S'pore to trial import of renewable hydropower from Laos

The Republic will begin trialling the import of renewable hydropower from Laos via Thailand and Malaysia, following an agreement between Keppel Electric and Electricite Du Laos (EDL) announced yesterday.

The exclusive framework agreement between the two is part of the Lao PDR-Thailand-Malaysia-Singapore Power Integration Project (LTMS-PIP), an inter-government project to study the feasibility of cross-border power trade from Laos to Singapore.

Keppel Electric, a subsidiary of Keppel Infrastructure Holdings, and EDL aim to jointly explore opportunities to import renewable energy into Singapore through this partnership.

EDL will export and Keppel will import up to 100MW of renewable hydropower from Laos to Singapore via Thailand and Malaysia using existing interconnectors.

The trial electricity supply is expected to commence once all technical, commercial, legal and regulatory arrangements are finalised with the governments of the four Asean member countries and following the execution of a binding power purchase agreement between Keppel Electric and EDL.

This is likely to be in 2022.

The move to import renewable energy is crucial in helping Singapore meet its climate goals. Currently, more than 95 per cent of energy in the Republic is generated from burning natural gas, a fossil fuel that releases planet-warming carbon dioxide when burned.

The Government has said that Singapore faces constraints in reducing emissions from the energy sector, as the country lacks land for large solar farms, and because it lacks access to other forms of renewable energy.

Singapore could overcome these constraints by tapping its neighbours' renewable energy sources from winds and tides, for instance.

At the sidelines of the two-day 39th Asean Ministers on Energy Meeting that began yesterday, Second Minister for Trade and Industry Tan See Leng chaired the 2nd Lao PDR-Thailand-Malaysia-Singapore Ministerial Meeting.

All four countries reaffirmed their commitment to the LTMS-PIP as a major milestone in enhancing Asean power connectivity. Dr Tan noted he was heartened to see Asean states continue to take active steps together to accelerate the region's transition towards a more sustainable energy future.

He said Singapore is committed to realising multilateral power trade in the region through the LTMS-PIP."It will enhance regional electricity supply security and resilience, while supporting Singapore's energy transition," he said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 16, 2021, with the headline 'S'pore to trial import of renewable hydropower from Laos'. Subscribe