US-ASEAN agree to strengthen energy infrastructure and connectivity

Jakarta – The United States (US) and ASEAN member states marked a strategic step in strengthening energy infrastructure and regional connectivity through cooperation with PT PLN (Persero). This collaboration aims to increase electricity trade, maintain energy security, and promote the use of renewable energy.

During the meeting, the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) and PLN signed a cooperation agreement which was attended by the US Ambassador to ASEAN, Yohannes Abraham. According to Abraham, this collaboration has the potential to attract investment for the priority interconnection of the ASEAN power grid.

“This cooperation will facilitate the development of electricity infrastructure that is important for regional electricity trade, strengthen energy supply, and encourage the use of clean energy,” Ambassador Abraham said in a written statement, earlier this month.

Furthermore, he said, the project also complements a USD 3 million grant from USTDA for the Southeast Asia smart power program to the ASEAN energy center to implement the ASEAN action plan on energy cooperation, including support specifically for the ASEAN power grid.

“Financial support from the US will not only accelerate energy infrastructure development in ASEAN, but also advance our shared goals of achieving energy security and reducing environmental impacts,” he explained.

PLN (Persero) President Director Darmawan Prasodjo highlighted the importance of collaboration in facing the challenges of climate change and ensuring sustainable energy supply. “By strengthening the interconnected power grid in ASEAN, we can offer a clean, affordable and stable energy supply,” he added.

The collaboration was also appreciated by Dr. Nugi Agya Utama, Executive Director of the ASEAN Centre for Energy, who sees it as a significant step towards improving energy security and accessibility across the region.

“With this interconnection project, ASEAN countries are committed to reducing energy costs and improving accessibility, in line with our vision to achieve energy sustainability in the region,” he said.

The US and ASEAN’s commitment to strengthening energy infrastructure and connectivity is not just bilateral cooperation, but also a joint effort to create a more sustainable future for the region. (Hartatik)

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