ASEAN to push ‘clean’ coal technologies

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Pagbilao Power Plant in Pagbilao, Quezon -- BMEQUIPMENT.COM

THE 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are aiming to “enhance the image of coal” by promoting “clean” technologies, representatives of host country Philippines said on Tuesday.

“Activities laid out include public awareness, recognition of best practices, trade and investment, collaboration with global networks, policy research and build capacity through workshops,” said Felix William B. Fuentebella, undersecretary of the Department of Energy (DoE), in a press conference in Pasay City.

He also said the capacity-building would include yearly submissions to an ASEAN coal database and information system.

The promotion of clean coal technology is one of seven areas in the regional bloc’s agenda this year. These areas form the gist of the ASEAN Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation (APAEC) 2016-2025. The member states this week will discuss these action plan during the 35th ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting at Conrad Hotel in Pasay City.

Separately in a statement, DoE Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi said that activities and discussions during the meetings “are geared towards solidifying the cooperation activities programmed” under the APAEC.

“Ensuring the attainment of these agenda items will also advance the country’s objective in continuously hosting energy events in the region,” Mr. Cusi said.

Mr. Fuentebella said the discussions would include three other countries: China, Japan and South Korea. He said the senior officials meeting on energy plus the three countries would review and deliberate on the progress made in implementing the work programs under APAEC.

The other day, he said Malaysia, Thailand and Laos are set to sign a deal that would allow these countries to trade electricity.

He said an ASEAN-wide power grid is one of the seven program areas that member states will discuss in the coming days. The others are trans-ASEAN gas pipeline; coal and clean coal technology; energy efficiency and conservation; renewable energy; regional energy policy and planning; and civilian nuclear energy. — Victor V. Saulon