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$59m spent importing electricity

CAMBODIA spent US$59 million on electricity imports from Thailand and Vietnam last year, according to Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy figures.

The Kingdom purchased 226.76 billion kilowatt-hours in 2009 from Thailand for $19 million, and 500.74 billion kWh from Vietnam for $40 million.

New factories and apartment buildings had led to rising electricity demand, said Ty Thany, director of the Department of Finance and Price Setting at the ministry.

“We will import 25 to 30 percent [of our electricity supply] for this year in order to reduce costly local power generation,” said Ty Thany.

Cambodia buys electricity from Thailand at 2.7 baht ($0.083) per kWh and from Vietnam at $0.08 per kWh compared with a cost of $0.18-0.20 per kWh using oil-powered generators.

“We may be able to reduce imports of electricity in 2013 because we will have hydroelectric dams and coal power plants to generate electricity by ourselves then,” said Ty Thany.

The Ministry of Industry forecasts that Cambodia will require about 400 megawatts of electricity this year, 50 percent more than current domestic supply.

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