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Singapore to import electricity from Malaysia

Singapore is set to import electricity from Malaysia as early as next year in a trial to diversify the country’s energy supply.

Making the announcement on Monday, Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said: “We will kick this off by importing 100 megawatts 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.”

He was speaking on the first day of the Singapore International Energy Week, an annual energy conference involving international policymakers and industry commentators, held in 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 megawatts of electricity imports. The amount is equivalent to about 1.5 percent of Singapore’s demand.

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

Does Singapore import electricity? 

More than 95 percent of its electricity is generated from imported natural gas, of which the majority is from Malaysia and Indonesia.

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

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 the 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.

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