Home / Media & Events / Press Releases / Advancing ASEAN’s Energy Connectivity: ACE Signs MoU for Interconnection between PLN, TNB, and SESB

Advancing ASEAN’s Energy Connectivity: ACE Signs MoU for Interconnection between PLN, TNB, and SESB

31 August 2023

Bali, 25 August 2023 – In a significant stride towards enhancing energy security and sustainability in the ASEAN region, the ASEAN Centre for Energy (ACE) takes the lead in the signing of a groundbreaking Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cross-border interconnections. The MoU was formalised on 25 August 2023, on the sidelines of the 41st ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM-41) held in conjunction with the ASEAN Energy Business Forum (AEBF) 2023 in Bali, Indonesia.

This significant agreement has been jointly established among four major entities: PT PLN (Persero), represented by President Director, Darmawan Prasodjo; Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB), represented by President and Chief Executive Officer, Dato’ Indera Ir. Baharin Bin Din; Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB), represented by Chief Executive Officer, Ir. Ts. Mohd Yaakob Jaafar; and ACE, represented by Executive Director, Dr Nuki Agya Utama, signifies a pivotal commitment to reshaping the energy landscape within the region.

Dr Nuki Agya Utama, Executive Director of the ASEAN Centre for Energy (ACE), expressed his optimism about this transformative initiative, stating, “The signing of this MoU marks a significant milestone for the ASEAN region. It reflects the shared dedication of multiple stakeholders in ushering in an era of sustainable energy collaboration. The envisioned cross-border interconnections hold the potential to not only enhance energy security but also unlock the vast renewable energy resources, setting a new standard for regional cooperation.”

This progressive initiative is rooted in the culmination of the ASEAN Interconnection Masterplan Study (AIMS) III Phases 1 and 2, a result of close collaboration between ACE and Heads of ASEAN Power Utilities/Authorities (HAPUA). This study provided the roadmap for vital transmission infrastructure needed to facilitate multilateral power trade within ASEAN, coupled with the seamless integration of renewable energy into the ASEAN Power Grid.

Darmawan Prasodjo, President Director of PT PLN (Persero) said, “We are here about to enter a critical phase of transition energy that offers tremendeous challenge but also magnificent opportunities. And interconnected grids offers reliable, robust, sustainable supply of green affordable energy to the regions. But, we have to navigate the complexities of designing and building interconnected grids. Complexities of aligment of policy. Complexities of technical challenge. Complexities of commercial feasibilities. Complexities of large capital investment.”

He continued, “We build Smartgrid to integrate the interconnection system based on digital innovation to facilitate large scale of Variable Renewable Energy (VRE) enter to our ecosystems. We build the Green Enabling Supergrid to connect the sources of renewable energy to the epicentrum of demand. We are fully commited to make The Dream of ASEAN connectivity comes true. ASEAN Power Grid is more than towers, wires, and substation. It is indeed a symbol of new strenght of ASEAN. That is previously fragmented to become unifies. It is the foundation of a brighter, more resilient future of our people ASEAN Family.”

The heart of this initiative lies in the identification of 18 potential cross-border lines highlighted by AIMS III, with an estimated capacity of up to 33 GW of electricity interconnections. Building upon these findings, ACE is spearheading the realisation of these plans through Feasibility Studies on the Operationalisation of Cross-Border Interconnections in Southeast Asia, with a pronounced focus on integrating renewable energy as advocated by AIMS III.

Stating that there are a lot of commonalities between both corporations, Dato’ Indera Ir. Baharin Din, President and Chief Executive Officer of TNB said that the signing of the MoU will help strengthen bilateral relations, cooperation and expedite the development of clean energy in both countries. He said, “It is also a significant milestone in TNB’s efforts to deepen green initiative collaborations and strengthen the interconnected ASEAN power grid’s reliability and resilience and to promote the integration of renewable energy in the region.”

“The interconnected ASEAN Power Grid is a critical step in the region’s energy transition. A robust regional interconnection will allow for a wider reallocation of RE resources that will help decarbonise the ASEAN power system. It will help us to ensure the region’s energy security, cost efficiency, stimulating investment, reducing costs, promoting technological transfer plus skill development, and transition to a cleaner, more sustainable future,” he added.

This agreement sets the stage for harnessing the abundant renewable energy resources within the region, fostering equitable distribution of surplus capacity, and propelling economic development, energy resilience, and security across ASEAN nations.

Following consultations with HAPUA Member States, two priority cross-border interconnections have been identified with promising renewable energy potential: (1) Sumatera, Indonesia – Peninsular Malaysia and (2) Kalimantan, Indonesia – Sabah, Malaysia.

Ir. Ts. Mohd Yaakob Jaafar, Chief Executive Officer of Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) said, “This MoU holds substantial benefits for Borneo Island’s future energy security and sustainability. The connection between Sabah and Kalimantan holds the promise of resource sharing, granting Sabah and other connected regions access to abundant hydropower from Kalimantan. This underscores Sabah’s and Kalimantan’s strong commitment to cross-border cooperation, fostering sustainable energy growth, economic development, and enhanced energy security within the region.”

This groundbreaking initiative has been recognised as a priority in pursuit of the ASEAN Power Grid Vision and in line with Indonesia’s ASEAN Energy Chairmanship theme towards achieving sustainable energy security through interconnectivity.

About ASEAN Centre for Energy (ACE)

Established on 1 January 1999, the ASEAN Centre for Energy (ACE) is an intergovernmental organisation within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ (ASEAN) structure that represents the 10 ASEAN Member States’ (AMS) interests in the energy sector. ACE supports the implementation of the ASEAN Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation (APAEC), a blueprint for better collaboration towards upgrading energy. The Centre is guided by a Governing Council composed of Senior Officials on Energy from each AMS and a representative from the ASEAN Secretariat as an ex-officio member.

The three key roles of the ACE:

  • As an ASEAN energy think tank to assist the AMS by identifying and surfacing innovative solutions for ASEAN’s energy challenges on policies, legal & regulatory frameworks and technologies.
  • As a catalyst to unify and strengthen ASEAN energy cooperation and integration by implementing relevant capacity building programmes and projects to assist the AMS develop their energy sector.
  • As the ASEAN energy data centre and knowledge hub to provide a knowledge repository for the AMS.

Keeping the region’s improvement, sustainable and harmless to the ecosystem is a fundamental concern of the ASEAN energy sector.

Hosted by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources of Indonesia, ACE’s office is located in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Media contact:

For media inquiries, please contact:
[email protected]
Communications Team
Corporate Affairs Department