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ERIA Holds Workshop with Lao PDR's Ministry of Energy and Mines on Energy Security Policy

23 February 2024

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Vientiane, 22-23 February 2024: ERIA co-hosted a two-day workshop with the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MEM) of Lao PDR for the development of a White Paper on ‘Energy Security Policy Directions for Inclusive and Sustainable Development Lao PDR and the Implication for ASEAN’ under the 2024 Lao Chairmanship.

The Minister of Energy and Mines Phoxay Sayasone opened the workshop. He emphasised the importance of having an inclusive stakeholders’ consultation meeting that reflects the current need and situation in the country in relation to developing a White Paper, as the complexity of energy necessitates a cross-cutting study.  The Minister noted that the findings of the White Paper will be shared at the highest levels of government to ensure all stakeholders understand and cooperate in implementation.  

Naoto Okura, Policy Fellow of ERIA’s Office of the President, delivered opening remarks for ERIA on behalf of its president. In his comments, he noted the workshop as a milestone in Lao PDR’s journey towards developing a crucial policy document on energy security. He stressed that the White Paper would address key issues surrounding the establishment of an energy system that fosters safe, resilient, inclusive, and sustainable development for Lao PDR. 

Permanent Secretary at MEM Khamso Kouphokham co-moderated workshop sessions along with Dr Han Phoumin, Senior Energy Economist of ERIA, and Dr Anousak Phongsavath, Director General of MEM. In his overview of the White Paper, Dr Phoumin highlighted that the White Paper will be composed of 15 chapters and is expected to be completed this year, with a plan to hand over this important document at the ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM) and East Asia Summit Energy Ministers Meeting (EAS-EMM).

The two-day workshop covered many aspects of energy security. In line with the study outline, it  included power systems; sustainable transport; affordable energy for industry, commercial, and residential sectors; energy efficiency in the end-use sector; energy management systems; alternative and innovative energy technology; sustainable hydropower; carbon market mechanisms; energy financing; and capacity building to bridge knowledge gaps.

The White Paper authors and experts from ERIA attending the workshop were Dr Han Phoumin, Dr Alloysius Joko Purwanto, Jeremy Gross, and Kei Sudo. The other experts were Ruengsak Thitirasakul, Petroleum Institute of Thailand; Prof Phouphet Kyophilavong, National University of Laos; Ir Leong Siew Meng, Green Technology Solutions PLT; Ir Ong Ching Loon, Cofreth (M) Sdn Bhd Malaysia; Ir Lam Kim Seong, Prudenergy, Consulting Sdn Bhd; Dr Anousak Phongsavath, Research Institute for Energy and Mines and Director General of MEM; Mr Meas Sopheak, Mekong River Commission Secretariat (MRCS); Dr Hoyyen Chan, Invite Green Consultancy, Energy-Climate Specialist; and Dr Weerawat Chantanakome, Ministry of Energy Thailand. Prof Farhad Taghizadeh-Hesary of Tokai University was unable to attend in person.  

Wrapping up the workshop, Permanent Secretary Kouphokham stressed the importance of accessibility and affordability of energy supply with respect to the energy supply security and the need to close the knowledge gaps in terms of know-how technologies involving energy transitions and the future technologies. He thanked ERIA, the experts, stakeholders from line ministries, Mekong River Commission Secretariat, embassies, and international organisations for the fruitful outcome of this two day-stakeholder consultation workshop. 

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