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China firm backs Battambang solar farm

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More solar power plants are expected to pop up in some provinces. Photo supplied

China firm backs Battambang solar farm

The Chinese-based Risen Energy inked a long-term debt financing agreement worth $45 million to back a 60MW solar energy project in Battambang province.

The deal was signed with Germany’s DEG, the European Investment Bank (and 11 European development finance institutions) and the Interact Climate Change Facility SA (ICCF), a company owned by the French Development Agency (known by its French acronym AFD), Risen Energy said in a press release.

Risen Energy said it is the only Chinese company in the industry to obtain project financing from both DEG and EBRD, which it said demonstrates its strong international financing capabilities.

Its success in securing financing for the Cambodian project represents Risen Energy’s new growth phase in the Cambodian market as well as a milestone in its overseas market ventures, it said.

DEG vice-president for infrastructure and energy in Eurasia Felix Busse said the DEG is “very proud” in taking an active role in helping the Kingdom on the path to a renewable energy future.

The project will be one of the first major utility-scale solar power stations in the Kingdom thanks to “successful collaboration with Risen Group”, he said.

He said in the press release: “On the back of this successful transaction, DEG is looking to do more projects in the renewable sector in the region to accelerate the growth of green energy capacities and to combat carbon emissions.”

Risen Energy director of overseas project finance and investment Zhang Jieling said her company is grateful to work with DEG, which she described as a global development finance institution with “rich experiences and good reputation” in cross-border project coordination.

Zhang said in the press release: “The experience greatly enhances our ability in overseas project development, financing and construction, providing strong support for moving towards a broader overseas market.

“We look forward to the future cooperation with DEG and fighting the global warming together.”

Victor Jona, director-general of the Ministry of Mines and Energy’s General Department of Energy, told The Post that Risen Energy had received permission from the Cambodian government to invest in the project.

The company has also signed a purchase agreement with Electricite du Cambodge (EdC) at $0.076 per kilowatt-hour, he said. The project is on Build-Own-Operate basis under a 20-year concession agreement with the state-run energy supplier.

“We welcome [Risen Energy’s] loan agreement for this project. The company is planning to start generating solar energy early next year so that they can do business with EdC,” Jona said.

According to EdC, peak electricity demand in the country is expected to increase to 2,300MW this year and hit 2,500MW by next year.

The Kingdom’s electricity demands are now being met by hydroelectricity and coal power, accounting for around 48 per cent and 47 per cent of generation, respectively.

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