The Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) yesterday held a presentation in front of local authorities on a project that aims to tackle the waste crisis Cambodia is facing.
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GGGI Director-General Frank Rijsberman and his team introduced the project to representatives from the ministries of Economy and Finance, Environment, Interior, and Transportation.
The project, currently in the pre-feasibility study stage, consists of a refuse-derived-fuel (RDF) plant in Phnom Penh.
The plant will take non-combustible materials, recyclables, and contaminants, shredding and compacting residual materials. These materials will then be sent to cement factories to be used as fuel.
“This project is technically feasible and financially attractive and once the project is ready, we will find investors to pay for the project,” said Mr Rijsberman.
“There has been a lot of positive response from government partners that were present. Once the government approves, we can go ahead with the feasibility study,” he told Khmer Times.
According to a report by GGGI, the ongoing economic and construction boom in Cambodia has created a huge need for building materials, particularly cement.
Mr Rijsberman said the fuel used by cement factories in Cambodia is generally low-quality coal imported from Indonesia.
“The low-quality coal imported from Indonesia costs about $80 per tonne. With this project, they can obtain better quality fuel material for $50 per tonne,” said Mr Rijsberman.
He said investors can expect a 15 percent return from their investment.
Mr Rijsberman said interest in the project is significant.
“Three to four companies in the region are interested in the project,” he said, noting that this is a good sign given that the project is still in the early stages.
Mr Rijsberman said the project could benefit the whole country.
“One of the benefits will be the creation of green jobs. This will increase as more alternative sources are created in the future,” he said.
The plant will cost about $17 million to build.
The institute has also partnered with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (Unido) to improve waste management in Battambang.
The Battambang project aims to establish a reliable supply chain – including segregation, collection, transportation, and products for sale – for recyclable waste in the city, with a focus on plastic and organic waste.