Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Council of Ministers approves two coal-fired plants, transmission line

Council of Ministers approves two coal-fired plants, transmission line

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Prime Minister Hun Sen chairs a plenary meeting of the Council of Ministers at the Peace Palace on Friday where the council approved two coal-fired power plant projects and a transmission line worth nearly $1.7 billion. FRESH NEWS

Council of Ministers approves two coal-fired plants, transmission line

The Council of Ministers has approved two coal-fired power plant projects and a transmission line worth nearly $1.7 billion, a plenary meeting of the Council of Ministers heard on Friday.

The project is in line with the government master plan for the development of additional power sources between 2020 and 2030, the council said in a press release issued on the same day.

Han Seng Coal Mine Co Ltd (HSCMC) will invest in a 265MW coal power plant located in Oddar Meanchey province’s Trapaing Prasat district using coal from the area, the council said.

Royal Group will develop the second plant, which will generate 700MW of electricity. It will use imported coal and be located in Koh Kong province’s Botum Sakor district.

HSCMC also received government approval for the construction of a 230kW power transmission line connecting Trapaing Prasat to the Siem Reap East substation.

The three investment projects are necessary to adequately ensure the safety and security of electricity supply in Cambodia between next year and 2024, especially in the dry season, when hydropower generation is at its lowest, the council said.

The projects could also slash electricity costs for consumers across the Kingdom, it said.

Government spokesman Phay Siphan said via Facebook that the government has allowed the Ministry of Mines and Energy to set up an inter-ministerial negotiation committee comprising of the ministries of Mines and Energy, and Economy and Finance, and the Electricity Authority of Cambodia to further discuss the projects with the two companies.

He said HSCMC’s coal-fired power plant project requires $294.3 million in capital investment and will be operational by the end of next year or early in 2022.

Royal Group’s power plant, which will be jointly developed with Beijing-headquartered Sinosteel Equipment and Engineering Co Ltd, requires $1.34 billion in capital investment and will be online in 2023 or 2024.

The development date for the transmission line with an estimated capital investment of $61.5 million has not been announced, Siphan said.

Ministry of Mines and Energy spokesman Victor Jona said on Sunday that the ministry has always sought out viable sources of electricity to meet the demand from all sectors.

Domestically produced power supply will continue to increase from next year onwards, he said.

“Increasing energy supply is key in the development of the industrial, agricultural and other sectors that are at the core of job creation for Cambodians.”

To meet the high demand growth over the last few years, Cambodia imports between 460MW and 500MW of electricity annually from Thailand, Laos and Vietnam.

Jona said the government also plans to invest more in energy production.

From 2023 onwards, he said, the Kingdom plans to reduce energy imports to 300MW per year.

Ham Oudom, a freelance consultant on natural resource governance, said the Kingdom should look to renewable energy to meet its growing electricity demands instead, such as wind energy, solar power or biomass.

“As an environmentalist, I do not encourage the government to choose coal-power plants because they generate a lot of pollution, especially in the air,” he said, adding that Cambodia should show its willingness to help reduce global warming.

Data from the ministry shows that as of last year, Cambodia had a total electricity generating capacity of 2.5GW of electricity.

Hydroelectric power plants accounted for 1.3GW, coal-power plants for 640MW, fossil fuel power stations 274MW, solar power plants 90MW and biogas plants 56MW.

Jona said encouraging investment in renewable energy is government policy. Solar power generation is expected to increase from about 90MW at the end of last year to 400MW by the end of this year.

“Cambodia is a signatory to the agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reduce global warming,” he said referring to the Kyoto Protocol.

MOST VIEWED

  • Research key to Kanitha’s rep for expertise

    Sok Kanitha is used to weighing in on controversial issues using a confident approach that signals expertise and authority, and a recent video she made was no exception. Her “Episode 342: The History of NATO” video went live on January 16, 2023 and immediately shot to 30,000 likes and 3,500

  • Cambodia maintains 'Kun Khmer' stance despite Thailand’s boycott threat

    Cambodia has taken the position that it will use the term "Kun Khmer" to refer to the sport of kickboxing at the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, and has removed the term Muay from all references to the sport. Despite strong reactions from the Thai

  • Knockout! Kun Khmer replaces ‘Muay’ for Phnom Penh Games

    Cambodia has decided to officially remove the word Muay from the programme of the 32nd Southeast Asian (SEA) Games 2023 in May. “Kun Khmer” will instead be used to represent the Southeast Asian sport of kickboxing, in accordance with the wishes of the Cambodian people. Vath

  • Artificial insemination takes herd from 7 to 700

    Some farms breed local cows or even import bulls from a broad for the purpose of breeding heavier livestock for meat production. One Tbong Khnum farmer has found a more efficient way. Hout Leang employs artificial insemination to fertilise local cows. Thanks to imported “straws”

  • Chinese group tours return to Cambodia starting Feb 6

    Cambodia is among 20 countries selected by Beijing for a pilot programme allowing travel agencies to provide international group tours as well as flight and hotel packages to Chinese citizens, following a three-year ban. As the days tick down until the programme kicks off on February 6,

  • Capital-Poipet express rail project making headway

    The preliminary results of a feasibility study to upgrade the Phnom Penh-Poipet railway into Cambodia’s first express railway indicate that the project would cost more than $4 billion and would take around four years to complete. The study was carried out by China Road and