Cambodia approves power projects to reduce electricity imports

Cambodia approves power projects to reduce electricity imports

The Cambodian cabinet has approved two electricity development projects in a bid to address the increasing demand for electricity in the country.

The two projects will be a 230-kilowatt transit grid development project from the Ta Tei dam in Koh Kong province as well as a coal-fired electricity plant in Preah Sihanouk province, both of which are expected to begin generating electricity by 2019, the Khmer Times reported on Monday.

“Prime Minister Hun Sen is hoping to benefit poor people by providing an opportunity for everyone to have access to cheap electricity nationwide,” cabinet spokesman Pay Siphan said on Facebook.

The transmission line in the Koh Kong project will be 220 kilometres long in order to be able to connect to Phnom Penh and will cost Alex Cooperation, the investment company heading the project, US$136 million.

The 135-megawatt coal-fired power plant in Preah Sihanouk will be built to replace the Cheay Areng Dam in Koh Kong which has since shut down. The project will be headed by Malaysian company Cambodia Energy Limited which already has a 50-megawatt plant in the province. The company is expected to invest $250 million into the project.

Supreme National Economic Council senior advisor Mey Kalyan said that the progress in electricity generation will drive national economic growth by meeting the increasing demand for electricity.

“It will help develop the quality of electricity which will boost the progress of the industrial sector. While we have quantity, we still don’t have quality,” Kalyan said.

He also said that the project will reduce the country’s dependency on importing electricity from neighbouring countries, adding that producing power domestically will also be more economical.

Electricity prices in Cambodia are among the highest in the region with the most inexpensive option coming from the national grid costing between $0.11 and $0.27 per kilowatt hour.

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