EMA Grants Conditional Approval for 1 Gigawatt (GW) of Electricity Imports from Cambodia

16 Mar 2023

The Energy Market Authority (EMA) has granted Conditional Approval to Keppel Energy Pte. Ltd. to import 1 gigawatt (GW) of electricity from Cambodia into Singapore. This is the first Conditional Approval for electricity imports to be awarded by EMA and it marks a significant milestone in Singapore’s ambition to import up to 4 GW of low-carbon electricity by 2035.

2. Electricity imports through Regional Power Grids is one of the “Switches” that Singapore is tapping on to decarbonise its energy supply. In July 2022, EMA issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) to invite interested companies to submit proposals to import up to 4 GW of low-carbon electricity by 2035.

3. The Conditional Approval recognises that the project is preliminarily assessed to be technically and commercially viable. It facilitates Keppel Energy in obtaining the necessary regulatory approvals and licences for its project. It builds on the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Energy Cooperation between Cambodia and Singapore, signed in October 2022, that reaffirms both countries’ commitment to support and facilitate clean energy transition efforts and regional decarbonisation, including greater collaboration on cross-border electricity trading.

4. Based on Keppel Energy’s proposal, the imported electricity will harness solar energy, hydropower, and potentially wind power, supported by battery energy storage systems (BESS) or pumped storage hydropower (PSH). It will be transmitted from Cambodia to Singapore via new subsea cables of more than 1,000 km. Keppel Energy will also explore ways to scale and hybridise imported electricity with renewable energy sources in Lao PDR.

5. EMA may grant Conditional Approval to RFP participants whose projects have been preliminarily assessed as technically and commercially viable. Such approvals provide recognition to the projects and help facilitate the participants in conducting further studies and securing regulatory approvals from the source and transit countries. EMA may subsequently issue these participants Conditional Licences if their proposals meet the requirements set out in the Conditional Approval. Participants will have to further develop their proposals and meet EMA’s conditions, including obtaining relevant regulatory approvals and making a Final Investment Decision, before being issued a full Importer Licence.

6. Regional Power Grids can also accelerate renewable energy development in the region and facilitate economic growth, while diversifying energy sources away from fossil fuels.

7. Today, Singapore and Indonesia also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Renewable Energy Cooperation. The MOU, together with the Conditional Approval for the import of electricity from Cambodia, mark a significant step forward in regional collaboration to enhance energy security, increase access to reliable, clean energy, as well as stimulate economic growth.

8. These two developments are important steps towards the ASEAN Power Grid vision, following the successful implementation of the Lao PDR-Thailand-Malaysia-Singapore Power Integration Project in June last year.

9. EMA will continue to review the other RFP proposals, with a view to granting more conditional approvals before the RFP closes in December 2023.

Annex A: Information on the Singapore Energy Transition
Annex B: How Does the Request-for-Proposal Process Work?


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