Freshstart Energy has announced plans to explore investment opportunities in Cambodia’s power management sector, a move welcomed by Prime Minister Hun Manet in light of the country’s increasing focus on energy.

The strategy was disclosed during a meeting between Manet and FreshStart Energy chairman and CEO Mario Vecchio during the former’s attendance of the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit in Melbourne, Australia, on March 2, as reported in a post on Manet’s social media. 

In the bilateral discussions, Vecchio stated that the company, a subsidiary of FreshStart, is currently operating in Australia, Singapore and Thailand, employing cutting-edge technology for electricity management in schools, hospitals and petrol stations.

He added that the company has developed numerous advanced technologies for efficient, high-quality and cost-saving energy usage, and expressed his desire to bring this modern energy management technology to Cambodia.

Responding to the firm’s plans, the premier expressed his gratitude and support for their intention to invest in the Kingdom. 

He emphasised the country’s objective to not only strengthen and expand governmental and people-to-people relations but also to connect the private and public sectors of both countries.

“Many countries within the regional and global framework are closely monitoring the transformation of the energy sector, and the Cambodian government is also dedicated to developing the industry,” Manet stated.

He encouraged businesses to visit Cambodia to explore investment opportunities in collaboration with the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) and the Ministry of Mines and Energy.

He said these institutions could assist in facilitating and supporting the preparation of investment projects. 

Manet also reiterated the government’s goal of augmenting green energy and extending electricity supply to all rural areas.

Hong Vanak, director of International Economics at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, noted that substantial investment would be necessary to drive change. 

He stated that attracting private sector investment requires clear policy direction.

“The recently approved Power Development Master Plan [2022-40] includes energy efficiency in its scenario. Additionally, the national energy efficiency policy, announced at the end of 2022, is also integrated,” Vanak highlighted. 

He noted that governments and the private sector are currently implementing several measures. Specifically, in the garment, footwear and travel goods sectors, the EU has collaborated with relevant ministries, the Textile, Apparel, Footwear and Travel Goods Association in Cambodia (TAFTAC) and various companies to promote the adoption of energy-efficient technologies and practices.

During the inauguration of the Stung Tatai Leu Hydropower Dam in Koh Kong province in late December 2023, energy minister Keo Rattanak said that in alignment with global trends and the government’s announcement, there needs to be a transition towards a carbon-neutral society by 2050.

Rattanak emphasised that the ministry, responsible for guiding the energy sector, is committed not only to providing a quality and efficient energy supply at reasonable prices but also to advancing the country towards the government’s declared goal of carbon neutrality.

“The energy ministry needs to focus on two primary tasks: firstly, to enhance energy efficiency, and secondly, to increase the utilisation of renewable energy,” he stated.