The National Assembly (NA) on June 23 approved the construction of – as well as payment guarantees for – six clean-energy plants totalling 670 megawatts (MW) in an effort to stabilise the supply and bring down energy prices.

The four solar power developments are Lucky Solar Power Co Ltd’s 80MW plant in Prey Veng province, as well as Snetec Co Ltd’s projects in Pursat (150MW), Svay Rieng (60MW) and Kampong Chhnang (60MW), the NA noted in a statement issued in connection with the session that gave the green light.

Both hydropower projects are set for Koh Kong province. These are Stung Meteuk Hydropower Co’s 150MW Stung Meteuk, along with Khmer Electrical Power Co Ltd’s 70MW Stung Russey Chrum Kandal and 100MW Stung Veal Thmor Kambot counted as a single venture.

The six projects “will be significantly beneficial for the implementation of government policies, the country’s economy, social development and poverty alleviation”, as well as provide access to clean electricity, reduce carbon emissions, protect the environment and natural resources, and advance the climate change agenda, the statement said.

The NA noted that the June 23 session was chaired by its president Heng Samrin and attended by “around 111” members.

Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) vice-president Lim Heng stressed the importance of energy security to the local manufacturing sector, particularly in terms of keeping production costs low and competing in regional and international markets.

EdC electricians work on power cables along Hanoi Boulevard in western Phnom Penh last month. Hong Menea

“We are aware of the government’s efforts to encourage domestic and international investors to engage in power development in a bid to improve our supply, as well as lower our energy costs and the prices of our goods so that we may be more competitive,” he said.

In March, the Electricity Authority of Cambodia (EAC) revealed that the 21,895 formal medium- and large-scale commercial and industrial customers consumed 5,236.46 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of electricity last year, or 37.60 per cent of the nationwide total of 13,928.35GWh.

For comparison, in 2019, the 10,190 such customers consumed 3,190.20GWh of electricity, or 30.74 per cent of the nationwide total of 10,378.37GWh, the report said, indicating that the per-customer average fell 23.61 per cent from 313.07MWh in 2019 to 239.16MWh in 2022.

Installed power capacity – including imported electricity – hit 4,495MW by end-2022, up from 3,990MW a year earlier, he affirmed, adding that currently 62 per cent of the national grid is powered by clean energy sources, such as hydropower, solar and biomass.

EAC statistics show that more than 3,464MW – or 77.1 per cent – of end-2022 installed power capacity came from domestic sources. Similarly, state-owned power utility Electricite du Cambodge (EdC) confirmed that over 1,000MW of electricity was imported from Vietnam, Thailand and Laos last year.