The government has decided to build nearly 3,000km of sub-transmission electrical lines to cover all rural villages, with a total project cost of about $82 million in the form of a soft loan from the Chinese government.
The project was disclosed during a videoconference between Deputy Prime Minister and co-chair of the Cambodia-China Intergovernmental Coordinating Committee Hor Namhong and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi.
The meeting was held to discuss an action plan to establish stronger ties between the two countries.
Minister of Mines and Energy Suy Sem attended the meeting and said commencing phase 7 of the project to connect rural areas to the electrical grid is the highest priority for Cambodia’s energy sector.
He said the project includes 22kV and 35kV sub-transmission lines with a total length of 2,970km. It will cover 133 villages in 14 provinces.
The ministry’s General Department of Energy director-general Victor Jona told The Post on Sunday that Cambodia’s high-voltage network covers every town and province in the country, but there is still no sub-network for rural areas.
Therefore, the project will help cover the two per cent gap in Cambodia’s current electricity supply.
He said that according to the plan, the project will need $82 million. The money will be supplied by the Chinese government in the form of a soft loan to the Cambodian energy sector.
The agreement will be signed next month by Prime Minister Hun Sen when he travels to Beijing to witness the Cambodia-China Bilateral Free Trade Agreement signing.
“I believe the plan is for the Prime Minister to go to Beijing in August and sign the loan agreement. This project will help expand the electricity network to rural areas in all villages,” he said.
Namhong told reporters that China would support eight emergency projects in Cambodia to develop its economy and society.
These include projects to connect rural areas to the electrical grid, infrastructure projects, roads, wells and ponds, rice warehouses and silos, and rural hospitals.
“After the meeting, the Chinese side agreed to all our requests, and they immediately made a to-do list for working together to develop our economy and society Namhong said.