Online, 28 April 2021On 28 April 2021, the ASEAN Forum on Coal (AFOC) Council Members convened virtually during the 19th AFOC Council Meeting to discuss the progress and updates on the annual milestones of the Coal and Clean Coal Technology (CCT) Programme Area under the ASEAN Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation (APAEC) Phase II: 2021 – 2025. The APAEC Phase II: 2021- 2025 with a new sub-theme “Accelerating Energy Transition and Strengthening Energy Resilience Through Greater Innovation and Cooperation” was endorsed by the 38th ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM) in 2020.
Mr Jesus Cristino P. Posadas, Senior Undersecretary, Department of Energy and SOE Leader of The Philippines, as the host country highlighted that coal would continue to play a key role in meeting the region’s energy demand for forthcoming years as it is considered as the least-cost electricity resource.
Amid the global concern on climate change, he also emphasised the need for the coal industry to facilitate the transition towards sustainable and low emission development. Therefore, he encouraged AFOC Members to continue fostering partnership to pursue energy cooperation in achieving the region’s energy security and sustainability alongside the Sustainable Development Goals.
To accelerate the deployment of CCT for facilitating the region’s energy transition, CCT Programme Area under APAEC Phase II will focus on four (4) outcome-based strategies (OBS), namely: (i) Promote the Role of CCT and Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) towards Energy Transition and Low Carbon Economy; (ii) Conduct Strategic Outreach to Advance Regional Actions to enhance Public Awareness and Image of CCT; (iii) Facilitate Investment, Innovation and Partnership on CCT through the ASEAN Coal Business Roundtable and Conference; (iv) Advance CCT Research, Development, and Innovation. Moving forward, AFOC plays a key role to implement the strategies, programmes, and initiatives.
AFOC has achieved significant milestones for this year, one of them is the endorsement of the concept note for the establishment of the ASEAN Centre of Excellence for Clean Coal Technology (ASEAN COE-CCT) by the Council Members. The ASEAN COE-CCT, which will be located in Palimanan, West Java, Indonesia, is envisioned as a regional centre for advancing international cooperation for research and development and technology transfer to accelerate innovation and commercial development of CCT technologies in the AMS.
Additionally, the Council Members acknowledged the winners and runners-up of the ASEAN Coal Awards 2021, which was evaluated during the 11thBoard of Judges Meeting of the ASEAN Coal Awards on 27 April 2021. The Meeting also lauded the achievement of this year’s Coal Awards which has received the highest number of entries since its launching in 2013, with 28 entries from various ASEAN Member States (AMS). This year’s awardees will be recognised by the 39thAMEM in September 2021.
“To facilitate the utilisation of coal as a transition fuel in ASEAN, triple helix collaboration, between governments, private sector, and academe is very important. AFOC plays an important role to optimise the triple helix collaboration towards greater innovation in the field of CCT.”, said Dr Nuki.
Moreover, Mr Abdul Razib Dawood, Chief Executive Officer of Energy Commission Malaysia and AFOC Chairman underscored the progressive use of the Internet of Things (IoT) in the 4th Industrial Revolution era. He urged all players in the coal industry to utilise the advanced technology to maximise clean coal initiatives and encouraged all AMS to support the integration of the ASEAN Coal Database Information System (ACDIS) into ASEAN Energy Database System (AEDS).
The meeting was also participated by AFOC, Dialogue Partners (DPs) and International Organisations (IOs), including Japan Coal Frontier Organization (JCOAL), World Coal Association (WCA), Global CCS Institute (GCCSI), and China Energy Technology and Economics Research Institute (CETERI). They expressed their support in the implementation of APAEC Phase II through various initiatives, including sharing of expertise and best practices on clean coal technology.
Deep appreciations were directed to the DPs and IOs for their strong support in the collaboration and cooperation with ASEAN. The cooperation among AMS, DPs, and IOs is expected to be stronger for optimising the role of clean coal technology in facilitating the transition towards sustainable and lower emission development.
By Tyari Octhalya Tadzmara