Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Rice miller pilots solar warehouses

Rice miller pilots solar warehouses

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A man carried a sack of rice through the Amru Rice’s processing factory in Phnom Penh’s Por Sen Chey district. Heng Chivoan

Rice miller pilots solar warehouses

In a first for the Kingdom, leading organic rice miller and exporter AMRU Rice (Cambodia) Co Ltd will pilot the use of solar energy in its facilities to increase energy sustainability during dry-season production lines that are often riddled with power outages.

AMRU Rice vice-president Kann Kunthy told The Post on December 20 that the solar power system had been installed on the roof of a paddy warehouse in Kampong Thom province’s Prasat Balang district.

The 262-kilowatts-peak system is under a Build-Operation-Transfer (BOT) scheme, backed by an estimated capital investment of $500,000 from Total, he said.

“AMRU Rice did not spend money on construction – we have provided a location for the solar panel installation and we’ll buy power from the supplier [Total] for a specific period of time.

“Once [Total] gets back the full amount of money from the sale of energy, the solar power system will be transferred to us [AMRU Rice],” Kunthy said.

He said the system was installed and synchronised with the power transmission line of the state with the permission of state-run electricity supplier Electricite du Cambodge (EdC), in accordance with the law.

“The use of solar energy will help boost the rice sector, such as by shortening the time spent in milling and drying paddy. It will also help the production line to meet the demand of domestic and foreign customers in a timely manner,” Kunthy said.

He said the use of solar energy systems also meets the seventh of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which is to provide affordable and environmentally friendly energy.

Hence, he said, the use of solar energy systems in the rice sector not only supply energy as needed, but also help the Earth.

“The use of renewable energy will not pollute the environment and will reduce greenhouse gas and carbon dioxide emissions,” Kunthy said.

Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF) secretary-general Lun Yeng said the increase in solar power would help stabilise power in rice mills, but that production costs would still be high compared to buying power from the EdC.

He said the government currently does not encourage such investments because companies have to pay for power and electricity capacity tariffs, but added that he hopes the government will change its policy to encourage the use of alternative energy sources down the line.

“What the company has done sets a good example as an organic rice producer tied to a solar power project, but solar installation is not yet profitable for our members,” Yeng said.

Victor Jona, the director-general of the Ministry of Mines and Energy’s General Department of Energy, previously told The Post that the private sector should use energy purchased from the EdC, which has a proper and low-cost national grid connection.

“With an appropriate and stable supply of electricity, there’d be no need to invest” in other sources, he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Kingdom's Covid cluster cases jump to 194

    The Ministry of Health on February 25 confirmed 65 new cases of Covid-19, with 58 linked to the February 20 community transmission. The latest cluster cases include nine Vietnamese nationals, five Cambodians, one each from Korea, Singapore and Japan, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total number

  • Locations shut, dozens more Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health has closed 23 locations in connection with the February 20 community transmission of Covid-19 and summoned for testing anyone who had direct contact with affected people and places. The number of discovered related infections has risen to 76, including 39 women. In a press release,

  • Cambodia's Covid cluster cases rise to 137

    The Ministry of Health on February 24 recorded 40 more cases of Covid-19, with 38 linked to the February 20 community transmission. Of the 40, two are imported cases involving Chinese passengers. The 38 include two Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total cases

  • Covid cluster raises alarm, health bodies urge vigilance

    The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia have expressed great concern over the February 20 cluster transmission of Covid-19 in the community. Both entities appealed for vigilance and cooperation in curbing further spread of the virus. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said

  • AstraZeneca jabs touch down in Phnom Penh airport

    The first shipment of 324,000 doses of the AstraZeneca/SII vaccine which was provided through the Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) Facility was delivered to Phnom Penh International Airport on March 2. The rest of the COVAX provided vaccines will arrive in Cambodia at a later date.

  • PM confirms third Covid-19 community transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on February 20 announced the Kingdom's third outbreak of Covid-19 community transmission after 32 people tested positive in just over 10 hours. Addressing the public from his residence after an emergency meeting, Hun Sen said: "I dub it February 20 Community Event, in which 32 cases