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Cambodia powers up

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An energy grid in Phnom Penh's Toul Sangke substation. The Ministry of Mines and Energy said on Tuesday that the first phase of the $380 million HFO power plant in Kandal province’s Lvea Em district will begin operations in April and produce 100MW of electricity. Hong Menea

Cambodia powers up

The first phase of the $380 million HFO power plant in Kandal province’s Lvea Em district will begin operations in April and produce 100MW of electricity, said the Ministry of Mines and Energy.

Ministry spokesman Victor Jona told The Post on Tuesday that an additional 300MW will be produced during the second quarter or the early third quarter of this year.

With this additional energy, Cambodia will not suffer power shortages like last year, he said.

“The power plant will start operating as planned in April this year, while the full process could start in June or July.

“I think from now on, Cambodia will not suffer electricity shortages, especially in the dry season. Electricity is at the core of development in all areas.

“The situation of electricity supply from now onwards is good because we have 85 per cent of water supply for hydropower while in the same period last year we only had 30 per cent,” he said.

Jona said the demand for electricity is growing at an average of 16-18 per cent annually, except from 2018 to last year, which saw a 25 per cent growth.

Currently, he said, Cambodia can generate about 70-80 per cent of total electricity consumption.

The director-general of Electricité du Cambodge (EdC), Keo Ratanak, said previously that the Kingdom is working to generate more than 1,000MW of new energy by the end of this year.

This includes building a coal power plant, utilising solar power, and purchasing low-cost power from Laos to better the electricity sector in terms of supply and price.

Long Sreng Interantional Co Ltd general manager Heng Sreng told The Post on Tuesday that he welcomed the ministry’s assurance that there would not be an electricity shortage like last year.

However, he said his company is currently facing frequent power outages. On average, companies pay between $200,000 and $250,000 per month on electricity bills, he said.

“If it is possible to secure more power, it will boost production lines and exports to Chinese markets once again so as to increase orders since the outbreak of Covid-19,” he said.

In September last year, the government also reached an agreement to acquire 2,400MW of electricity – 600MW from Laos-based power plant from TSBP-sekong Power and Mineral Company Ltd and 1,800MW from the Xekong Thermal Power Plant Company Ltd.

The coal-fired power plant will be divided into four phases, with the first to be operational by the end of 2024, with a capacity to produce 300MW.

The second phase will be online by 2025 and produce 600MW, while the third phase will be operational in 2026 and produce 600MW. This will be followed by the fourth phase in 2027, producing 900MW.

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