Power outages used to be a common occurrence in the Kingdom due to an insufficient supply of electricity and a lack of high-voltage transmission lines.
To address this, the Cambodian government began purchasing additional electricity from neighbouring countries and constructing more substations.
This eventually increased the need for the high-voltage transmission lines needed to transmit electricity over long distances.
To meet these growing demands, development partners including Japan have significantly contributed to the construction of high-voltage transmission lines and substations enabling Cambodia to maintain a stable power supply.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has provided development assistance through various projects such as the Greater Mekong Power Network Development Project signed in 2007 and the Project for Phnom Penh Distribution System Expansion Phase I and Phase II inked in 2014 and 2015, respectively.
To enhance the operating and maintenance capacity of these newly built facilities, JICA has also been implementing various technical cooperation projects with Electricite du Cambodge (EDC), such as the Project for Improvement of Transmission Systems Operations and Maintenance.
Began in 2013, it was completed in 2015.
However, EDC staff still faced other challenges such as quickly restoring power after outages caused by accidents or natural disasters affecting substations or transmission lines.
The EDC also needed to further develop human resources in the planning, operating and maintaining of power systems. To this end, another technical cooperation project was launched in 2017 to transfer technology and provide Cambodian engineers with training from Japanese experts on operating the network and the effective maintenance and management of transmission and substation facilities.
To be completed in November next year, this will also see the updating of training courses at EDC’s Institution of Electrical Science.
Such projects have their challenges, but are ultimately worthwhile and rewarding, said Masatoshi Akimoto, the project’s chief advisor.
JICA is confident that with this further technical cooperation project, EDC’s engineers will gain considerably increased capacity to meet the needs of a rapidly expanding Cambodian electricity network.