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Electricity investment exceeds $6B

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Ministry of Mines and Energy secretary of state Ty Norin said investment in the Kingdom’s electricity sector was worth $6.1 billion as of the end of last year. Hong Menea

Electricity investment exceeds $6B

The government attracted more than $6 billion in electricity investment between 2006 and the end of last year.

This is in response to rising electricity demands and is in line with government goals to reduce its cost for both commercial and residential users.

Speaking at the annual meeting of the Ministry of Mines and Energy on Tuesday, secretary of state Ty Norin said the private sector has made significant contributions to the electricity sector, which is key in accelerating the government’s development goals.

As of the end of last year, he said, investment in the Kingdom’s electricity sector was worth $6.1 billion.

This figure can be broken down into $3.3 billion in 2,756MW of electricity-generating capacity; $1.1 billion in 36 sub-stations, and $1.7 billion in a 34,056km medium-voltage electricity distribution network with 18,462 transformers and a 36,853km low-voltage network comprising more than 2.8 million capacitor bank connections.

Foreign direct investment and local investment combined accounted for $4.6 billion, he said, while state investment through credit assistance and its direct budget accounted for $1.5 billion.

“Without private sector investment, the state would have needed to invest until 2056 to achieve the amount amassed since 2006.

“Private sector investment has greatly accelerated electricity sector development,” said Norin.

He said proper project monitoring, adherence to the terms of contracts, favourable conditions for investment capital and prompt repayment from state-owned Electricite du Cambodge to privately-owned suppliers are key contributors to attracting investment into the Kingdom’s power sector.

“The government is open to private investment from both domestic and foreign entities in all electricity sub-sectors,” he said.

Speaking at the meeting, Minister Suy Sem said the ministry’s number one priority is the development of electricity sources to improve production capacity, transmission, distribution and connection.

He said it has been working to ensure that the Kingdom’s electricity supply remains stable and meets the growing demand. “Improving electricity services and reducing electricity prices have benefitted people across the country,” he said.

Cambodia produced a total of 11,261GWh of power last year, up 21 per cent from 2018’s 9,427GWh, a ministry report said. The Kingdom sold about 10,885GWh of electricity to more than 1.1 million consumers last year.

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.

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.

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