Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - GE, EdC ink $10M electricity deal

GE, EdC ink $10M electricity deal

Yew Wei Nan
Yew Wei Nan, GE digital energy commercial and sales leader (front left), and Electricité du Cambodge director general Keo Rattanak (front right) sign a $10 million electricity deal yesterday at the US Embassy in Phnom Penh. Eddie Morton

GE, EdC ink $10M electricity deal

US conglomerate, General Electric (GE) and the Electricité du Cambodge (EdC) yesterday signed an agreement, which is being touted as the beginning of better days for the Kingdom’s unreliable power grid.

US Ambassador William Todd oversaw the signing of the deal, which will see GE provide advisory and research to the EdC for five years at estimated cost of $10 million.

“We are looking at an agreement today to improve the electricity grid in Cambodia and I think the EdC deserves a lot of credit in that regard,” Todd said.

“Two or three years ago, 25 per cent of Cambodia was on the grid. Today, that number is just under 50 per cent. And hopefully, through the study and the improvements and the efficiencies that GE is going to do, that number will be greater in the very near future.”

As part of the agreement, GE will undertake a study of the Kingdom’s current power grid, analysing its performance and issues. The study is expected to take up to eight months to complete.

GE will additionally provide software maintenance services to the EdC for a period of five years.

“It [the GE deal] translates into improving the daily lives of the average Cambodian . . .The second is that when people look at business in Cambodia, the challenges are in energy. And frankly, there is not enough energy in Cambodia to bring in a number of new factories or business,” Todd said.

GE’s managing director for the India region, Ravi Segal said the US firm would send over a team to train EdC workers in the hope that the feasibility study’s findings can be appropriately implemented.

“Along with the study, we will bring in the best practices from across the globe and also bring the talent here so that EdC can visualise future practices and look at the possible conditions or changes that are likely to happen in the system,” he said.

EdC director general Keo Rattanak admitted the national electricity provider faced challenges in both the supply and the reliability of power.

“The issue for us is stability and reliability of the power grid. And I am equally aware that there are many challenges, in particular on how to reduce the tariff gap in rural areas,” Rattanak said.

On the issue of reducing energy prices, Rattanak said that at least Cambodia wasn’t increasing electricity prices like Thailand and Vietnam.

“Electricity tariffs in Cambodia are reducing against the trends of our neighbouring countries, which are increasing their tariffs on a yearly basis,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • Shipwreck found off coast of Koh Kong

    Royal Cambodian Navy researchers are working to identify a decades-old shipwreck found earlier this month off the coast of Koh Kong province. Divers found the 70-metre-long wreck on April 4 about a mile from Koh Chhlam island, according to Navy officials. Deputy Navy Commander Tea Sokha,