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Two power plants get ministers council OK

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A worker carries empty concrete bags past the Kamchay hydropower dam in Kampot province the day it came online in 2011. Pha Lina

Two power plants get ministers council OK

The Cambodian government on Friday approved two power plant projects worth more than $1.3 billion in total in what authorities said was an effort to reduce the Kingdom’s dependence on imports.

The Council of Ministers approved construction of two power projects, the first, a $1.29 billion, 700-megawatt coal-fired plant in Preah Sihanouk province, and the second, a $58 million, 60-megawatt solar-panel plant in Kampong Speu province.

The two projects are under a build-operate-own concession (BOO) of 35 and 20 years respectively, said the Council of Ministers. However, their statement did not provide details of the projects, including the developers.

Yun Min, the provincial governor of Preah Sihanouk, declined to provide details, saying only that the project is new and located in Stung Hav district.

There are currently two other coal-fired plants in Stung Hav, including Cambodia’s first, opened in 2014 by Malaysian-owned Leader Universal Holdings at a cost of $195 million.

The Phnom Penh Post previously reported that Royal Group, Cambodia’s biggest conglomerate, owned by tycoon Kith Meng, is also seeking to develop a coal-fired power plant in the province.

Kampong Speu Provincial Governor Vy Samnang confirmed on Sunday that the solar-power plant will be built on 200 hectares adjacent to Nation Road 51 in Oudong district.

While declining to name those involved in the project, he said it would be the first solar-power project in the province and that its investor is foreign.

“We hope our people will have enough electric power when the project comes online. It will help to lower electricity prices and attract more factories to Kampong Speu,” he said.

The government had repeatedly said that the development of solar power is strongly encouraged.

Quoting a recent government report, Samnang said with the existing infrastructure, more than 81 percent of villages across the country can now access electric power.

The government’s goal is for all villages in Cambodia to have electricity access by 2020, and for at least 90 percent of households nationwide to be connected to the grid by 2030.

Additional reporting by Hin Pisei

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