The Kingdom plans to increase electric power supply to 2,870.65MW next year, up from 2,650.26MW this year, according to the Electricity Authority of Cambodia’s (EAC) 2018 annual report that The Post obtained on Thursday.
The report shows that despite the increase in its planned power supply, the Kingdom is set to import the same volume of energy from its neighbouring countries as in this year and last – 442.50MW, of which 277MW will be imported from Vietnam, 135.50MW from Thailand and 30MW from Laos.
With the plan, the government expects increased electric power consumption in the Kingdom next year to 10,807.71GWh from 9,307.44GWh this year.
In the last 15 years up to this year, the Kingdom’s electricity supply increased 12.5-fold from 208MW in 2004 to 2,650MW last year, while consumption increased 11.4-fold from 814GWh to 9,307GWh, said the report.
EAC vice-chairman Ty Thany said electricity consumption spiked, particularly in Preah Sihanouk province, boosted by the arrival of Chinese investors.
“The huge demand for electricity in Sihanoukville requires the authority to further increase supply next year,” Thany said.
The annual report shows that as of the end of this year, the EAC issued licenses to distributors across 363 zones, which span 14,072 villages, or 99.32 per cent of the national total of 14,168 villages.
Thany said: “By next year, we expect the power grid to cover every village in Cambodia. The percentage of homes connected to the grid may rise to about 80 while it is currently only at about 70.”
The report said by the end of this year the “national grid” will be able to meet local demand from locally produced electricity in combination with that imported from Vietnam, Thailand and Laos.
With plans to expand national electricity network distribution to cover 100 per cent of the Kingdom by 2020, Prime Minister Hun Sen announced at the December 17 Hydropower Lower Sesan II power plant inauguration ceremony that electricity prices will fall from next year.
“Only 14 days from today [December 17], new electricity prices will come,” the prime minister said.
The latest electricity price table shows that residents using between 1-10kWh per month will see prices fall from 480 riel this year to 380 riel next year and in 2020.
Those using between 11-50kWh per month will see a drop from 610 riel this year to 480 riel next year and in 2020, while households using between 51-200kWh per month will see the current 770 riel price drop to 610 riel.
As for households using over 200kWh per month, electricity costs will fall from 770 riel this year to 740 riel next year and 730 riel in 2020.
Federation of Associations for Small and Medium Enterprises of Cambodia operations manager Ly Visal said the current high price tag of the Kingdom’s electricity is a barrier for its products to compete with neighbouring countries’.
He said the local price is currently 30-40 per cent higher than in neighbouring countries.
“We welcome the lower electricity prices because it will help cut business owners’ production costs by a little. [However], the price is still high [despite this].”
He said it would be great if the government implemented a policy to allocate a special zone for factories and enterprise developments as this will help to drop the price of electricity even more.
Additional reporting by Hor Kimsay