Chinese-owned Li Yu Heng Cambodia Construction expressed its plan to invest in using recycled waste to generate power for consumption in Preah Sihanouk province.

The plan was hatched due to the rising demand for electricity as business and investment activities are growing in the province.

Company president Yang Hong Hao raised the plan during his meeting with Preah Sihanouk provincial governor Kuoch Chamroeun on Thursday evening at the governor’s office.

He said electricity consumption has increased because of the fast-growing business and investment sectors. Hence, the company wanted to bring in the latest technology to recycle waste to generate power for the province.

“[Our] company wants to invest in recycling waste to generate power. We want to import the latest technology here,” said Yang, as quoted by national press agency Agence Kampuchea Press.

Chamroeun welcomed the initiative and encouraged the company to study and start the project as it will contribute to the power supply for provincial consumption where the amount of waste has been increasing.

He said he will ask the provincial authority to seek a suitable location for the construction of the recycle-processing plant and coordinate with the company on the investment paperwork to be filed with the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) and the Ministry of Environment.

In the past, he said, there was a company that wanted to invest in recycling waste for power generation but the plan did not materialise.

“If Li Yu Heng Cambodia wants to invest in recycling waste for power generation, it has to study the detail about the investment project and joins hands with the provincial administration to materialise the plan,” he said.

However, the exact investment plan has not been revealed.

Early last month, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang told Prime Minister Hun Sen on the sidelines of the 35th Asean Summit in Bangkok that China will continue to support Preah Sihanouk’s development.

“The Chinese premier said he supported all the investment projects in the province, with both countries to discuss [development], especially regarding grants to further develop Preah Sihanouk,” Hun Sen said.

In March, construction officially started on the new expressway stretching more than 190km from Phnom Penh to Preah Sihanouk province.

It is slated to cost some $1.9 billion, with the China Road and Bridge Corporation providing a grant for the project.

Data from the Ministry of Economy and Finance said China invested some $14.7 billion in Cambodia from 1994 to 2016. From 1993 to the end of 2017, Cambodia had signed concessional loan agreements with development partners to the tune of $9.6 billion.

The government has borrowed around $6.3 billion from various countries, of which $4.05 billion is from China.

Latest figures released by the CDC show that the government approved some $5.2 billion in investment in the first half of this year.

The figure is an increase of 48.5 per cent compared to the same period last year. Local investors accounted for 68.4 per cent of total investment, while those from China made up 25.4 per cent.