Keo Rattanak – who served as director-general of Electricity of Cambodia (EDC) before taking up the mantle of minister of Mines and Energy – has pledged his continued support to the growth of the state-run power utility firm.

Rattanak assumed the new role following the formation of the new government on August 22. He made the pledge in a video message the day prior.

“Over the past 15 years at EDC, I’ve felt the immense love, respect and collaborative spirit of my colleagues. It’s their support that’s driven our shared successes,” he reflected.

He reminisced about the challenges faced since 2008, from electricity shortages and high costs to instability in supply.

“From the cleaning staff to the management, everyone’s dedication and effort have truly helped our steady progress,” he added.

Rattanak also expressed gratitude to his team, stating that this was not a goodbye but a shift in responsibilities.

He reassured them of his commitment to Cambodia’s progress and urged the EDC team to remain united and supportive of his successor.

Emphasising his dedication, Rattanak said he would continue to champion the electricity sector in the Kingdom.

On the same note, rights group LICADHO director Am Sam Ath observed that EDC’s growth was commendable, especially in extending the national grid to remote areas.

“Despite this progress, there are still frequent power outages. Plus, the public needs to be informed more broadly as it impacts investment and business,” he said.

Sam Ath called on EDC to find ways to reduce electricity prices.

“Considering that Cambodia’s electricity is pricier than in many other nations, the new director general should focus on reducing costs.

“This would benefit our economy and address concerns like the impact of dams and power disruptions,” he suggested.

A report by the energy ministry highlighted the significant strides made between 2018 and 2022. Electricity sources were developed, and the number of substations nearly doubled from 33 to 63.

Additionally, the national grid’s reach expanded, covering almost 98.27 per cent of villages by 2022, up from 86.85 per cent in 2018.