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

  • EU parliament’s 13-point vote to decide on possible sanctions

    The European Parliament is due to vote on Thursday on a 13-point resolution on Cambodia – which includes a call for the treason charges against bailed opposition leader Kem Sokha to be dropped – a threat that could see the EU enforce a range of sanctions against

  • Government hits back at threats to pull EBA, suspend UN seat

    The spokesman for the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) has said the government is in no way concerned after the European Parliament gave it three months to reverse what it called the “systematic repression of the political opposition”. Ignoring the ultimatum could mean facing

  • Sar Kheng: Sokha requested security

    Interior Minister Sar Kheng on Sunday revealed the story behind the transfer of former opposition party leader Kem Sokha from Trapaing Phlong prison in Tbong Khmum province to his house in the capital. Speaking at the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) headquarters in Prey

  • PM vows to ‘protect’ Chinese interests

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday told Chinese companies investing in Cambodia not to worry about contract cancellation in the Kingdom. Speaking at a roundtable meeting with business executives in China as co-chair of the China-Asean Expo, the prime minister told six Chinese conglomerates with