A global smart energy solutions firm, Chinese-owned CHINT Group Co Ltd, is leveraging the Kingdom’s energy production capacity to support the rapid demand growth for medium-voltage power equipment in the country, as well as Thailand, Laos and Myanmar.

According to a statement by Zhejiang-based CHINT, it has partnered with homegrown SchneiTec Co Ltd, an integrated electric power technology operator, to open Cambodia’s first medium voltage power equipment manufacturing factory at a cost of $2.5 million , spanning 20,000 sqm, in Pursat province.

The factory, which would be set up by the joint-venture (JV) company SchneiTec-CHINT Co Ltd, measures 20,000 sqm.

Both CHINT and SchneiTec-CHINT are the main suppliers of 500Wp and 50Wp solar home system sets for Electricité du Cambodge (EDC).

CHINT also supplies a 230kV-240MVA transformer to EDC for the Suong substation, a “pivotal” substation within Cambodia’s national grid, it said, adding that it has been supporting EDC’s strategy to expand access to electricity in rural areas so that locals have a “reliable and safe electricity supply”.

Liu Bin, director of CHINT Cambodia, said there is a strong increase in demand for smart energy products and services in Cambodia due to the country’s rapid population growth.

“In addition to manufacturing equipment that would ensure safe and reliable electricity, CHINT would continually host seminars to collaborate and engage with the local community in raising the bar to promote energy efficiency and standards,” he added.

The company’s Cambodian unit has been “actively inculcating the importance of energy efficiency and safety to the locals”, including conducting in-person interaction sessions with rural communities to make them aware of the “ecological advantages of solar energy” and guidance over its safe application.

Last June 23, the National Assembly approved the construction of six clean-energy plants totalling 670 megawatts (MW) and payment guarantees, to stabilise power supply and reduce energy prices.

The four solar power developments are Lucky Solar Power Co Ltd’s 80MW plant in Prey Veng province, Snetec Co Ltd’s projects in Pursat (150MW), Svay Rieng (60MW) and Kampong Chhnang (60MW).

Two other hydropower projects, greenlighted for Koh Kong province, consist of Stung Meteuk Hydropower Co’s 150MW Stung Meteuk and Khmer Electrical Power Co Ltd’s 70MW Stung RusseyChrum Kandal, along with the 100MW Stung Veal Thmor Kambot, counted as a single venture.

In March, the Electricity Authority of Cambodia (EAC) showed that 21,895 formal medium- and large-scale commercial and industrial customers consumed 5,236.46 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of electricity last year, or 37.6 per cent of the nationwide total of 13,928.35GWh.

EAC chairman Yim Viseth mentioned Installed power capacity – including imported electricity – hit 4,495MW by end-2022, up from 3,990MW a year earlier.

“It is currently 62 per cent of the national grid is powered by clean energy sources, such as hydropower, solar and biomass,” he was quoted as saying in March.

According to EAC, more than 3,464MW – or 77.1 per cent – of end-2022 installed power capacity came from domestic sources. Similarly, state-owned power utility Electricite du Cambodge (EdC) confirmed that over 1,000MW of electricity was imported from Vietnam, Thailand and Laos a year earlier.