A low-voltage subtransmission line with a 35kV capacity from Ratanakkiri province south to Mondulkiri province went online on Friday as State-run energy utility Electricite du Cambodge (EdC) ramps up efforts to electrify the Kingdom’s northeast corridor.
Victor Jona, the director-general of the Ministry of Mines and Energy’s General Department of Energy, told The Post this on Sunday.
Subtransmission systems generally operate at lower voltages than their main-transmission counterparts. Installation is more affordable and is typically reserved for smaller substations in urban outskirts and rural areas where electricity demand is lower.
Jona added that another EdC team is preparing an additional 230kV high-voltage transmission line from Kratie province east to Mondulkiri, which is set to be completed by the end of the third quarter or beginning of the fourth.
“After connecting the 35kV subtransmission line, we will connect a large strategic cable with a voltage of 230kV from Kratie to Mondulkiri.
“The high-voltage transmission line will be a significant driver of regional economic growth, will reinforce the attractiveness of the tourism, industrial and processing sector, and will ensure the long-term sustainability of the power supply,” Jona said.
The 230kV high-voltage distribution network is on loan from China, he said, adding that the Lower Sesan II hydropower dam in Stung Treng province and the Don Sahong dam in Laos’ Champasak province are the main sources of electricity connected to the national grid and for use in the region.
Champasak borders Stung Treng and Preah Vihear provinces.
The $781 million Lower Sesan II is located near the confluence of the Sesan and Srepok rivers in Sesan district’s Phluk commune in Stung Treng province and was inaugurated by Prime Minister Hun Sen in September 2017.
Jona said: “Transmission of electricity through national [high voltage] transmission lines is a highly secure and safe source of electric supply.”
He said the national grid now covers nearly 100 per cent of the Kingdom.
EdC managing director Keo Rottanak told online media outlet Fresh News on Saturday that the 150km-long 35kV subtransmission line was a victory for the Kingdom.
He said: “Mondulkiri province’s electricity supply is mainly sourced from Vietnam, along with small hydropower sources in the province with the aid of the Japanese government.”
Jona previously said electricity demand is growing at an average of 16-18 per cent annually, although it soared 25 per cent last year from 2018.
Cambodia can currently generate about 70 to 80 per cent of total domestic electricity consumption, he said.
The Kingdom increased its electricity supply to 2,870.65MW last year, up from 2,650.26MW in 2018, the Electricity Authority of Cambodia (EAC) said in its 2019 annual report.