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Electricity shortage to affect Cambodia’s manufacturing sector

Electricity shortage to affect Cambodia’s manufacturing sector

Kamchay dam, in Kampot province
Kamchay dam, in Kampot province, is one of two hydropower facilities expected to be affected by the dry season, reducing electricity supply to Phnom Penh, Kandal and Kampong Speu. Pha Lina

Insufficient electricity supply this dry season will affect the manufacturing sector, which is heavily reliant on electricity, because demand may exceed supply, officials say.

The director-general of Electricite du Cambodge, Keo Rattanak, issued a notice on November 30 stating that from December until June there would be difficulties in supplying enough power to meet demand because of increased electricity usage and a shortage of water in the Kamchay and Kirirom hydropower dams caused by the dry season.

He wrote that the lack of water at both dams, which have supply lines leading to Phnom Penh, Kandal and Kampong Speu, would cause rolling blackouts in those areas.

Those areas are industry hubs, particularly for garment and shoe manufacturing.

Traders in these fields believe an unstable power supply will affect production.

Nam Srun, director of the Kampong Speu Chamber of Commerce, said the lack of energy would be exacerbated by factories that were being built and would begin operating early next year.

Large-scale factories, rather than small or medium-sized enterprises, would be most affected by the decreased power supply, he said.

“I don’t know yet how big the impact will be, but I know heavy industry in Kampong Speu is growing.”

Cheat Khemara, senior officer at GMAC, said most factories were connected to the state-run electricity supply, so there would be some impact if there was not enough power to meet demand.

“If there is not enough supply, it will affect contracts with buyers,” he said.

“The lack of electricity will not affect production output much, but it will affect the cost of production.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Rann Reuy at [email protected]

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