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Royal Group, Keppel team up on renewable energy, S’pore exports

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Finance minister Aun Pornmoniroth (left) shakes hands with Royal Group CEO Kith Meng at the November 11 signing ceremony. FN

Royal Group, Keppel team up on renewable energy, S’pore exports

The Phnom Penh-based Royal Group Power Co Ltd (RGP) on November 11 inked a preliminary but exclusive and binding agreement with Singapore’s Keppel Energy Pte Ltd (KE) to explore the joint development and operation of a set of proposed renewable energy projects in Cambodia.

The projects are planned to have a total installed capacity of around 2.5GW, and roughly two-fifths of that are earmarked for export to Singapore via high-voltage submarine transmission, with KE as the buyer, according to a joint statement.

The deal was signed at a ceremony presided over by Minister of Economy and Finance Aun Pornmoniroth, who is also one of the Kingdom’s 10 deputy prime ministers. KE is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Keppel Infrastructure Holdings Pte Ltd (KI), which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Singaporean-listed Keppel Corp Ltd.

Kith Meng, CEO of Royal Group of Companies Ltd, RGP’s wholly-owning parent company, confirmed that the exclusive agreement entails the export of up to 1GW of energy to Singapore as well as the development of power transmission infrastructure to handle electricity exports from Laos.

“[This] represents ground-breaking cooperation between our two countries and our two companies. It is a milestone for ASEAN cooperation.

“Our business-to-business cooperation will contribute greatly to the implementation of the broader ASEAN Power Grid by increasing Electricity Connectivity within ASEAN by implementing key elements of the joint statement issued by the Ministry of Mines and Energy of Cambodia and the Ministry of Trade and Industry of Singapore during the 40th ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting on the 16th of September 2022,” the statement quoted him as saying.

The statement added that the deal is “part of KI’s strategy to source for reliable and sustainable energy resources in support of cross-border power trade in ASEAN, including the potential of importing green power into Singapore”.

Similarly, KI CEO Cindy Lim hailed the deal as “an important step to accelerate the development of renewable energy resources so as to seize opportunities arising from the ASEAN Power Grid’s vision of multilateral electricity trading beyond international borders, including the potential importation of low-carbon electricity into Singapore”.

“Through this, not only can ASEAN transit towards a greener energy mix more rapidly, but it will also bolster the energy resilience of Singapore and the region. [KI] is pleased to grow its partnership with [the Kingdom] and looks forward to working closely with [RGP] to provide scalable sustainable energy solutions and related infrastructure, to cater to the region’s growing demand,” she said.

An October 27 press release from Keppel Corp suggests that the agreement may have previously been signed at a different ceremony that was witnessed by energy ministry secretary of state Tun Lean and Singaporean industry ministry permanent secretary for development Lee Chuan Teck.

Meanwhile, Cambodia and Singapore are slated to set up a joint technical working group “soon” to look into the work and procedures involved in the proposed transmission line that will carry clean energy by underwater cable from the Kingdom to the city-state, energy director-general Heng Kunleang told The Post on October 25.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) on energy cooperation was virtually signed to this effect that same day between Minister of Mines and Energy Suy Sem and Tan See Leng, Singaporean Minister for Manpower and Second Minister for Trade and Industry, the energy ministry said in a notice.

At the signing ceremony, Sem underlined that the deal represents an important step for development in the Cambodian, Singaporean and regional energy sectors, promoting trade opportunities in the region as well as infrastructure improvements to power the shift towards renewables, the notice added.

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