Prime Minister Hun Sen asked that all units of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces reduce electricity consumption in order to fight unnecessary waste and save money in response to the cancellation of a debt of more than $2 million owed by the Ministry of National Defence to Electricite du Cambodge (EDC).
Hun Sen made the remarks while presiding over the inauguration of the ministry’s new secretariat building on December 29. He also thanked those responsible for the construction of the building, including China and Vietnam.
At the request of defence minister Tea Banh, the premier called on the Ministry of Mines, Energy, EDC and the Ministry of Economy and Finance to examine the possibility of cancelling the more than $2 million in debt.
“I’ve asked EDC to check and see how much debt they can cancel. And besides, how much can the finance ministry pay? We can split the bill,” he said.
“But there is one thing I have to demand in return. I will issue an order to prepare to increase the annual electricity consumption budget because since this building was built, how much has the demand for electricity increased? This is our point,” he added.
He noted that previously electricity consumption had only been 30 megawatts for Phnom Penh, but now 30MW can be used up by just 20 buildings.
“If we try to increase savings and reduce waste in the work of every institution, we can play our part to save money for the budget. We waste energy by leaving air conditioners on all the time and the use of air conditioners with the temperature set too cold also consumes a lot of electricity,” he said.
The defence ministry said the new building was built on the old site’s lot that measures 28m wide and 191m long. The building is 32m in height and has an underground car park for 150 vehicles. The total area of the building is 30,979sqm, which is 10 times the size of the old one.
Construction began on the building on June 30, 2018. It was scheduled for completion on June 30 this year after 36 months, but the construction was postponed until October 30 due to Covid-19 and then completed this month.