Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Koh Kong dam online since late last year

Koh Kong dam online since late last year

Koh Kong dam online since late last year

Cambodia's largest hydropower plant to date, the Stung Russey Chrum, is operational.

The 338-megawatt dam, located in Koh Kong’s Mondul Sima district forest, produced and transmitted electricity to Phnom Penh last month, according to its developer, China Huadian Corporation.

“It is the biggest and best dam we have built in Cambodia,” Le Jianhua, deputy general manager of the project, said.

Le said the $496 million plant was successfully completed ahead of schedule in late 2013, and has already sold 1,900 million kilowatt hours to Electricite du Cambodge.

Although registered through the UN as a carbon offsetting project, the Stung Russey Chrum has garnered criticism from environmental groups.

“This project encroaches on the national park and poses a potential threat to the area’s biodiversity,” said Ame Trandem, International Rivers’ Southeast Asia program director. “First of all, there was a lot of destruction of wildlife throughout the construction process. There is also the problem of logging and clearing forest around the construction site, and the dams change the hydrology and natural flow of the river.”

Kong Chhet, provincial coordinator for rights group Licadho, said locals have found the plant disruptive. “It is in the forest area with no people living there, but some fishermen complained about water pollution affecting their daily fishing,” he said.

Le maintained that the dam does not pose any environmental risks, and China Huadian general manager Sun Yangtan said the site’s big timber was logged before the project began.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY LAIGNEE BARRON

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • PM warns party of complacency in leaked audio

    Two leaked audio tapes, purportedly of Prime Minister Hun Sen speaking candidly to senior officials, appear to hint at insecurities within the ruling party over the controversial dissolution of the country’s main opposition, with the premier warning that the party’s “struggle” didn’t

  • Government approves plan to relocate Phnom Penh’s airport

    The government has signed off on a proposal to build a new airport to serve Phnom Penh and has earmarked land in Kandal province for the $1.5 billion project. A new international airport to replace the existing Phnom Penh International Airport will be constructed on partially

  • Music festival promises big stage, has even bigger hopes

    With a line-up of local and international artists, and a massive outdoor venue booked on Koh Pich, or Diamond Island, Saturday’s Diamond Moon Festival is aiming to showcase contemporary musical and artistic talents at a scale rarely seen in the Kingdom. [img] But the