Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - South Korea's KTC Cable weighs $700m Ratanakkiri dam project

South Korea's KTC Cable weighs $700m Ratanakkiri dam project

South Korea's KTC Cable weighs $700m Ratanakkiri dam project

Cambodian workers rest by heavy machinery at a hydroelectric project in Kampot province. South Korea’s KTC Cable Co is planning a 325MW dam in Ratanakkiri province, an official said Wednesday.

Company representatives met with prime minister last week and are awaiting preliminary approval from the government

THE government is considering an economic feasibility study submitted by a South Korean firm to build a US$700 million hydro-power dam in Ratanakkiri province, according to a senior energy official.

But even if the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy (MINE) gives the greenlight to the KTC Cable Co project, an environmental assessment will also need to be conducted, said Bun Narith, the deputy director general of the ministry’s Department of Hydropower.

“We welcome all investors who wish to invest or develop hydroelectric dams in Cambodia because we need power for our consumption and for supporting businesses,” he said. “We are ready to issue the licence if we find that the project is economically beneficial, but the company must go through a pre-evaluation process to determine possible benefits and environmental impacts before the construction can be started.”

The 325-megawatt-capacity Sesan Krom III dam would take five years to build following approval, Bun Narith said.

The project is one of 13, located mostly in the west and northeast of Cambodia, that the government is assessing for economic feasibility.
Ministry Director General Victor Zona told the Post in September that the dams could produce a combined 2,000MW of electricity. He said the 420MW Sesan Krom II dam, to be built by Vietnam Electricity on Stung Treng province’s Sesan River, was expected to be approved for construction next year. He said he hoped all 13 would be complete by 2020.

Seven dams approved
The government has already approved the construction of seven hydroelectric dams, which are expected to be completed between 2010 and 2015 and produce almost 1,000MW of electricity.

Zona said that a ministry study found that Cambodia will need to produce 3,000MW of electricity by 2020 to meet local needs. With the 20 dams online, the Kingdom would have capacity to produce 5,000MW from hydroelectricity, coal and gas, meaning it would be able to export 40 percent of its total production each year, he said.

According to the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology's National Water Resources Policy, Cambodia has the potential to develop about 10,000 megawatts of hydroelectric power. The ministry has identified around 60 potential sites.

NGO Forum on Cambodia Executive Director Chhith Sam Ath said Wednesday that the government must thoroughly consider the possible environmental impacts.

“It is obvious that Cambodia is lacking in electricity, but we want the government to consider alternatives to hydroelectric dams that do not have such a bad effect on water and the environment,” he said.

KTC meeting with Hun Sen
KTC Cable Co President Kim Myong Il reportedly met Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on October 6 to discuss the company's plans. The company has already built a cable and wire factory in Phnom Penh and a golf course in Siem Reap province.


  • US names new ambassador to Cambodia

    US President Donald Trump on Friday appointed W Patrick Murphy as the new US Ambassador to Cambodia, replacing incumbent William A Heidt. A press release posted on the White House’s website said nominee W Patrick Murphy is currently acting principal deputy assistant secretary at

  • Kingdom is at a crossroads between East, West after poll

    It was dubbed a success by caretaker prime minister Hun Sen after the electoral victory of his Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), which is poised to take all seats in the National Assembly. But the July 29 national election has not been positively looked at by

  • Chinese influence to sweep Kingdom?

    Growing Cambodia-China ties have seen the latter’s influence sweep across the Kingdom through increased investments and tourism. The Asian giant has become the leading source of foreign funds in Cambodia, fuelling the construction sector with huge casino and hotel projects. Much of the growth

  • Final poll results confirm first single-party Assembly

    IN an unprecedented situation in Cambodian politics, the official results of the July 29 national elections have declared that the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) will take all 125 seats in the National Assembly on the back of it receiving 76 per cent of the votes. The National