The first phase of a $380 million 100MW heavy fuel oil power plant in Kandal province’s Lvea Em district has been delayed from this month until June, a Ministry of Mines and Energy spokesman told The Post on Thursday.
Its General Department of Energy director-general Victor Jona said repeated delays of machinery imports stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic had slowed down the plant’s construction.
He said the plant would be ready to generate electricity by mid-dry-season when demand is highest.
“For the first phase of the project, we had planned to produce 100MW by April. But as construction has not been fully completed, it will be delayed until June,” said Jona.
However, he said, Cambodia will not face a shortage of electricity in the dry season like it did last year as coal power plants will continue to operate normally.
Water levels on the Mekong River are high enough to supply the Kingdom’s hydropower systems, he added.
Electricity “demands have not been very high this year. This is likely due to the Covid-19 disease affecting power demands from factories’ production lines”, said Jona.
He said electricity demand is growing at an average of 16-18 per cent annually, though it soared 25 per cent last year from 2018.
Cambodia can currently generate about 70-80 per cent of total domestic electricity consumption, he said.
A 60MW solar power farm in Kampong Chhnang province was connected to the national grid last weekend, bringing the Kingdom’s total solar-power generation to 150MW.
The project, located in Taing Krasaing commune’s Romeas village in Teuk Phos district, is developed by SchneiTec Renewable Co Ltd, a joint venture between Chinese and local partners.
There are two other operational solar power farms in the Kingdom – one in Svay Rieng province’s Bavet town with a 10MW capacity, and another in Kampong Speu province powering 80MW.
On April 2, the Senate approved two coal-power plants and a power transmission line with a combined value of $1.7 billion.
Han Seng Coal Mine Co Ltd (HSCMC) will invest in a 265MW coal power plant located in Oddar Meanchey province’s Trapaing Prasat district using coal from the area, said the Council of Ministers.
Royal Group will develop the second plant, which will generate 700MW of electricity. It will use imported coal and be located in Koh Kong province’s Botum Sakor district.
HSCMC also received government approval for the construction of a 230kW power transmission line connecting Trapaing Prasat to the Siem Reap East substation.
The Kingdom produced 11.261GWh of electricity last year, up 21 per cent from 2018’s 9.427GWh, said a ministry report.