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Renewable energy used for rice milling

The Federation of Cambodian Rice Millers Association in Battambang province will establish a biomass-generated electricity plant in Battambang, an insider said. The plant will cost up to US$10 million and generate 10 megatwatts of electricity.

Phou Puy, president of the Federation of Cambodian Rice Millers Association (CRMA) and the Baitong Rice Export Company, said he is scheduled to sign a contract with a Malaysian firm in the upcoming days to set up the power plant operated by biomass from rice husks for generating the power.

Yesterday Phou Puy, who did not remember the name of the Malaysian firm, confirmed that the biomass generator was a project being completed in cooperation between his company and a Malaysian firm.

“We are preparing to sign a contract with each other. The plant is worth $10 million with the capacity to generate 10 megawatts,” he said.

Phou Puy said the intention of creating the plant is to cut the cost of processing milled rice to enhance the competition capacity in the market and use thousands of tonnes of rice husks which are otherwise usless.

“It is important to reduce the cost of producing milled rice for export, we will save some money by using rice husks that would normallly be poured into the ponds uselessly,” he said. “We’re establishing the biomass plant for use in our rice milling factory, and for supplying electricity to our federation members. It could be ready in late 2013 or in early 2014.”

Victor Jona, Deputy Director General at the Department of Energy in the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy, said officials did not yet have official statistics of biomass generators in Cambodia, but the trends for establishment of these machines have been increasing at rice milling sites because the owners want to use rice husks to generate electricity.

He said in the next year, a 26-megawatt power plant would also start operating in a sugar-cane production factory in Kratie province.

He added that the government encourages the establishment of renewable plants through not applying import taxes on materials used to build them.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rann Reuy at reuy.rann@phnompenhpost.com

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