Minister of Mines and Energy Suy Sem said electricity now reaches 98.5 per cent of Cambodia’s over 14,000 villages; with only a small percentage of isolated households remaining off the national grid.

Suy Sem shared the updated figures on October 27, while presiding over the inauguration of new buildings at the Banteay Meanchey provincial department of mines and energy.

He said Cambodia is turning itself from a country which is short of electricity to one with an electricity surplus. He said the total power produced locally or imported from neighbouring countries accounts for more than 4,000 megawatts, while actual demand is just over 2,000 megawatts.

However, he suggested that the surplus may be due to the impact of Covid-19, which forced several commercial enterprises – many of which use large amounts of power – to suspend operations.

Banteay Meanchey provincial governor Oum Reatrey said the authorities in his province had cooperated with electricity providers to expand access to almost all villages, with only six villages still to be connected.

Suy Sem also touched on the management of the mining of materials for construction such as rocks and, sand and soil. He said the ministry had established mines foundation wherever mining was taking place.

Should commune authorities need funding for local development, commune chiefs can write requests directly to the ministry. The ministry would conduct feasibility studies before releasing any funds, he added, and reminded those present that any developments must go through public bidding.

The minister also reminded ministry officials to ensure that any mining operations in the Kingdom were licensed by the ministry, and to inspect all quarries.