Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Building of PSihanouk coal plant set to start

Building of PSihanouk coal plant set to start

Building of PSihanouk coal plant set to start

GROUNDBREAKING will begin for a 100-megawatt coal power plant in Preah Sihanouk province today amid pleas to the government to ensure its green credentials before allowing it to open.

Deputy Prime Minister Keat Chhon, minister of economy and finance, is to inaugurate the construction site.

Heng Kunleang, director of the Department of Energy Development for the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy, told the Post on Wednesday that the construction would be completed in three years.

“We hope that the power generated by the plant will be distributed not only to Preah Sihanouk province but also Phnom Penh,” he said.

The Sihanoukville project is 80-percent owned by Malaysian firm Leader Universal Holding’s Cambodian subsidiary, with the remainder held by Cambodian International Investment Development Group. In December, Leader announced it had hired Beijing-based Huadian Engineering Company to build the plant. It followed an application to invest US$200 million in the project in 2006.

Heng Kunleang said the ministry had spent a long time studying the proposed project for possible environmental impacts and economic effectiveness before giving the scheme the green light.

“We want power for the sake of development, but we will never forget to consider any negative effects it may have on the environment, which is concern for all of us,” he said.

Van Nara, an environmentalist from the Cambodian Association for the Protection of Environment and Culture, said Wednesday that the government should be very careful in its development of coal power plants. He said that if an environmental impact examination was not done carefully, problems could surface in the future. He added that in parts of Thailand, coal power plants have polluted the air and surrounding water, making residents sick or disabled.

“I think that the power generated by the plant will help fill in the present demand for electricity in the country,” he said. “But the government must thoroughly inspect the plant before allowing official operations to start. Cambodia also has many other good choices to produce electricity, such as solar and wind power.”

Thiv Sophearith, chief of the Office of Air Noise and Vibration Management, said: “We think that the company may have already put enough measures in to prevent environmental pollution.”

According to the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy, it plans to approve construction of a second 100-megawatt coal power plant in Preah Sihanouk province this year.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen ready to ‘break record’, says Rainsy lost

    Caretaker prime minister Hun Sen used a meeting with 18,400 factory workers on Wednesday to predict that he would beat the record for being the world’s longest-serving non-royal leader. He also used the platform to slam political opponent Sam Rainsy who he said had lost

  • Sihanoukville land prices skyrocketing amid breakneck development

    Sihanoukville, the Kingdom’s most famous beach destination for tourists, is seemingly becoming a paradise for Chinese investors as well. The huge influx of Chinese investors has caused property values to rise, especially the price of land, which has nearly doubled in some places near

  • US names new ambassador to Cambodia

    US President Donald Trump on Friday appointed W Patrick Murphy as the new US Ambassador to Cambodia, replacing incumbent William A Heidt. A press release posted on the White House’s website said nominee W Patrick Murphy is currently acting principal deputy assistant secretary at

  • Kingdom is at a crossroads between East, West after poll

    It was dubbed a success by caretaker prime minister Hun Sen after the electoral victory of his Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), which is poised to take all seats in the National Assembly. But the July 29 national election has not been positively looked at by