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Germany pledges $36M energy loan

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Power workers installed new electric transmission lines in Phnom Penh. Heng Chivoan

Germany pledges $36M energy loan

Germany has committed a €30 million ($36.5 million) loan for Cambodia that aims to help undergird the Kingdom’s energy efficiency initiatives and rural power supply, its embassy in Phnom Penh said on December 14.

It said the German Development Cooperation (GDC) “new highly concessional reduced-interest loan” would contribute “to Cambodia’s ambitious targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and deliver on its promise of universal energy access by 2030”.

With a similar €30 million loan committed in 2018, Germany has sunk in €60 million into the Kingdom’s energy efficiency efforts, it said.

“The 2018 investment [resulted] in a reduction of 20,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per annum, an increase of net energy transmission of the upgraded grid by 20 per cent, and an additional 15,000 households with access to electricity.

“[GDC] supports Cambodia in advancing rural development, public health, decentralisation and labour standards,” the embassy said.

Ambassador Christian Berger said the loan aims to improve energy access, cut down on energy costs, better ensure the reliability of energy supply and curb greenhouse gas emissions.

“A better power grid is good for the people, good for the economy, and good for the planet,” the embassy quoted him as saying.

Victor Jona, the director-general of the Ministry of Mines and Energy’s General Department of Energy, told The Post that the loan will help further develop Cambodia’s energy infrastructure.

“The concessional aid will chip in to the development of the nation thanks to its low interest rate and will provide a roadmap for sustainable energy development and security down the line,” he said.

Jona said power connections have been provided to nearly every village and that access to electricity will hit 97.5 per cent this year. “We’ll continue to work on distributing energy to the remaining 2.5 per cent [of the population] next year.”

The embassy said GDC had also committed €9.5 million to Cambodia’s Covid-19 response efforts.

This, it noted, was to “support the Cambodian government’s cash-transfer to the poor, to boost the laboratory capacity of Institut Pasteur Cambodge and to support the Ministry of Health with awareness campaigns, hygiene measures, the establishment of a second reference laboratory and in emergency treatment”.

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