Three solar farms with a total 120MW of installed capacities are on track to be connected to the national grid by this year’s end, to help keep pace with growing demand and slash electricity prices, according to a senior official at the Ministry of Mines and Energy.
Victor Jona, the director-general of the ministry’s General Department of Energy listed the projects as a 60MW solar farm in Battambang province, a 30MW project in Pursat province and another 30MW facility in Banteay Meanchey province.
He pointed out that Cambodia plans to expand its clean-energy portfolio to 450MW by the end of next year.
Thaung Thyda, managing director of Kampot-Kep salt processing firm Thaung Trading Co Ltd, told The Post that electricity prices are still high compared to neighbouring countries, pushing production costs up and affecting everyone involved in the supply chain ecosystem.
“It’s fantastic that we’ll get the added supply of electricity. This is very important for us as domestic producers, especially in such a cut-throat market environment that hinges on production costs,” she said.
She said manufacturers require a reasonable electricity pricing strategy that provides the most affordable electricity to boost output, lower production costs, increase sales domestically and internationally and better compete with neighbouring countries’ products.
“We local producers hope the government will consider these challenges faced by small and medium-sized enterprises [SMEs], just as parents would to help their children,” she said.
Mao Sothea, an official with pepper exporter Sela Pepper Co Ltd, said the increase in power supply capacity would further improve energy security for SMEs in Cambodia.
She said: “This is good news for businesspeople. Increasing the power supply enough will stabilise electricity, as well as our production capacities. And lower prices will help us producers all the more by trimming production costs.”
Jona claimed that Cambodia would not face a shortage of electricity this year, adding that the Kingdom boasts 3,000MW of capacity in the rainy season and 2,200MW in the dry season.
“We will not have a shortage of electricity supply because our supply-demand ratio eclipses the plan, it is higher than the amount of energy we need and even if there’s more demand we’ll be able to import from other neighbouring countries,” he said.
Last week, the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) approved a 60MW solar farm in Kampong Chhnang province’s Teuk Phos district with a capital investment of $37.4 million and developed by a special purpose vehicle named Prime Road Alternative (Cambodia) Co Ltd.