THE government is still waiting on the outcomes of feasibility studies on 13 hydroelectric dams, the construction of which it hopes will allow Cambodia to become a net energy exporter by 2020.
Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy Director General Victor Zona said the 13 potential dams, located mostly in the west and northeast of Cambodia, could produce a combined 2,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity.
The studies have been approved since 2005, and one - the 420MW Sesan Krom II dam to be built by Vietnam Electricity on Stung Treng province's Sesan River - was expected to be approved for construction next year, Zona said.
Zona said he hoped all 13 dams would be approved and construction completed by 2020 for "consumption and sale".
The government has already approved the construction of seven hydroelectric dams, which are expected to be completed between 2010 and 2015 and will produce almost 1,000MW of electricity.
Zona said a ministry study found that Cambodia will need to produce 3,000MW of electricity by 2020 to meet local needs. With the 20 dams online, the Kingdom would have capacity to produce 5,000MW from hydroelectricity, coal and gas, meaning it would be able to export 40 percent of its total production each year.
According to the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology's National Water Resources Policy, Cambodia has the potential to develop about 10,000 megawatts of hydroelectric power, 50 percent from main rivers, 40 percent from tributaries and 10 percent from coastal areas.