Promoting grid interconnection to drive regional sustainable development

From July 2 to 10, Liu Zhenya, Chairman of GEIDCO, visited the Lao PDR, Myanmar and Bangladesh and met with Mr. Boungnang Vorachith,General Secretary of the Lao PDR, Dr. Khammany Inthirath, the Minister of Energy and Mining of the Lao PDR, Mr. U Tuntun Naing, Permanent Secretary of the Myanmar Ministry of Planning and Finance, Mr.U Htein Lwin, Permanent Secretary of the Myanmar Ministry of Electricity and energy, Mr. Thant Myint,President Consultant of Myanmar,Mr. Nasrul Hamid,State Minister, Ministry of Power, Energy & Mineral Resources and Mr. Masum-Al-Beruni, Managing Director of Power Grid Company of Bangladesh respectively to exchange ideas on power and energy development and grid connectivity in the PDR,Myanmar and Bangladesh with important consensus being reached.        

Liu Zhenya introduced GEI, EITI, the work of GEIDCO and China’s achievements in UHV power transmission, smart grid, clean energy development.He also carried out in-depth exchange on accelerating grid interconnection in the IndoChina Peninsula,promoting clean energy development and use and realizing sustainable development. He pointed out that GEI is committed to solving problems concerning the sustainable development of the human world. Global clean energy reserves are very abundant. With technological progress, clean energy development will be more efficient and economical. It is expected that clean energy will be more competitive than fossil energy before 2025. UHV technologies transmit electricity in large capacity over long distances with little loss, which makes crossborder and intercontinental power transmission and GEI possible. The essence of Global Energy Interconnection (GEI) is global power grid. It is a global energy and resource allocation platform with interconnected large grid as the basis, which is able to coordinate the differences in time zones, seasons and power tariffs, strongly promoting global power transactions with huge comprehensive benefit.        

Liu Zhenya pointed out that IndoChina Peninsula and neighboring regions have a large population,small fossil energy reserves, abundant hydropower resource reserves, but small per capita power consumption with huge development potential, which  needs time to build an integrated synchronous grid that connects with China on the North and with South Asia on the West, thus realizing optimized power resource allocation on a larger scale. The Lao PDR, Myanmar and Bangladesh have abundant hydropower resources. Therefore, through speeding up the development of hydropower and the building of cross-border and trans-regional power grids, we can effectively solve the problem of the seasonal abundance or shortage of hydropower, create huge economic value and drive regional sustainable socio-economic development.        

All parties recognized and actively responded to the proposal of GEI. Mr. Bounnhang Vorachith recognized and supported the Belt and RoadInitiative and GEI, saying that as a comprehensive strategic partner of China, the Lao PDR is always willing to deepen cooperation with China in the energy sector to turn the Lao PDR into a “storage battery” of ASEAN. Currently,the Lao PDR is witnessing rapid development in the construction of hydropower stations but rather weak power grid. Therefore, the Lao government is accelerating research to promote the implementation of related projects. Dr. Khammany Inthirath recognized the concept of GEI, thinking that promoting grid interconnection with neighboring countries, especially with China, can solve the problem of excessive hydropower in wet season and hydropower shortage in dry season from the root and deepen cooperation to carry out joint research and promote China-Lao grid interconnection. Mr.U Tuntun Naing expressed the willingness to jointly promote China-Myanmar power interconnection with the hope to launch detailed plans as soon as possible and speed up planning research and project implementation. Mr. U Htein Lwin expressed his appreciation and recognition of the strategic proposal of GEI and said that Myanmar is actively promoting grid interconnection with neighboring countries and is in urgent need of accelerating grid interconnection with China, relieving the pressure of power supply. Mr. Thant Myint pointed out that the government will promote GEI across Myanmar to gain more support. Mr. Nasrul Hamid expressed his appreciation of the progress China has made in GEI and UHV power transmission, hoping that the two sides could strengthen practical cooperation to promote GEI. Mr. Masum-Al-Beruni expressed his firm support for China-Myanmar grid interconnection and his willingness to sign cooperation agreements with GEIDCO to carry out joint research and push forward related work.        

Since founded more than one year ago,GEIDCO has made extensive efforts in bringing forward the concept of GEI, enhancing international cooperation, encouraging strategic research,accelerating technological innovation and promoting project implementation with significant progress.GEIDCO has signed cooperation agreements with UNDESA, UNESCAP, AU, LAS and GCCIA and has established cooperation relations with more than 130 international organizations, government departments, businesses, institutions and universities in 41 countries (regions). Now, GEI has entered the stage of strategic implementation.