. The Ministers acknowledged and commended the good work of HAPUA and ASCOPE in addressing the supply, security, pricing, developmental, and environmental issues on energy for the ASEAN region.
8. The Ministers noted the First and the Special Meetings of the ASEAN Nuclear Energy Safety Sub-Sector Network (NES-SSN) held in Singapore in January and May 2008, respectively. The Ministers encouraged the SOME/NES-SSN to revisit the Terms of Reference (TOR) while addressing nuclear energy safety issue and to expand the scope to also include the developmental aspects of nuclear energy for electricity generation which is mutually beneficial and in-line with the national energy policies of respective ASEAN Member States. The Ministers welcomed Malaysia’s initiative to submit a draft modified TOR, which in addition to the above will include capacity building, information sharing and public education, and tasked the SOME to complete the TOR in time for the 14th ASEAN Summit. In this regard, the Ministers welcomed Singapore’s offer to host the next NES-SSN meeting in October 2008.
9. The Ministers adopted the final draft of the new ASEAN Petroleum Security Agreement (APSA) and its Annex on Coordinated Emergency Response Measures (CERM) and agreed to conclude and sign the new APSA during the occasion of the 14th ASEAN Summit in Bangkok, Thailand in December 2008. The conclusion of the new APSA would be an important milestone to provide the necessary mechanism for a timely coordinated response during periods of petroleum shortages and emergencies.
Update on OPEC Activities – Impact of Volatile Oil Prices and Oil Dependency
10. The Ministers expressed appreciation to Indonesia for the update on the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)’s strategic initiatives and activities. The Ministers viewed that the global energy security is the shared responsibility between producers and consumers, and that the security of demand should go hand-in-hand with security of supply and that transparency and exchange of energy data are important for market predictability and stability.
11. The Ministers looked forward to OPEC’s initiative to closely monitor oil market developments and to take appropriate and prompt actions as and when the need arises. Acknowledging that the exchange of energy data is essential for market predictability and stability, the Ministers welcomed future dialogue and consultation on energy-related issues with the OPEC.
Expanding External Energy Cooperation
12. The Ministers expressed appreciation to the Dialogue Partners and international organisations for providing technical assistance and support to ASEAN energy programs and activities in 2007-2008. The Ministers also noted the solid progresses of the on-going activities and initiatives between ASEAN and its dialogue partners to foster sustainable energy development in the region.
13. The Ministers agreed to continue seeking the mitigation of the economic impacts of the increasing energy costs through an array of joint programs under the ASEAN+3 and the East Asia (EAS) energy cooperation frameworks, which include focusing on the implementation of coordinated efforts to enhance (a) energy efficiency and conservation, (b) biofuels for transportation and other purposes, (c) energy market integration, (d) alternative and renewable energy sources, and (e) oil stockpiles and market.
Progress of Energy Agenda under the Vientiane Action Programme (VAP) 2004-2010 and ASEAN Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation (APAEC) 2004-2009
14. The Ministers noted with appreciation the solid progress of the implementation of the energy agendas under the Vientiane Action Programme (VAP) 2004-2010 as well as the ASEAN Plan of Action on Energy Cooperation (APAEC) 2004-2009.
15. The Ministers lauded the significant increase in Energy Efficiency & Conservation (EE &C) activities in the ASEAN Member States. EE &C activities covered numerous institutional capacity building programs, increasing private sector involvement in ASEAN EE & C programs, and in expanding markets for energy efficient products. The Ministers agreed to further intensify cooperative measures in this area to mitigate volatile high oil prices, among others.
16. The Ministers recognised the growing importance of biofuels as an alternative to reduce ASEAN’s fossil fuel consumption. The Ministers emphasised the requirement for closer cooperation and exchange of experience in promoting the biofuel production and use, including relevant fiscal incentives, funding facilities and regulatory infrastructure. Given the great potential of the ASEAN Member States it is envisioned that ASEAN can be the regional hub for biofuel production and trade, both intra-ASEAN and inter-region.
17. The Ministers agreed to strengthen cooperation in coal through AFOC taking into account the need to ensure energy security as well as safeguarding the environment.
18. The Ministers recognised the good efforts by the ASEAN Centre for Energy (ACE), which has been very active in providing technical assistance to various ASEAN energy sub-sector networks, project preparation, coordination, facilitation and also in forging technical and financial collaborative partnership with the ASEAN dialogue partners and other international and regional organizations in the implementation of the APAEC 2004-2009.
19. The Ministers noted the successful turn-over ceremony of the Executive Director position of the ASEAN Centre for Energy (ACE) held on 30 June 2008 in the ASEAN Secretariat. The Ministers welcomed Mr. Nguyen Manh Hung from Viet Nam as the new Executive Director of ACE for the period of 2008-2011 and expressed appreciation to Dr. Weerawat Chantanakome of Thailand for his term of office at ACE for the period 2004-2008
ASEAN Energy Awards 2008
20. The Ministers congratulated the winners and runners-up from the 43 national nominees for the ASEAN Energy Awards 2008 under the Best Practices Competition for Buildings and Industries, Energy Efficient Buildings, as well as Renewable Energy Projects.
21. The Ministers agreed to convene the 27th ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM) in Myanmar in 2009.
22. The Ministers expressed appreciation to the Royal Thai Government and the people of the Kingdom of Thailand for the warm hospitality accorded to them and for the excellent arrangements made for the 26th AMEM.
List of Ministers
- H.E. Pehin Dato Haji Yahya, Minister of Energy, at the Prime Minister’s Office for Brunei Darussalam;
- H.E. Mr. Suy Sem, Minister of Industry, Mines and Energy for Cambodia;
- Dr. Luluk Sumiarso, on behalf of H.E. Dr. Purnomo Yusgiantoro, Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources for Indonesia;
- H.E. Mr. Soumboun Rasasombath, Vice Minister of Energy and Mines for Lao PDR;
- H.E. Dato’ Joseph Salang, Deputy Minister of Energy, Water and Communications for Malaysia;
- H.E. Brig. Gen. Than Htay, Deputy Minister for Energy, Ministry of Energy for Myanmar;
- H.E. Angelo T. Reyes, Secretary of Energy for the Philippines;
- H.E. Mr. S Iswaran, Senior Minister of State (Trade and Industry), Ministry of Trade and Industry for Singapore;
- H.E. Lt. Gen. Poonpirom Liptapanlop, Minister of Energy for Thailand;
- H.E. Dr. Do Huu Hao, Vice Minister of Industry and Trade for Viet Nam; and
- H.E. Dr. Surin Pitsuwan, Secretary-General of ASEAN