Thailand had been asked to supply more electricity to those Cambodian provinces close to the shared border, according to officials.
Suy Sem, Cambodian minister of Industry, Mine and Energy, talked to reporters after a bilateral meeting with his counterpart, Thai Minister Arak Chonlatanon last week, a day after ASEAN energy ministers’ meeting in Phnom Penh.
He suggested an increase of electrical power supply from the current 80 to 90 megawatts up to 120 megawatts through the Poipet international border tranmission station to supply Banteay Meanchey, Battambang and Siem Reap provinces. Sem also suggested to increase the supply to Koh Kong province from its current four megawatts to 11 megawatts.
Because the dry season will start in November or December, “we will lack power because our hydroelectic dams will lack water and they will not be fully operational”, he said.
Sem said Thai officials agreed to the request.
He also proposed to sell electricity to Anlong Veng district, the last stronghold of the Khmer Rouge regime, close to the Thai border in Oddar Meanchey provice. However, there was no positive response to the idea.
Ung Oeun, governor of Banteay Meanchey province, said electricity demand has increased gradually, and so far most of the communes in his province were connected to power grid.
Dry season will be a cause for greater demand in power as the number of people increase.
Sem said Cambodian Senator Ly Yong Phat’s company co-operated with a Thai company to study the construction of a coal power plant, with a capacity of 1,800 megawatts, to be built with US$3 billion in investment capital, but the study has not been completed yet.
According to the Project Report by the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia, Cambodia’s energy consumption is projected to grow at an average annual rate of 5.2 per cent between 2009 and 2035.
Only 34 per cent of Cambodians are connected to electrical grid, while the majority depended on sources like diesel generators and batteries, according to Sat Samy, secretaty of state for Ministry of Industry, Mine and Energy.
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