The Ministry of Environment’s General Department for Nature Conservation and Protection on February 15 announced that it will put forest products harvested in the reservoir of the Stung Pursat I hydropower project up for auction.

In a notice, the working group in charge of clearing the area ahead of the hydropower project said the resources would be sold to pay tax levies and to add to the national budget.

The estimated amount of timber includes more than 9,023 cubic metres of mixed timber, more than 65,000 mixed tree saplings and 153,175 cubic metres of firewood. The forest products were valued at approximately $450,000. Applications to bid will be open from February 16 to March 30, with the auction scheduled for March 31.

“Any individuals and legal entities can attend the auction, bar those who have criminal records for forestry crimes and those who have outstanding tax bills. All attendees must comply with the terms and conditions contained in the market listing price book,” the notice said.

The Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) and other relevant authorities will observe every stage of the timber auction.

Application forms are available at the ministry during working hours. The auction is to be held at the ministry’s general department.

The 80-megawatt Stung Pursat I hydropower dam was developed by South Korean company SPHP (Cambodia) with an investment of more than $ 231 million in Pursat province’s Veal Veng district.

An artist’s rendition of the Stung Pursat I hydroelectric dam project in Pursat province’s Veal Veng district. Pursat Administration PURSAT ADMINISTRATION

Deputy provincial governor Khoy Rida told The Post on February 15 that the province needed just 25 to 30MW of electricity, and that the excess units will be distributed to other provinces.

He added that the project had required finding solutions for the more than 300 families who would be impacted by its construction. Some of the families accepted houses and land, while some negotiated cash settlements.

“There are some families whose land will be flooded to form the reservoir. This impact has already been addressed, well before construction begins,” he said.