Royal Group Power Co Ltd (RGP) – a subsidiary of locally-owned conglomerate Royal Group of Companies Ltd (RGC) – and Singapore’s Keppel Energy Pte Ltd (KE) have entered into a Power Purchase and Export Agreement (PPEA) for the long-term import and sales of low-carbon power from Cambodian renewable energy sources.

The PPEA was signed in Singapore on March 15 between RGP chairman Kith Meng and KI CEO Cindy Lim, and witnessed by Minister of Mines and Energy Suy Sem as well as Electricite du Cambodge director-general Keo Rottanak, along with senior Singaporean officials: Minister for Manpower Tan See Leng and Energy Market Authority (EMA) chief executive Ngiam Shih Chun.

The EMA – a statutory board under the Ministry of Trade and Industry – affirmed in a statement that it “has granted Conditional Approval to [KE] to import one 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 4GW of low-carbon electricity by 2035,” the statement said.

The EMA earlier revealed that this “could make up around 30 per cent of Singapore’s projected electricity supply” in 2035.

State news agency Agence Kampuchea Presse (AKP) and other outlets reported that, under the PPEA, the companies will seek to export the full 1GW from the Kingdom to Singapore, at least in part via more than 1,000km of new sub-sea high voltage cables.

This means that the PPEA could account for roughly 7.5 per cent of Singapore’s electricity supply in 2035.

“Keppel Energy’s large-scale electricity import is expected to aggregate low carbon electricity generated from various renewable energy sources in Cambodia, with the ability to scale and hybridise with the vast renewable energy sources in [Laos], which will provide greater flexibility and energy resilience.”

This is according to a March 16 press release issued by Singapore-listed Keppel Corp Ltd, the wholly-owning parent company of Keppel Infrastructure Holdings Pte (KI), which is in turn the wholly-owning parent company of KE.

“Subject to requisite regulatory and other approvals, the large-scale low carbon electricity import from Cambodia is expected to commence post-2030.

“Keppel will leverage its experience in the first multilateral cross-border electricity trade involving four ASEAN countries and the first renewable energy import into Singapore as part of the [Laos]-Thailand-Malaysia-Singapore Power Integration Project [LTMS-PIP] to facilitate the successful implementation of the large-scale import of renewables and low-carbon energy,” it said.

Speaking in the release EMA’s Ngiam hailed the authority’s Conditional Approval as an “important step” towards the city-state’s 2035 goal of 4GW in low-carbon power imports.

“Singapore is committed to decarbonising our power sector, and electricity imports of low carbon electricity from renewable energy sources will help us achieve our net-zero target by 2050,” he said.

In a separate statement, the energy minister described the PPEA as part of the framework established by the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Cambodia-Singapore Energy Cooperation.

“Fully” supported by both countries’ governments and in step with Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) 2025, the “strategic” project is to support the energy trade as well as the integration of the sectors among ASEAN member states, Sem underscored.

KI’s Lim said in Keppel’s press release that KI “is committed to and focused on scaling up and diversifying our renewable and low-carbon energy portfolio so as to support decarbonisation efforts across countries and industries. [We’re] building on Keppel’s first-mover advantage in importation and multi-lateral electricity trade.

“This strategic and innovative project, when completed, will catalyse the regional power grid and accelerate renewable energy growth in ASEAN as well as bolster the region’s energy resilience,” she added.

RGP’s Meng added that KE and the RGC “have chosen to act bilaterally to accelerate our efforts to contribute to the sustained economic growth of our respective home countries by not only fueling economic growth but also by moving away from carbon-dependent electricity.

“As such, our success will not only benefit our two companies and our two countries but will also foster integration in the power sector of the ASEAN Community.

“At the same time, the implementation of our PPEA will also help to facilitate national, ASEAN Community, and global efforts to meet long-term, net-zero emission targets,” he said.

On the Singapore Exchange (SGX), Keppel Corp’s share price rose S$0.08 or 1.50 per cent to close at S$5.40 on Friday, March 17 for a market capitalisation of S$9.46 billion (US$7.05 billion) and 52-week range of S$5.13-7.72, with 13.54 million shares traded or 285.16 per cent of the 65-day average of 4.75 million, according to the Wall Street Journal.

For the quarter ended December 31, the firm reported sales/revenue of S$3.264 billion, down 2.73 per cent quarter-on-quarter; EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) of S$314 million, up 3.39 per cent; net income of S$414 million, down 4.54 per cent; and total assets of S$30.935 billion, down 2.19 per cent, the news outlet indicated.