W HILE the signing of the power station deal represents a major advance for the Kingdom, it has also emerged that a highly trumpeted $150 million electrial generating deal, also involving Intercore, has collapsed.
The US firm based in St Petersburg, Florida signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Royal Government in May to build a steam-turbine driven 106 MW power station at a ceremony similar to that of Sept 15.
At the MoU signing - heavily publicized on TV and in the press - bold plans were unveiled by Intercore build a 106 MW generating plant and revamp Phnom Penh's electrical supply system.
But while Intercore were bullish at the time, The Wing Group, another US firm charged with arranging financing for the project, took a far more cautious view.
In May, George Jackovice, spokesman for the Wing Group, said: "We have told the Royal Government that a legal and accounting framework needs to be established before we can go to find the financing, so we can create some interest in the financial community.
The Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy's (Mime) Secretary-General Sam Ramsek said on Sept 16 that the $150 million deal was off. He added that Intercore was only taking a fringe advisory role in the 37 MW diesel power station project and were not investing any cash.
Little wonder that Co-Premier Prince Norodom Ranariddh was moved to say at the Sept 15 contract signing ceremony: "We don't want to be a country of Memoranda of Understanding, we want to be a country of contracts."
Ramsek added that Mime would not be signing any more MoU on projects as they were "just a waste of time."