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Senate okays coal-fired plants, transmission line

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The Senate on Thursday approved two coal-power plants and a power transmission line with a combined value of $1.7 billion. Hong Menea

Senate okays coal-fired plants, transmission line

The Senate on Thursday approved two coal-power plants and a power transmission line with a combined value of $1.7 billion.

The move is in line with the government’s aim to provide 70 per cent of all households with access to reliable and affordable electricity by 2030, according to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 7 – Affordable and Clean Energy.

The Senate meeting was presided over by acting president Sim Ka, it said in a statement. The projects are crucial to increase the capacity of power sources and ensure a secure and stable power supply at affordable tariffs.

“They will also further reduce power imports from neighbouring countries and contribute to the government’s policy of reducing power tariffs for the people and covering all villages and businesses,” it said.

The Senate approval comes about two months after the Council of Ministers’ approval early in February.

Han Seng Coal Mine Co Ltd (HSCMC) will invest in a 265MW coal power plant located in Oddar Meanchey province’s Trapaing Prasat district using coal from the area, the council said.

Royal Group will develop the second plant, which will generate 700MW of electricity. It will use imported coal and be located in Koh Kong province’s Botum Sakor district.

HSCMC also received government approval for the construction of a 230kW power transmission line connecting Trapaing Prasat to the Siem Reap East substation.

The three investment projects are necessary to adequately ensure the safety and security of electricity supply in Cambodia between next year and 2024, especially in the dry season, when hydropower generation is at its lowest.

In February, government spokesman Phay Siphan said via Facebook that HSCMC’s coal-fired power plant project requires $294.3 million in capital investment and will be operational by the end of next year or early in 2022.

Royal Group’s power plant, which will be jointly developed with Beijing-headquartered Sinosteel Equipment and Engineering Co Ltd, requires $1.34 billion in capital investment and will be online in 2023 or 2024.

The development date for the transmission line with an estimated capital investment of $61.5 million has not been announced, Siphan said.

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