Xinglan Maritime Energy Co Ltd’s (XME) $200 million 100MW onshore wind power project in Mondulkiri province has passed its feasibility study, promising a fresh gust of wind to swell the sails of the Kingdom’s burgeoning industry, the local Maritime Group said in a press release.

In May 2019, the Ministry of Mines and Energy authorised XME to proceed with its study of the first phase of its venture in the Kingdom’s mountainous northeast corridor, the Maritime Group said.

According to the release, XME is a joint venture between it and a company the Maritime Group identifies as the “leading Chinese renewable energy firm Xinglan Group”.

Maritime Group chief operating officer Kong Vara previously told The Post that the joint technical team – comprising local and Chinese experts – has been working closely with relevant institutions in their research and to ensure that they meet technical standards and requirements.

They have also liaised to identify potential sites via satellite and GPS surveys in Sen Monorom town and bordering O’Raing district to guarantee successful implementation of the project, he said.

He added that the company has also sent study reports to relevant institutions at the ministry and answered their queries.

“The company has submitted a detailed technical document to the ministry’s General Department of Energy and is still waiting for the results of electricity price negotiations with the relevant authorities and official approval by the government before beginning the implementation of its plans,” Vara said.

He said the company has compiled preliminary data and installed two 100m-high met masts at two locations – one in Sen Monorom’s Sokdum commune and another in O’Raing’s Dak Dam commune – to measure wind speed throughout the year and evaluate the potential of the sites.

The project’s wind turbines will be 100m with the rotor diameters of their blades at 70-80m, he said, claiming that the tips will “travel at speeds of at least 5m/s”.

According to Maritime Group, each turbine will generate 2.5MW, requiring 40 to fulfil the project’s 100MW commitment.

Once data obtained on the met masts has been analysed, it estimated that construction of electricity storage and distribution stations and the required infrastructure to link the project to other substations in Mondulkiri will take from 18-24 months.

Victor Jona, who heads the general department, said the ministry had received preliminary technical reports of the company’s studies, but that financial details were yet to be disclosed.

He noted that in addition to XME, the French company The Blue Circle has thrown its hat in the Kingdom’s nascent wind industry and is currently sizing up Kampot province.

According to the ministry, Cambodia produced a total of 11,261GWh of power in 2019, up 21 per cent from 2018’s 9,427GWh.