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PM: No more electricity shortages from next year

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Prime Minister Hun Sen has said Cambodia will no longer face an electricity supply shortage starting from next year. Heng Chivoan

PM: No more electricity shortages from next year

Prime Minister Hun Sen announced on Monday that by next year, Cambodia will not face a shortage of electricity supply. The Kingdom has reserved 400MW from two large power generators.

Speaking to students at a graduation ceremony in Phnom Penh on Sunday, the prime minister said the government has approved to buy two power generators from Germany and Finland, each with a 200MW capacity to reserve for the capital’s power supply.

“A lack of water affected power generation this year. It has been a huge experience for Cambodia in addressing the challenges,” he said.

The prime minister previously said the Kingdom had an electricity shortage of 400MW. National utility company Electricite du Cambodge (EDC) has just signed an agreement to purchase 200MW of additional power from Laos.

Hun Sen said: “Next year there will not be any such problems if hydropower is not available. We still have oil and gas generators.”

The prime minister had previously announced that the Kingdom would import power ships from Turkey to compensate for the shortages, but the plan was later cancelled.

Electricity Authority of Cambodia (EAC) vice-chairman Ty Thany told The Post on Sunday that Cambodia had ordered two fuel-powered generators to be used during this year’s severe shortages.

“We hope that there will be no problem with electricity shortages,” he said, adding that the generators would only be used for reserve as they are expensive to run.

Cambodia is currently among the fastest electrifying countries in the world, with coverage reaching 89.1 per cent as of the end of 2017, a newly published World Bank report said.

The Kingdom has made significant progress in providing access to electricity, becoming one of four countries to have electrified at a rate of around eight per cent each year since 2010, said the World Bank’s Energy Progress Report 2019.

Cambodia electrified at a rate of 8.3 per cent annually between 2010-17, the report said.

The EAC’s 2018 annual report said Cambodia plans to increase its power supply to 2,870MW by this year, up from 2,650.26MW last year.

The Federation of Associations for Small and Medium Enterprises of Cambodia president Te Taingpor said past electricity shortage problems have caused the Kingdom’s SMEs to face a number of manufacturing issues.

“If this shortfall drags on to next year, it could have a negative impact on a daily business and also make entrepreneurs reluctant to invest."

“I hope we will have enough electricity next year. At the same time, if we still have a shortage, we should be given sufficient prior notice to prepare in advance,” he said.

A 60MW solar power plant in Kampong Speu province is expected to be fully operational next month.

Kampong Speu provincial governor Vy Samnang said solar power station invested by Schnei Tec Co Ltd will have transferred 40MW of their power into the national network by early next month. A further 20MW may be ready in July.

“Because investment in the Kingdom is currently increasing strongly and exceeding forecasts, electricity supply across the country may not be fully settled at the moment,” he said.

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