The Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority (PPWSA) has completed the construction of phase I of the Bakheng Water Treatment Plant. Phase II is underway and scheduled for completion early next year.

According to a May 5 social media post from the PPWSA, the first and second phases of the plant will give it a total production capacity of 390,000 cubic metres per day, as defined in the PPWSA’s Production Capacity Expansion Plan 2018-2025. The plant is the largest water infrastructure project in the Kingdom’s history.

“In accordance with the master plan, the PPWSA has completed the construction of the first phase, with a production capacity of 195,000 cubic metres per day. It has been distributing clean water since April 21,” said the post.

The first phase of the project is fulfilling the daily clean water needs of the population in seven districts, especially the suburbs of municipal Phnom Penh, and neighbouring Takhmao town in Kandal province.

The seven districts include Dangkor, Por Sen Chey, parts of Meanchey, Sen Sok, Russey Keo, Kamboul and two communes of Preak Pnov district, so people now have access to clean water and high water pressure, something which was previously limited during peak hours.

“The phase of the treatment plant has the production capacity of 195,000 cubic metres per day, and will come onstream in early 2024,” it said.

“The second phase will complement the PPWSA’s service expansion to areas that do not yet have access to clean water. The main pipeline will be extended by 2025, and will meet the clean water demands of the people in the southern and northern parts of Phnom Penh,” added the post.

The French embassy in Phnom Penh also took to social media to laud the completion of phase I.

“France supports the supply of clean water to the more than two million people living in Phnom Penh!” it said.

The embassy added that phase I of the project reflects successful cooperation of many development partners. The project was funded by French Development agency AFD, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the EU delegation to Cambodia, along with the PPWSA.

“Phase II of the project will respond to the clean water supply shortage on the outskirts of Phnom Penh,” it said.

Phase II is a major infrastructure project defined in the PPWSA’s 2016-2030 Third Master Plan.

The project is financed by two loans worth $195 million from the AFD, a $100 million loan from the EIB, an up-to-$13 million grant from the EU through the EIB’s Asia Investment Facility and direct investment of $80 million by the PPWSA.