Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Electricity $4.4B closer to sufficiency

Electricity $4.4B closer to sufficiency

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
An electricity box in Koh Kong province in early 2013. Heng Chivoan

Electricity $4.4B closer to sufficiency

Over $3.2 billion was invested last year into increasing domestic electricity production, with an additional $1.2 billion sunk into infrastructure, according to the national electricity regulator.

The Kingdom’s energy generation in 2016 peaked at 1.6 billion kilowatt-hours, with the average cost per scaling up one megawatt of power approximately billed at $2 million worth of investment, the Electricity Authority of Cambodia (EAC) said in its 2016 annual report.

The report did not break down the public and private sector investment into the $3.2 billion spent in production. However, it said of the $1.2 billion worth of infrastructure spending, $394 million came from government coffers and $776 million from the private sector. An additional unmarked investment of $834 million was put in, adding 1,525 kilometres of transmission lines and 25 substations.

Ty Norin, chairman of the EAC, said in speech accompanying the annual report that the expected operational capacity of the third 135-megawatt coal-fired plant by Cambodia International Investment Development Group in the coastal province of Preah Sihanouk, scheduled for sometime this year, would further reduce energy imports by 20 percent.

“This is the first of many years that EAC reduced the cost of electricity, following the government’s policy,” he said. “However the capacity of electricity distribution is still limited and it is not smooth, and lacks quality and supply.”

He added that over the last 15 years the country has made great strides in developing its domestic production amid surging consumption, increasing electricity generation by an average of 20 percent a year and closing the supply gap. The report noted that domestic production this year was expected to cover 80 percent of demand.

Norin added that despite this increase, consumers were far from content with prices with some being forced to pay double due to poor measurement technology.

“Consumers are not confident with how we measure electricity, which sometimes causes them to pay more than they should,” he said, adding that the EAC had hired a team to monitor electricity transactions.

Ngeth Chou, a senior consultant for Emerging Markets Consulting, said that many challenges still remained for providing consistent and nationwide supply, and that Cambodia was still far behind regional peers.

“The supply of electricity still does not cover the whole country, or even in the cities,” he said. “The accessibility to electricity is not smooth and prices are too high.”

“The government should look into investing into solar power as it does not impact the environment like coal and hydropower projects do,” he said, adding that Cambodia was currently adopting technology that many countries had given up.

MOST VIEWED

  • Kingdom's Covid cluster cases jump to 194

    The Ministry of Health on February 25 confirmed 65 new cases of Covid-19, with 58 linked to the February 20 community transmission. The latest cluster cases include nine Vietnamese nationals, five Cambodians, one each from Korea, Singapore and Japan, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total number

  • Locations shut, dozens more Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health has closed 23 locations in connection with the February 20 community transmission of Covid-19 and summoned for testing anyone who had direct contact with affected people and places. The number of discovered related infections has risen to 76, including 39 women. In a press release,

  • Cambodia's Covid cluster cases rise to 137

    The Ministry of Health on February 24 recorded 40 more cases of Covid-19, with 38 linked to the February 20 community transmission. Of the 40, two are imported cases involving Chinese passengers. The 38 include two Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total cases

  • Covid cluster raises alarm, health bodies urge vigilance

    The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia have expressed great concern over the February 20 cluster transmission of Covid-19 in the community. Both entities appealed for vigilance and cooperation in curbing further spread of the virus. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said

  • PM confirms third Covid-19 community transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on February 20 announced the Kingdom's third outbreak of Covid-19 community transmission after 32 people tested positive in just over 10 hours. Addressing the public from his residence after an emergency meeting, Hun Sen said: "I dub it February 20 Community Event, in which 32 cases

  • Cambodia to make auto-rickshaws

    Locally-assembled electric auto-rickshaws could hit the Cambodian market as soon as early in May after the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) gave the greenlight to an investment project at the weekend. According to a CDC press release, it will issue a final registration