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No power cuts next year: Hun Sen

Sen David / Khmer Times Share:
The government has taken steps to boost the Kingdom’s power supply. KT/Chor Sokunthea

Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday announced that the Kingdom will not face a shortage of electricity next year because the government has taken steps to boost power supply.

Speaking during a graduation ceremony on Koh Pich yesterday, Mr Hun Sen said the government learned from this year’s experience and worked out ways to rely less on hydropower plants which require adequate water supply to function.

He noted that this year’s dry season has ended and the Kingdom has been experiencing rain, which has helped to alleviate the power shortage.

However, Mr Hun Sen said that the country still faces a shortage of water supply to run hydropower plants, resulting in unstable electricity supply.

He said that before the dry season the hydropower plants could produce 1,400 megawatts a day, but during the past few months the grid could only supply 100 to 200 megawatts daily.

Mr Hun Sen noted that last night the hydropower plants were able to produce 600 megawatts, but supply was still limited.

“This year’s power shortage was an experience that taught us a lot of lessons and we have to work hard to find ways to avoid a repeat of the problems next year,” he said.

The Prime Minister said that in order to reduce dependency on hydropower plants, the government is in the process of sourcing electricity from neighbouring countries and building more coal as well as solar power plants.

Mr Hun Sen said that the three coal power plants currently operating in the Kingdom can each produce 370 megawatts of electricity daily and another 130-megawatt plant will be built.

He noted that next year Phnom Penh would also have two 200-megawatt generators to address any sudden shortage of electricity. The generators are from Finland and Germany.

“The government has approved the budget to buy both generators by October so there should be no reason for Phnom Penh to experience any power shortage next year,” Mr Hun Sen said.

He added that during his visit to Japan last week, he had also discussed with the Japanese Prime Minister to assist Cambodia by financing a project to obtain power supply from Laos.

Victor Jona, Mines and Energy Ministry director-general, yesterday said that the government has already taken measures to prevent any power shortage next year.

“As an immediate measure, the government plans to build a 400-megawatt diesel power station in Kandal province,” he said.

Sous Panha, 30, a coffee shop owner in Phnom Penh, yesterday said that he welcomes the Prime Minister’s statement that the capital will not face electricity shortage next year, noting that power cuts in March and April badly affected business.

“We faced half-day electricity cuts almost daily and sometimes there was no power from the morning till the evening,” he said.

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