Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Funding law approved for hydropower dams

Funding law approved for hydropower dams

Funding law approved for hydropower dams

THE National Assembly this week approved legislation that would require the government to cover any financial losses incurred by two new Chinese hydropower projects in the event of political instability, a senior minister said Tuesday.

China National Machinery Corp and Michel Corp signed an agreement with the government in June 2008 to invest more than US$1 billion in dam projects in Pursat and Koh Kong provinces.

"The passage of this legislation will allow the companies to start work immediately in the dry season," said Minister of Industry, Mines and Energy Suy Sem.

"In case of any political incident that causes these operations to suffer losses, the government will be responsible," he added.

The two projects are expected to generate a total of 584 megawatts of power, which Suy Sem said will be sold to Cambodia's state power provider, Electricite du Cambodge.

Power shortage

With no national power grid, Cambodia remains starved for power and must import most of its electricity from Vietnam and Thailand, leading to some of the highest utility rates in the region.

This has proven to be a major obstacle in attracting foreign investment, officials have warned.

Opposition lawmakers, however, said the deal gave the Chinese companies control over the power plants for too long, and that even with the additional generation, electricity would remain too expensive.

MOST VIEWED

  • Malaysia MP accused of ‘influencing law’

    Malaysian Member of Parliament (MP) Larry Sng arrived in Siem Reap early on Wednesday, in what was slammed by one NGO as efforts by Kuala Lumpur to “influence Cambodian law”. The Malaysian Embassy in Phnom Penh requested on January 30 “cooperation from the Ministry of Foreign

  • Ministries begin measures to offset EU’s EBA decision

    In the wake of the EU’s controversial announcement this week that it has begun the withdrawal process for Cambodia’s Everything But Arms (EBA) preferential agreement, government ministries and political analysts continued to share their reactions and economic mitigation plans in preparation for the

  • Emirates launches route connecting Phnom Penh, Bangkok

    Emirates will launch a daily service on June 1 linking Phnom Penh (PNH) and Bangkok (BKK). The service from Phnom Penh to Dubai, via Bangkok, will provide more flight options to passengers travelling between the capitals of Cambodia and Thailand. Travellers from the Southeast Asian nations

  • US Embassy urged to stop ‘disrespecting sovereignty’

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation called on the US Embassy in Phnom Penh on Saturday to respect the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations after it called former opposition leader Kem Sokha “an innocent man” – a move deemed to be “disrespecting Cambodia’s