Kota Marudu Member of Parliament

Brunei hopes to sell Sabah electricity in future

BRUNEI, 26 March -- Brunei is keen to develop renewable energy projects, including hydroelectricity, and wished to learn from Malaysia's experience in this area.

This was stated to Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Dr Maximus Ongkili by his Brunei counterpart Pehin Dato Dr Mohammad Yasmin Umar at the sidelines of the Brunei Energy Week here.

He said Brunei proposed to export electricity to Sipitang from a hydro power plant proposed to be built in partnership with the Sarawak government. As such, he hoped to visit the Bakun hydroelectricity project in Sarawak soon.

Pehin Dato Mohammad Yasmin added that this would promote interconnectivity between Brunei and Sabah, especially as both are close neighbours. "We are neighbours and good friends and can work together a lot more including on Sabah-Brunei interconnection," he said.

Dr Ongkili commended Brunei for its industry-driven training for the youths to match human resource for its oil and gas industry.

He said Malaysia could learn from what Brunei is doing in this area to encourage the youths to have careers in oil and gas and energy.

"Malaysia and Brunei can also increase cooperation such as in energy efficiency within the Asean framework.

There is much to be shared as we learn from each other to enhance our energy efficiency initiatives," said Dr Ongkili, who also presented a keynote address at the inaugural Brunei National Energy Research Institute (BNERI) International Annual Conference themed "Future Secure and Sustainable Energy Landscape of Brunei" held in conjunction with Brunei Energy Week.

In his speech Dr Ongkili said Asean countries have also stepped up cooperation in energy with various initiatives promoted including the Asean Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation for 2016-2020, which is expected to be tabled at the Energy Ministers Meeting in 2015, the same year the Asean Economic Community is to be implemented.

He said Asean needed to further expedite the various initiatives under the grouping, especially connectivity projects like the Asean Power Grid (APG) and Trans-Asean Gas Pipeline (TAGP). The latter will connect Sabah and Sarawak with Brunei and Indonesia to form a Pan-Borneo electricity network, thus forging closer bilateral relationship between the three countries.