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Completion of heavy fuel oil power plant in Kandal will ease power shortages

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EDC File photo showing EDC Managing Director Keo Ratanak points at the project construction on the board at the project construction site in Kandal province.

The construction of two $380 million 400-MW power plants, fueled by heavy fuel oil in Kandal province’s Lvea Em district was 90 percent complete, senior official said.

The facility construction is almost done despite COVID-19 pandemic which has put limit on border crossings, Victor Jona, Director General of Energy at the Ministry of Mines and Energy, told AKP on Tuesday.

“The plant is currently about 90 percent complete and the engine units of the power plants imported from Finland and Germany have been installed,” he said, adding that the remaining work involves technical matter by foreign experts (testing and commissioning).

“Due to travel bans imposed during the COVID-19 crisis, foreign experts who will conduct testing of engine units of the power plants could not come at the moment,” he said.

However, the plants are expected to operate within this year if the COVID-19 crisis comes to an end, he underlined.

Facing power shortage in the dry season last year, Cambodian government decided to spend US$380 million to buy 400 MW engines – 200 MW engine each from Finland and Germany.

The government also has a plan to build a substation connecting the 400mW project to the national grid, which is expected to significantly contribute towards stabilising the country’s power supply. It is also part of the government’s plan to combat power woes in the country.

It was previously announced $300 million of the project’s cost is from government funds in the form of loans and the rest coming from the state-run Electricite Du Cambodge’s budget.

The construction of the power project started in October 2019. It is is composed of two plants. One will be powered by a 200mW generator from Finnish firm Wartsila. This plant is being developed by Chinese firm CGGC.

The second plant will use another 200mW generator, this time from Germany’s Man Group. It is being built by China National Heavy Machinery Corp (CHMC).

As some factories have been shut down due to the lack of raw materials caused by the COVID-19 crisis, the power demand decreases between 20 and 30 percent this year, Mr Jona said.

Last year, Cambodia consumed a total of 12,014.59 million kWh, a year-on-year increase of 23 percent. Chea Vannak-AKP/Khmer Times

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