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AFD in talks over power lines

AFD in talks over power lines

The French Development Agency (AFD) said yesterday it is discussing an approximately 50 million euro ($65 million) loan to extend electricity transmission lines, and said it plans to provide more loans for vocational training in the Kingdom.

“We are discussing [the] loan . . . that we could give to EDC [Electricité du Cambodge] for the finance of a 200-kilometres transmission line (high tension) and a 200-kilometres line of medium tension [22KW] in the provinces of Koh Kong (between Koh Kong and Srea Ambel) and between Kampong Cham and Kratie,” Julien Darpoux, program officer for Cambodia and Laos from the French Development Agency, told the Post yesterday.

The transmission line would allow the Rural Electrification Enterprises (REE) to connect to the EDC’s network and to distribute electricity to rural areas with lower tariffs, he added.

“If the REE would produce this electricity with a fuel generator, the tariff would be about 70 cents per kilowatt, while the tariff would shrink to about 25 cents/KW after the REE connected to the EDC network.”

Now only 24 to 25 per cent of households in the country have access to electricity, AFD Director André Pouillès-Duplaix said during a press conference. “We have a lot of work to do in this sector.”

Also, the AFD is in discussions with the Ministry of Tourism regarding the feasibility of a vocational training project in the tourism sector.

“The National Vocational Training Center would be based in Phnom Penh and/or in Siem Reap, for around 1,000 students per year,” Darpoux said.

According to the AFD, the project would be financed through a sovereign loan from the AFD to the Ministry of Tourism of about $10 million: the feasibility study should be completed by the end of June.

However, Darpoux added, the AFD board had not yet confirmed either project. The AFD is expected to present the financing to its board by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, work on an AFD-funded vocational garment training centre should start in two months. AFD provided a $3.5 million loan to the Garment Manufacturing Association of Cambodia to build a training center in Phnom Penh to train about 8,000 students in four years.

“The objective is to replace the foreigners’ middle management staff with Cambodian local staff,” Darproux said.  

Above all, the AFD said it will increase its commitment to Cambodia to support the country’s economy growth. In 2013 and 2014, the AFD wants to commit 100 million euros for eight projects in the Kingdom.

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