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More power to the grid

Chea Vannak / Khmer Times Share:
Archive: A Cambodian worker walks past an electric station at the Chinese-funded Kamchay dam during the opening of the 10 megawatt hydropower dam in Kampot province. AFP

The Cambodian government plans to add at least 620 megawatts to the grid this year, pushing power supplies in the Kingdom to 4,000-megawatts.

One megawatt can power up to 300 homes a year depending on the fuel source and technology used. Coal is more effective than solar because it is available 24 hours a day but is less environmentally friendly.

Figures from the Ministry of Mines and Energy show that the new energy will be from both solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and fuel-fired power plants.

Before the end of 2020, 160 megawatts will be generated from solar PV facilities in the provinces of Kampong Speu (20 megawatts), Pursat (30 megawatts), Svay Rieng (20 megawatts), Battambang (60 megawatts) and Banteay Meanchey (30 megawatts).

Another 400 megawatts will come from a fuel-fired power plant in Kandal province where 80 percent of the construction is completed.

Earlier in April, a 60 megawatt solar station,in Kampong Chhnang province, started providing power to the grid.

In comparison, the additional 620-megawatt represents 18 percent of total power supplies of 3,382-megawatt made in 2019.

Victor Jona, director-general of energy and a spokesman at the Ministry of Mines and Energy, said that the new power sources contribute to the government’s target in supplying power efficiently, sustainably and at an appropriate price to both users and investors.

“With increased power increased from all kinds of power sources, we will achieve sufficient, reliable, quality and affordable to all kinds of users throughout Cambodia,” Jona said.

More power sources are expected to generate power this year and others will be developed in years to come, so power supplies are increasing, he added.

With power supplies on the rise, the government is working to build power transmission lines to the areas without electricity, particularly in remote areas.

Jona confirmed that at least 98 percent of the total 14,168 villages nationwide will be electrified by the end of this year. Currently, 93 percent of those are already electrified.

Last year, Cambodia consumed 12 million kilowatts of power, a year-on-year increase of 23 percent, 3 million of which were imported from the neighbouring countries  of Thailand, Vietnam and Laos.

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