Electricite du Cambodge (EDC) said that in 2022 the construction of its distribution network increased its reach by 0.74 per cent, making 98.27 per cent of all villages part of the network by the end of 2022.

Yim Viseth, chairman of the Electricity Authority, said in EDC’s annual meeting held late last week that there are currently 245 villages without electrical supply, of which 228 villages are under licence granted to other distributors and 17 villages are outside the licence area.

He added that the Electricity Authority and EDC have conducted a joint feasibility study of expanding the supply of electricity to those villages.

The study suggested that by the end of this year, EDC and private service providers will be able to expand the electricity supply from the national electricity network to another 157 villages. Hence, after 2023 there may be 88 villages left without power, which is 0.62 per cent of the total.

“These remaining villages are located in extremely difficult areas, such as remote areas with no roads, islands, populated areas, flooded areas during the rainy season, thinly populated areas and now new homes. These areas need a lot of investment to develop the supply there,” he said.

Viseth continued that at present, the Ministry of Mines and Energy, the Electricity Authority and EDC have been working together to look into the possibility of exploring other solutions for these remaining 88 villages, such as the supply of electricity from solar power built with capital from EDC or from various international institutions and investment firms.

Royal Academy of Cambodia economics researcher Ky Sereyvath said that the expansion of electrical networks to all villages and districts will improve people’s livelihoods and their economies.

“When electricity reaches their villages, it will help them with production and other business, including lowering their costs of production which will contribute to a reduction in their spending,” he added.