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Transmission line to connect dam by 2017

A $92 million transmission line will be constructed at the Lower Sesan II hydro dam in Stung Treng by June 2017 to transfer power to Kampong Cham and Kratie provinces, according to a release from Malaysian power system engineering company Pestech International.

Pestech’s subsidiaries – Pestech (Cambodia) Ltd, Enersol Co Ltd and Diamond Power Limited – will build and operate the 230 kV line that will transfer 400 megawatts of power once the hydro-electric dam is operational.

Pestech (Cambodia) and Enersol have an agreement with Diamond Power to undertake the design, building, testing and commissioning of the project. Whereas, Diamond Power will operate the line for 25 years, with state-owned Electricite du Cambodge (EdC) paying Diamond Power $12.2 million annually for the first three years and $18.2 million annually for the remaining 22 years in transmission charges.

The total payment made to Diamond Power by EdC will be $437 million, almost five times the base cost of the project.

Officials at EdC and Ministry of Mine and Energy could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Ty Thany, executive director at the Electricity Authority of Cambodia, said private investors were needed to build the transmission line, as the government lacks the capital to do it themselves.

“We need this transmission line to be completed by the time the construction of Lower Sesan II dam is finished, so that it can disseminate the power for usage, otherwise the power generated will be a waste,” Thany said.

The transmission line from Stung Treng will connect to the existing national grid, as well as other available grids in the country, Thany said.

Cambodia is expected to generate about 3,430 megawatts by 2020, from 12 hydroelectric and coal power plants, licenses for which have already been granted.

The $816 million Lower Sesan II dam project was approved in November 2012 and is expected to be operational in 2017. The dam, which is a joint venture between Cambodia’s Royal Group and China’s Hydrolancang International, is run by Hydro Power Lower Sesan II Company, with construction having begun in early 2014.

Cambodia’s power grid has been largely dependent on electricity imports from neighbouring countries since 1993, with the country having to import 1,691 megawatts from Vietnam, 579 megawatts from Thailand and 10.73 megawatts from Laos in 2013.

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