Royal Group, Cambodia’s largest conglomerate, was granted permission last week to conduct a feasibility study on a 700-megawatt coal-fired power plant in Preah Sihanouk province.
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Victor Jona, spokesman at the Ministry of Mines and Energy, yesterday said that permission to proceed with the study was given last week during a meeting between Minister of Mines and Energy Suy Sem and Royal Group chairman Kith Meng.
Mr Jona said Royal Group has already completed a feasibility study for the project, but added that, given Cambodia’s current power woes, the company asked to expand the project’s capacity from 450 to 700 MW. He said the expansion requires a new feasibility study.
“The government had allowed Royal Group to conduct a study on a 450 MW coal-fired power plant, but the country’s power demands have intensified as of late, so the company decided to make changes to the plant’s output capacity.
“A new study is required due to the change in output capacity.”
It will take 18 to 20 months to complete the study. It will then be submitted to the government for approval. The government will need to consider whether the tariff at which power will be sold to the national grid is acceptable, Mr Jona said.
“This year we faced a serious energy shortage. Because of this, we are allowing investors to increase the capacity of their projects,” Mr Jona said.
“Unlike hydropower dams, coal-fired power plants are a stable source of power all year round,” he added.
Mr Jona did not provide details regarding the project’s location in Preah Sihanouk province.
Cambodian Energy Co Ltd (CEL), a subsidiary of Malaysia’s Leader Universal Holdings, operates two 50 MW coal-fired power plants in Preah Sihanouk. The company is building another 150 MW plant which will be completed in October.
CIIDG Erdos Hongjun Electric Power operates three 135 MW coal-fired power plants in Preah Sihanouk province.