1. The 29th ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM) was held in Jerudong, Brunei Darussalam on 20 September 2011. Hon. Pehin Dato (Dr) Mohammad Yasmin Umar, Minister of Energy at the Prime Minister’s Office of Brunei Darussalam chaired the Meeting. H.E. Dr Ith Praing, Secretary of State, Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy of Cambodia was the Vice-Chairperson. The 8th Meeting of Energy Ministers of the ASEAN Plus Three countries (ASEAN, China, Japan and the Republic of Korea), the 5th East Asian Summit Energy Ministers Meeting, and a consultation with the International Energy Agency were also held on this occasion.
2. The 29th AMEM was officiated by Hon. Pehin Dato (Dr) Mohammad Yasmin Umar, Minister of Energy at the Prime Minister’s Office of Brunei Darussalam. In his Opening Remarks, Hon.e Pehin Dato (Dr) Mohammad Yasmin Umar recalled the Statement of ASEAN Leaders on ASEAN Connectivity and its key strategies and actions to enhance physical, institutional, and people-to-people connectivity in the region. The Minister emphasised that the 29th AMEM is the first AMEM meeting since the adoption of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity, hence it is important for AMEM to discuss directions and targets of key energy matters crucial to the realisation of both the ASEAN Connectivity and eventually the aspiration of an ASEAN Community by 2015.
3. Hon. Pehin Dato (Dr) Mohammad Yasmin Umar highlighted the importance of the private sector and international assistance in implementing the ASEAN interests and initiatives. In this regard, the Minister welcomed all ASEAN delegates, Dialogue Partners, international organisations and the private sector to the 29th AMEM, and invited all to attend a series of activities in the ASEAN Energy Business Forum, Ministers-CEOs Dialogue, and the Brunei Energy Expo (BEE2011) which will be held from 21 – 23 September 2011.
Golden Opportunity for ASEAN Energy Connectivity
4. The Ministers commended the work completed by senior officials and various working groups and noted the good progress made in the implementation of the ASEAN Plan of Action on Energy Cooperation (APAEC) 2010 – 2015 which was steadily advancing regional energy cooperation and building the ASEAN Community while playing a visible role in the global efforts to address climate change.
5. The Ministers recognised the greater volatility in global energy markets due to economic uncertainty in several developed countries, political instability in the Middle East and North Africa, and renewed concerns over the use of nuclear power following the March 2011 earthquake and nuclear accidents in Japan. As ASEAN steps up efforts on regional integration and connectivity activities, the Ministers re-affirmed the ASEAN Leaders’ statement to collaborate on more concrete and action oriented programs to boost energy efficiency and conservation, and find viable renewable energy sources, so as to reduce the region’s dependence on oil and other fossil fuels.
6. The Ministers expressed sympathy and solidarity with Japan over the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident. In line with the ASEAN Leaders’ statement at the 18th ASEAN Summit on 7-8 May 2011 and the ASEAN statement at the IAEA Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Safety on 20-24 June 2011, the Ministers reaffirmed that ASEAN should engage, where appropriate, in information-sharing so as to promote transparency on relevant nuclear- related issues in the region. Noting the potential trans-boundary impact of accidents at nuclear installations, ASEAN should also strengthen cooperation in building up regional nuclear emergency preparedness and response mechanisms and develop a coordinated approach that would contribute to global undertakings to improve nuclear safety. ASEAN should also promote and uphold IAEA standards of safety and security in the development of civilian nuclear energy. The Ministers also tasked the Senior Officials to develop a robust work programme, in collaboration with the IAEA and other relevant partners, to promote and intensify capacity building efforts so that the region will be more informed and up to speed with the latest nuclear safety standards, developments and technologies. Senior Officials should develop and implement the work programme and report to the 30th AMEM.
7. The Ministers were cognisant of the need to boost infrastructural connectivity to open new market opportunities and boost overall energy security. The Ministers agreed to expedite regional connectivity projects in the power, oil and gas sectors; to facilitate energy trade, investment and services; and to enhance cooperation with partner countries to promote robust East Asian energy connectivity.
8. In this regard, the Ministers welcomed regional efforts in the finalisation of the guidelines to speed up the implementation of the ASEAN Power Grid, notably on the following issues: reliability of operation; safety standards and procedures in generation and transmission; the reference model for investments in the interconnection projects; and issues concerning cross-border sales and transmission of electricity. The Ministers tasked Senior Officials and HAPUA to work in tandem with the ASEAN Energy Regulators Network to expedite the harmonisation of regulatory practices and technical standards, and to report outcomes at the 30th AMEM. The Ministers also noted that bilateral and sub-regional arrangements would play a key role in realising the ASEAN Power Grid. The Ministers further acknowledged that private sector involvement would catalyse the implementation of the ASEAN Power Grid, and tasked HAPUA to recommend steps to enhance private sector engagement
9. The Ministers also noted the progress in the implementation and realisation of the Trans-ASEAN Gas Pipeline Infrastructure Project, including infrastructure for LNG trading, and ratification of the ASEAN Petroleum Security Agreement and its operationalisation plans, and other cooperation modalities, such as the establishment of a common regional framework, to facilitate more oil and gas trading and marketing within the region. This will ensure greater energy security of gas supply for the region. The Ministers further noted the necessary extension of the TAGP Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to another term of 10 years in view of the new strategic directions TAGP has to undertake.
10. The Ministers also took note of the works being done on ASEAN Fuel Policy for Power Generation, particularly the recommendations to apply the six key principles, namely: 1) Diversity and Sufficiency of Supply Sources, 2) Diversity and Accessibility of Supply Routes, 3) Diversity and Maturity of Technologies, 4) Emergency Preparedness, 5) Demand Management and Responses and 6) Clean and Sustainable Development. The Ministers also agreed that pursuing the realisation and harmonised operation of the ASEAN Power Grid and Trans-ASEAN Gas Pipeline projects would contribute to the success of ASEAN Fuel Policy for Power Generation.
