Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Phase I of Kandal power plant online in August

Phase I of Kandal power plant online in August

Phase I of Kandal power plant online in August

The first phase of a $380 million heavy fuel oil power plant in Kandal province’s Lvea Em district will be able to deliver 100MW by the end of next month, provincial governor Kong Sophorn said on Wednesday.

He said this at a field visit led by Electricite du Cambodge (EdC) director-general Keo Rottanak to inspect the construction.

The plant will generate 100MW when the first phase is ready and 400MW of power when completed.

Sophorn said the project is 90 per cent complete and is located on 43ha in Koh Reah commune’s Koh Reah Krom village. A substation will be built to connect it to the national grid via a 230kV high-voltage transmission line.

“The plant will supplement the supply of electricity throughout the country, including Kandal. We will have enough electricity to meet demand,” he said.

Victor Jona, director-general of the Ministry of Mines and Energy’s General Department of Energy, told The Post last month that heavy fuel oil power plants will only go online when demand is high.

“We have a surplus supply [of power] now, and even if the facility were ready for launch, we’d put it off as it costs more to operate heavy fuel oil plants than hydropower.

“We have a healthy amount of power in reserve for peak demand in dry season, but there won’t be a shortage of electricity next year. Our reservoirs are filling up to the brim,” he said.

Minister Suy Sem told a meeting on the ministry’s 2019 progress and work direction for 2020 and 2021 that the ministry’s efforts centre on the development of electricity sources to expand production capacity, transmission and distribution.

He said it is actively working to ensure that electricity supply, management and stability in the Kingdom can keep up with the demand stemming from growth in power consumption.

“At the same time, reinforced electricity supply to consumers and reduced prices have meant a boon for people across the country,” Sem said.

From 2006 to the end of last year, electricity investment totalled $6.1 billion, reflecting the growth of Cambodia’s energy sector over the last few years in response to current and future needs, said a ministry report.

The figure can be broken down into $3.3 billion in 2,756MW of electricity-generating capacity; $1.1 billion in 36 sub-stations, and $1.7 billion in a 34,056km medium-voltage electricity distribution network with 18,462 transformers and a 36,853km low-voltage network comprising more than 2.8 million capacitor bank connections.

The Kingdom generated a total of 11,261GWh of electricity last year, up 21 per cent from 9,427GWh in 2018, and sold 10,885GWh to more than 1.1 million customers last year, the ministry said.

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