GEOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF THE PHILIPPINES

ASEAN ENERGY COOPERATION INTO THE 21ST CENTURY: PALAWAN’S ROLE *

 

Guillermo R. Balce, Christopher G. Zamora and Tjarinto
ASEAN Centre for Energy (ACE)
Jakarta, Indonesia

 

INTRODUCTION

        Prompted by the need for security in energy that is affordable, reliable and environmentally sound, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has emphasised regional cooperation in the field of energy as one of its priority areas of action into the 21st century.

        The political will to pursue this direction was clearly expressed by the ASEAN Heads of Government in their 1997 Summit Declaration entitled ASEAN Vision 2020 which sought "to establish interconnecting arrangements for electricity, natural gas and water within ASEAN through the ASEAN Power Grid and a Trans-ASEAN Gas Pipeline and promote cooperation in energy efficiency and conservation, as well as development of new and renewable energy resources ".

        This vision was translated by the Heads of Government themselves at their 1998 ASEAN Summit into the Hanoi Plan of Action (HPA) which included two action agenda for energy cooperation from 1999 to 2004 as follows:

    1. " Ensure security and sustainability of energy supply, efficient utilisation of natural energy resources in the region and the rational management of energy demand with due consideration of the environment "; and
    1. " Institute the policy framework and implementation modalities by 2004 for the early realisation of the trans-ASEAN energy networks covering the ASEAN Power Grid and the Trans-ASEAN Gas Pipeline Projects as a more focused continuation of the Medium-Term Programme of Action (1995-1999)".

        Consequently, the ASEAN Ministers of Energy, through their Senior Officials on Energy and the ASEAN Secretariat tasked specialised ASEAN bodies in various subsectors of energy to further translate the HPA on energy into a more detailed plan. Thus, the ASEAN Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation 1999-2004 was formulated from July 1998 to July 1999 under the leadership of the ASEAN Centre for Energy (ASEAN-EC Energy Management Training and Research Centre (AEEMTRC) until 31 December 1998). The plan was endorsed and adopted by the Senior Officials Meeting on Energy (SOME) on 1-2 July 1999 and by the ASEAN Ministers of Energy Meeting (AMEM) on 3 July 1999.

        This paper outlines the history of energy cooperation among the ASEAN member countries and presents a view of its development into the 21st century. The period essentially covers 20 years in the 20th century and another 20 years into the 21st century. After a historical perspective, focus is made on the ASEAN Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation 1999-2004. Beyond 2004, cooperation scenarios are projected from the long term plans and forecasts in energy outlook.

        This paper also explores the possibilities of Palawan playing a significant role in ASEAN energy cooperation. The island's geography, demography, petroleum resources, water resources and environmental situation are interesting attributes to relate to the integrated energy plans for the region.

 
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