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CDC approves Royal Group’s 700MW coal-fired power plant

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Once online in 2023 or 2024, Botum Sakor Energy’s Koh Koh-based coal-fired power station will deliver 700MW of electricity. Hong Menea

CDC approves Royal Group’s 700MW coal-fired power plant

The Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) on December 8 approved Botum Sakor Energy Co Ltd’s (BSE’s) more-than-$1 billion 700MW coal-fired power station in Koh Kong province’s southwestern Botum Sakor district.

Based in Thma Sar commune’s Chamlang Ko village, the CDC noted that the facility will provide 360 jobs for locals.

BSE is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Kingdom’s largest conglomerate, Royal Group of Companies Ltd.

“This project will help create jobs and enhance the livelihoods of Cambodians,” the company said, according to the minutes of a July 28 meeting between the Royal Group and 58 families affected by the development.

According to a sub-decree issued on August 6, the government granted 168ha in Botum Sakor National Park in Koh Kong to the Royal Group to build the power station.

The project will require $1.3442 billion in capital investment and will be online in 2023 or 2024. Of that, 30 per cent will come from direct capital and 70 per cent will be from bank loans, the sub-decree said. The project will be developed under a 35-year build, own, operate (BOO) model.

Deputy provincial governor Sok Sothy told The Post on December 9 that BSE has been clearing land in preparation for construction work, and that a social impact assessment was nearing completion.

Having been given the nod by the CDC, he said the company will begin construction soon.

He voiced his confidence that the plant would scale up energy efficiency and security in the coastal province, which he pointed out had untold tourism potential.

“Shoring up the electricity infrastructure will help entice investment to Cambodia and push the pedal to the metal and accelerate provincial development,” he said.

Last month, BSE struck an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract with Shenzhen-listed Sinosteel Engineering & Technology for the plant, according to Shanghai-based financial news portal Yicai Global.

SET is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Beijing-based state-owned enterprise Sinosteel Corp.

As outlined in the EPC contract, Yicai Global said, once it secures payment, SET will present the design and will procure and supply the equipment and materials, as well as provide construction, installation and commissioning services.

Citing an SET statement, the news portal said the total contract value is to the tune of about $1.1 billion.

The contract covers the construction of two new 350MW engine units and ancillary generation and transmission facilities, as well as a dedicated coal terminal, it said.

Construction of the first unit is scheduled to be completed within 36 months of breaking ground, with the second unit slated to be finished 12 months later, it added.

Victor Jona, director-general of the Ministry of Mines and Energy’s General Department of Energy, told The Post in August that the government needs to diversify energy production to include other sources and ensure stable electricity supply in Cambodia.

He said that without exception, the government assumes the ultimate responsibility in reviewing the socio-environmental impact of every development project in the power sector.

“All in all, we need to expand our energy portfolio to include a plethora of sources, inter alia, hydropower, coal and solar to ensure the supply to consumers, be they citizens, industries, cottage industries or service providers,” Jona said.

On the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, SET’s share price fell 0.07 yuan (1.07 US cents) or 1.68 per cent to close at 4.10 yuan on December 9 for a market capitalisation of 5.15 billion yuan, with 5.60 million shares traded.

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