Published on December 27, 2007
The framework will ensure long-term stable and mutually beneficial electricity supply to the six Asian member nations of the GMS economic cooperation programme.
The GMS countries are Cambodia, China, Laos, Burma, Thailand and Vietnam.
"The project will work towards an expanded and mutually beneficial cross-border power exchange among GMS countries, with better infrastructure and institutional and regulatory capability," Bui Duy Thanh, energy economist at the Asian Development Bank's Southeast Asia Department, said recently.
The proposed technical assistance for facilitating regional power trading and creating an environmentally sustainable development of electricity infrastructure will include a US$5-million (Bt169 million) grant from Sweden to be managed by the bank.
Power interconnections between the countries would enhance the reliability and security of the power supply, officials said.
The goal is to coordinate the planning and operation of regional power generation and transmission facilities in the GMS, and reduce investment and operating costs, and will result in mutual benefits.
The project will also ensure that the environmental impact from developing power projects will be kept under control.
Participating GMS countries will provide in-kind support equivalent to $500,000.
Technical assistance will focus on developing institutions and building capacity to
match the expansion of infrastructure
needed for a competitive GMS regional power market.
Assistance will include helping build capacity to create, implement and monitor environmental impact assessments.
Cross-border power transmission is already under way between some GMS countries: from China to Vietnam, Vietnam to Cambodia and Laos to Thailand.
These power flows are mostly one way, but the aim of the GMS countries is to create regional power trading.
GMS countries want to create regional power trading to meet the needs of their growing economies.
During the last decade, the region has experienced strong economic expansion, boosting power demand by 9 per cent to 16 per cent annually.
The Asian Development Bank says the trend is likely to persist for at least 10 more years.
Viet Nam News
Asia News Network
HO CHI MINH CITY