A new study published on Thursday has estimated the high cost of using the Kamchay hydropower dam in Kampot province to produce clean water for Kampot and Kep provinces.
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The feasibility study was jointly conducted by China Energy Engineering Corporation and Power China Cambodia of Sinohydrod and was presented to the Industry Ministry last week. According to officials, it will take a long time to get clean water to both Kampot and Kep provinces.
The conclusion came after the second study for the project was completed.
Industry Ministry spokesman Um Sotha said the estimated production cost in the feasibility study was more than $100 million.
The high cost meant that the government must seek other ways to bring clean water to the provinces.
“We welcome the result of feasibility study, but the production cost is high,” Mr Sotha said.
“When the production cost is high, the water tariff will also be high, so this is not our goal.
“Our goal is to let people have clean water at the right price. If it is high, we will look for other ways.”
The project aimed to use 15 to 25 million cubic metres a year from the Kamchay dam to supply the coastal tourist areas of Kampot and Kep.
The result of the feasibility study would be for used as foundation information for future studies, Mr Sotha said.
Speaking on Thursday last week, at a meeting with delegations of the two companies, Industry Minister Cham Prasidh said he expected the water tariff to be fair compared with privately owned water suppliers.
“Even though the project will cost a lot, the tariff for people has to be at a proper price,” he said.
“The water has to be of high quality and be safe and sustainable.”
The conclusions of the feasibility study would be submitted to the government for a decision soon, Mr Prasidh said.
Plans are for the project to be on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis. Water produced at the site will be sold to the National Water Supply Authority.
A shortage of clean water in the Kampot and Kep provinces needs to be addressed to serve local people and tourists.