A cabinet meeting on Wednesday decided that the government will purchase 2,400MW of electricity from Laos.
A briefing document uploaded by government spokesman Phay Siphan to his Facebook page confirmed this.
It said Cambodia will buy exclusive power from two coal-fired power plants in Laos – TSBP Sekong Power and Mineral Company Limited, which is set to produce 600MW of electricity and Xekong Thermal Power Plant Company Limited, which will produce 1,800MW.
Both companies have received concessions from the Lao government to develop coal mines and power plants to supply electricity to Cambodia.
The document said investment in the two projects were worth $4.970 billion – including coal mine infrastructure, power plants, sub-stations and transmission lines to the Cambodian-Lao border.
“We are orienting our priority towards Laos because . . . [it] is one of the most favourable sources of electricity in terms of price, volume and the terms of purchase, as well as long-term safety,” Siphan wrote on his Facebook page.
Ministry of Mines and Energy spokesman Victor Jona told The Post on Wednesday that the project will be signed on Thursday during Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith’s visit to Cambodia.
“After we sign an agreement to buy/sell power between Cambodia and the companies, the firms will mobilise funds for the construction so that power can be supplied to Cambodia starting in 2024,” he said.
The agreement will be made between state-run electricity supplier Electricite du Cambodge (EdC) and the companies at a fixed price of $0.077 per kilowatt-hour for 30 years under the guarantees of both governments.
Cambodia imports 442.5MW of energy from its neighbouring countries – 277MW from Vietnam, 135.5MW from Thailand and 30MW from Laos.
The Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC), an association representing 580 garment and footwear factories in Cambodia, expects that the agreement will help meet the growing demand for electricity in the industry.
GMAC deputy secretary-general Kaing Monika told The Post on Wednesday that the energy sector has contributed significantly to national economic growth and the Kingdom’s garment sector.
“I think further approval of power projects from Laos will help ensure a sufficient and stable supply of electricity, unlike last year when we suffered from water shortages, causing our hydropower to not work,” he said.
The plan calls for the two coal-fired power plants to be divided into four phases. The first is set to go online by the end of 2024 and generate 300MW, and the second phase will go into operation by 2025, generating an additional 600MW.
The third phase is set to launch in 2026 with the capacity to produce 600MW more and the fourth phase will be in operation by 2027 and produce an additional 900MW for a total of 2,400MW.