A new power station has opened in Phnom Penh - the first of several planned to
boost the capital's skeletal electricity system.
The $22 million five
megawatt station, officially opened late last month, will be followed by another
one expected to be completed by the end of the year. Both are funded by Japanese
They will be a welcome addition to Phnom Penh's four, elderly power
stations, whose combined daily output of 18 megawatts of electricity struggles
to keep up with demand.
The new diesel-run stations, it is hoped, will
reduce the number of power blackouts which have plagued Phnom Penh for
The Minister of Industry, Mines and Electricity, Pou Sothirak,
said the Japanese projects would raise electricity supplies by a third during
the daytime and a quarter at night.
Japanese Ambassador Yukio Imagawa
said both power stations would be sufficient to supply 32,000 families with
electricity 24 hours a day.
They would produce about $13 million worth of
electricity a year-about $8 million of which could be directed into building
small electric power plants in Phnom Penh and the countryside.
another, bigger power station is set to come on line late next year, after work
on its construction began this month.
Under the $40 million deal, signed
last September with the Ministry of Energy, a consortium of Malaysian and United
States firms will build and operate the station.
The 35 megawatt,
diesel-powered station is to be built at Chak Ankre, Phnom Penh.
government may also be a step closer to seeing the Kamchay hydroelectric dam
project-abandoned after being started by Soviet designers years
The ministry has signed an agreement with a Canadian
consortium-Hydro-Quebec Internation, Pomerleu International and Experco Ltd-to
investigate ways to finish the construction of the dam.
agreement, funded by the Canadian International Development Agency, will see the
consortium launch "pre-feasibility" and "feasibility" studies into the
A further $500,000 may then be invested in preparatory work
before a final contract to finish the dam, expected to cost around $120,000, may
If completed, the kamchay dam, in kampot province, could
produce about 120 megawatts of electricity, able to power irrigation systems for
thousands of hectares of rice paddies.
First Prime Minister Prince
Ranariddh, who attended the signing ceremony with the Canadian firms, said the
government wanted to promote hydro-electric power schemes to meet long-term