Malaysia to export 100 megawatts of electricity to Singapore on two-year trial

Under the proposal, electricity imports could begin as early as the end of 2021 via the existing electricity interconnector between Singapore and Malaysia. — Reuters pic
Under the proposal, electricity imports could begin as early as the end of 2021 via the existing electricity interconnector between Singapore and Malaysia. — Reuters pic

SINGAPORE, Oct 26 — Singapore is set to import electricity from Malaysia as early as next year in a trial to diversify the Republic’s energy supply.

Making the announcement today, Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said that the two-year trial will begin with the import of 100 megawatts (MW) of electricity.

“We will kick this off by importing 100 MW of electricity imports for a trial period of two years to see how the market works and to see how the technical challenges can be overcome.

“This will allow the region to share the clean energy sources that different countries may have,” said Chan. 

He was speaking on the first day of Singapore International Energy Week, an annual energy conference involving international policymakers and industry commentators, held at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre, at Marina Bay Sands.

In a media release on Monday, the Energy Market Authority (EMA) said that it plans to issue a Request for Proposal by March next year for 100 MW of electricity imports. The amount is equivalent to about 1.5 per cent of Singapore’s peak electricity demand.

The highest monthly peak demand last year was 7,404 MW in May. 

Under the proposal, electricity imports could begin as early as the end of 2021 via the existing electricity interconnector between Singapore and Malaysia.

Singapore currently does not import electricity. 

More than 95 per cent of Singapore’s electricity is generated from imported natural gas, of which the majority is from Malaysia and Indonesia. 

“To meet our climate change commitments, there is a need to change the way Singapore produces and uses energy. Tapping on regional power grids for cleaner energy resources is one strategy to further diversify Singapore’s energy supply,” said EMA in its release.

The statutory board added that the trial aims to assess and refine the technical and regulatory frameworks for importing electricity into Singapore to help facilitate larger-scale imports from the region in future.

An importer will be selected through an open and competitive selection process. Potential importers will have to demonstrate, among other things, their track record, their ability to secure demand from Singapore consumers and how they manage the carbon output of generation supply.

Speaking at the conference, Chan said that the trial is one way to encourage more players to adopt energy-efficient solutions.

“Moral suasion can only go that far. We will need to make sure that we have the right market structures, right incentives to drive the right behaviour in a sustainable way for the long-term.”

Besides the trial, EMA will also introduce a forward capacity market in the coming years to provide greater certainty to energy producers on the energy demand in the next few years. 

Interested importers for the trial can contact EMA at [email protected] for more details. — TODAY

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