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02-Sep-2019 : 2nd East Asia Energy Forum (2nd EAEF) and 37th ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting (37th AMEM) and Associated Meetings, 2nd – 5th September 2019, Bangkok, Thailand

The 2nd East Asia Energy Forum was held on the 2nd September 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand, carrying the theme of “Towards Sustainable Energy Transition and the Role of Connectivity in ASEAN”. The forum was officiated by Mr Kulit Sombatsiri, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Energy of Thailand.

During the opening ceremony of this forum, Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr. Awang Haji Mat Suny bin Haji Md. Hussein, Minister of Energy, Manpower and Industry was invited to deliver a Keynote Speech, during which Yang Berhormat Minister iterated the importance of strengthening continuous collaboration between ASEAN countries towards achieving energy connectivity within the region in order to attain the aspirations contained within the Master Plan for ASEAN Connectivity 2025 (MPAC 2025). In his keynote speech, Yang Berhormat Dato also stressed upon the key role that technological advancement and innovation plays in enabling this connectivity amongst member states.

Meanwhile, the annual ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM) held its 37th session on 4th – 5th September 2019 also in Bangkok, Thailand. The opening ceremony, held jointly with the launch of the ASEAN Energy Business Forum (AEBF), was officiated by His Excellency Prayut Chan-o-cha, the Prime Minister of Thailand. In the Prime Minister’s opening speech, he shared his views on this era of energy transition and called for appropriate action in order to boost investment into ASEAN’s clean energy sector. The opening ceremony was attended by Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr. Awang Haji Mat Suny bin Haji Md. Hussein, Minister of Energy, Manpower and Industry and His Excellency Awang Haji Ismail bin Haji Abdul Manap, Ambassador of Brunei Darussalam to the Kingdom of Thailand.

Taking place on the 4th September 2019, the 37th AMEM was themed "Advancing Partnership Through Sustainability”. The meeting was chaired by His Excellency Mr. Sonthirat Sontijirawong, Minister of Energy of Thailand while His Excellency Dr Dang Hoang An, Vice Minister of Industry and Trade of Vietnam took upon the role of vice-chair. Other associated meetings that took place on the 5th September 2019 were the 16th ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting Plus Three (AMEM+3) and the 13th East Asia Summit Energy Ministers Meeting (EAS EMM).

The 37th AMEM discussed the progress of the activities implemented under the ASEAN Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation (APAEC) Phase I 2015-2020. Included in the activities reported were the ASEAN Power Grid (APG) and Trans-ASEAN Gas Pipeline (TAGP). This year, the meeting reported that the current TAGP consists of 3673 km pipelines, connecting six ASEAN member states with a combined total capacity of 37.5 metric tonnes per annum (MTPA). As for the ASEAN Power Grid (APG), the meeting updated that for the year 2019, the power interconnection project for the region has completed eight (8) out of sixteen (16) planned interconnections. Further to this, the meeting shared that in 2017, ASEAN achieved 24.4% energy intensity reduction based on 2005 levels. This achievement has exceeded the region’s planned target of 20% reduction by 2020.

At the 13th EAS EMM, the Brunei Darussalam delegation reported the progress of the Renewable and Alternative Power Generation (RAPG) Work Stream, co-chaired with the Republic of Korea. For
the year 2019, the co-chairs have carried out a seminar on Innovative Solar and Storage Technologies on the 20th – 21st June 2019 in Ilsan, the Republic of Korea. Additionally, the work stream is currently undertaking a prefeasibility study for solar PV and energy storage system use in a number of islands in Malaysia. Moving forward, the co-chairs are looking at carrying out activities focused on wind power technologies in the East Asia Summit region. For the upcoming cooperation period, the East Asia Summit Energy cooperation will focus on low-carbon topics such as renewable energy sources and Hydrogen.

The ministerial meetings adopted three (3) Joint Ministerial Statements namely the Joint Ministerial Statement on the 37th ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting; the 13th East Asia Summit Energy Ministers’ Meeting; and the 16th ASEAN Ministers’ on Energy Meeting Plus Three. Apart from welcoming the positive progress of regional energy cooperation, the joint ministerial statements called for the strengthening of ASEAN collaboration in addressing the challenges in reaching the regional target of 23% renewables in the Total Primary Energy Supply by 2025; the realization of further cross-border electricity trade projects under the ASEAN Power Grid ; and the finalization of the draft ASEAN Plan of Action on Energy Cooperation Phase 2: 2021-2025.

At the sidelines of these meetings, ASEAN celebrated 20 years of energy cooperation with dialogue partner Japan, which was commemorated through a celebratory luncheon on the last day of
meetings. The celebratory luncheon featured speeches and video messages from relevant Ministers and representatives from the region. Other sidelines events that took place in parallel with the 37th AMEM and Associated Meetings include the ASEAN Energy Business Forum (AEBF).

The Brunei Darussalam delegation to the 37th AMEM and Associated Meetings was led by Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr. Awang Haji Mat Suny bin Haji Md. Hussein, Minister of Energy, Manpower and Industry. The 38th AMEM and Associated Meetings is slated to take place next year in Hanoi, Vietnam

Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr. Awang Haji Mat Suny bin Haji Md. Hussein, Minister of Energy, Manpower and Industry in a group photo during the 2nd East Asia Energy Forum.

Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr. Awang Haji Mat Suny bin Haji Md. Hussein, Minister of Energy, Manpower and Industry in a group photo with the high level delegation durign the 37 AMEM Meeting.