9. The Ministers thanked all parties in their efforts and activities to get a closer reach to the agreed aspirational goal on reducing regional energy intensity of at least 8% by 2015 (based on 2005 levels), and the collective target of 15% of total installed power capacity from renewable energy sources by 2015. The Ministers also agreed to consider a higher level of commitment in terms of energy intensity reduction and installation of renewable energy beyond 2015 in reference to other international and regional commitments.
10. The Ministers noted constructive cooperation outcomes with Dialogue Partners and international organisations, in particular efforts to balance energy security with the goals of economic development and environmental protection. The Ministers concluded a Memorandum of Understanding on Energy Cooperation between ASEAN and IEA to strengthen cooperation and to assist ASEAN in the implementation of its energy objectives, goals and measures as set out in the APAEC. In this regard, the Ministers endorsed that ASEAN and IEA would jointly work to develop an ASEAN chapter in IEA’s Energy Technology Perspectives (ETP) 2012 and thereafter to develop a ‘Technology Prospects’ on the ASEAN Power Generation Sector. The Ministers affirmed that this ASEAN-IEA initiative would greatly enhance the development and deployment of clean energy technologies in the region towards a low carbon future. The Ministers also noted that concrete progress have been made with ADB to establish the ASEAN Energy Regulators Network as well as with UNEP on sustainable buildings. In welcoming more engagements and dialogues with other interested parties, Ministers expressed the need to speed up implementation of the APAEC 2010-2015, including the promotion and implementation of affordable and sustainable energy in the ASEAN region.
11. The Ministers stressed that this was a golden opportunity for the energy sector to seize the momentum of ASEAN Connectivity. To further strengthen energy cooperation within ASEAN and with Dialogue Partners, international organisations, Ministers expressed that greater private sector participation is needed for the implementation of the energy connectivity projects. In this regard, Ministers congratulated the winners of the ASEAN Energy Awards for their efforts to raise awareness in energy efficiency and sustainable development. The Ministers also noted the plans to work with the US-ASEAN Business Council, including initiatives to embrace smart energy management in their economic activities, and to provide affordable and stable sources of energy in rural areas.
Vision for the ASEAN Energy Sector
12. The Ministers highlighted the need to ensure ASEAN’s continued resilience and growth in a sustainable manner to cope with the increasing energy challenges. In this regard, the Ministers agreed to work towards having a higher percentage of renewable energy sources and new energy technologies, such as cleaner coal technology, in the regional energy mix. In this process, the Ministers agreed on the need to study and revitalise ASEAN cooperation on renewable energy and develop a high-performing institution within the region to provide options and strategies in the building of a coherent, coordinated, focused and robust energy agenda and strategy for ASEAN.
13. Noting the progress of several concrete energy projects, e.g. the Promotion on Energy Efficiency and Conservation (PROMEEC), certification of energy managers and energy end-users under the ASEAN Energy Manager Accreditation Scheme (AEMAS), the ASEAN Energy Awards, the ASEAN Renewable Energy Centre, ASEAN – Germany Renewable Energy Support Program for ASEAN (ASEAN-RESP), ASEAN+3 for Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Nuclear Energy Cooperation programmes, the Ministers were of the view that the region should adopt a balanced approach. While promoting the ASEAN-led initiatives, in cooperation with relevant Dialogue Partners, international organisations, and the private sector, and in the networking of ASEAN research and development centers, the Ministers reiterated the need for effective project management process so as to ensure that the relevant outcomes and recommendations from the various projects are translated into the practical policy and regulatory options.
14. The Ministers were encouraged by the development and progress of the ASEAN Plus Three and EAS Energy Cooperation, and welcomed the participation of Russia and the US in EAS Energy Cooperation. The Ministers, while recognising the benefits of having more inclusive frameworks for cooperation with various core expertise from individual countries, reiterated the importance of streamlining the energy cooperation process under the ASEAN Plus Three and the EAS platform to minimise any possible duplication.
15. The Ministers agreed to convene the 30th ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting and its Related Meetings with Dialogue Partners in Cambodia in 2012.
16. The Ministers expressed appreciation to the Government and the people of the Kingdom of Brunei Darussalam for the warm hospitality accorded to them and for the excellent arrangements made for the 29th AMEM and its Related Meetings with Dialogue Partners.
LIST OF MINISTERS
a. Hon. Pehin Dato (Dr) Mohammad Yasmin Umar, Minister of Energy, at the Prime Minister’s Office of Brunei Darussalam;
b. H.E. Dr Ith Praing, Secretary of State, Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy of Cambodia;
c. H.E. Darwin Zahedy Saleh, Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources of the Republic of Indonesia;
d. H.E. Soulivong Daravong, Minister of Energy and Mines of Lao PDR;
e. Hon. Dato’ Sri Peter Chin Fah Kui, Minister of Energy, Green Technology and Water of Malaysia;
f. H.E. Than Htay, Union Minister for Energy of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar;
g. H.E. Jose Rene D. Almendras, Secretary, Department of Energy, the Republic of the Philippines;
h. H.E. S. Iswaran, Minister, Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister for Home Affairs and Trade and Industry of Singapore;
i. H.E. Pichai Naripthaphan, Minister of Energy of Thailand;
j. H.E. Le Duong Quang, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade of Viet Nam; and
k. H.E. Dr. Surin Pitsuwan, Secretary-General of ASEAN.