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Blackouts to end soon: EdC

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Blackouts in Phnom Penh will no longer be a problem after an energy source near Sihanoukville starts providing an extra 50 megawatts of coal-fired power to the city next month, the director-general of Electricite du Cambodge (EdC) said.

Keo Rottanak said by mid-June at the latest the coal-power plant from Sihanoukville will be commissioned  as the line is ready and the power plant is almost ready.

“If that is coming, Phnom Penh, Kandal, Kampong Speu [will have] no more cuts and of course after that this will be the end of this [blackout] problem,” Keo Rottanak told the Post in mid-May.

Keo Rottanak yesterday could not be reached for comment on details about recent demand and supply of electricity in the city.

According to the Post late last year, Phnom Penh requires up to 400 megawatts of electricity per day, but the present supply is only 290 megawatts, of which half is imported from Vietnam.

Speaking at the business networking event run by the Cambodian Federation of Employers and Business Associations on March 6, Sok Chenda Sophea, secretary general of the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC), said the real problem preventing investors from coming to Cambodia is the very high cost and unreliable supply of electricity.

He added that the shortage of supply and high electricity costs are still a major issue for the CDC to lure investors into Cambodia.

“We strongly believe that electricity supply and its quality will be better,” Said Sok Chenda, “However, it was confirmed that the price will only slightly decrease.”

According to a report in 2011 conducted by the ASEAN Center for Energy, Cambodia’s average electricity prices for industrial consumers range between 11.71 cents and 14.63 cents, while the range in Vietnam is 2.3 cents to 8.32 cents. In Thailand and Laos the costs are at 8.67 cents to 9.43 cents and 6.23 cents to 7.34 cents respectively.

“[The price] is the highest among the ASEAN economies,” the report said.

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