Lower Sesan II Hydropower Station, which is operated and managed by the firm China Huaneng Group, is located on the mainstream of the Sanhe River in Cambodia’s northeastern Stung Treng province. The formation of the reservoir serves a dual purpose: aside from helping water storage during Cambodia’s dry and rainy seasons, it also promotes agricultural development in the area for the benefit of the local community that reside near the area.
In the past, the arrival of the dry season and the corresponding drought resulted in the significant delimitation of agricultural development. However, after the construction of the hydro-power station, the demand for water to sustain nearby crops was effectively solved, resulting to an abundance of food resource in the surrounding area, as well as indirectly generating more employment opportunities for the local communities in Stung Treng.
One of the many beneficiaries of the Lower Sesan II Hydropower Station is Fudi Agricultural Development (Cambodia) Co Ltd. The company’s reclaimed land is abutting the power station. After the completion of the power station, there will be 48 kilometres of waterfront line within the reclaimed land, covering about 40,000 hectares of area in the reservoir. The station’s irrigation function also creates a prime opportunity for the company to develop a large-scale plantation.
Mr Hu Min, the person in charge of Fortune Land Company Banana Nursery, said: “Our park is alongside the Sanghe Hydropower Station Reservoir. The water stored in the power station reservoir has effectively solved irrigation problems and greatly promoted the cultivation and production of crops in the area.”
In the next three years, he said, the company plans to plant 7,000 hectares of bananas and establish a full industrial chain management system for agricultural materials, production, logistics and sales. This, he said, will increase local employment opportunities for an estimated 24,000 people each year and promote the country’s overall development, possibly making it Asia’s largest banana-exporting country.
Li Meng Sen, in charge of Sanghe II Hydropower Station, said: “The development of the power station not only allows the Cambodian people to use safe, stable, low-cost and clean power resources, it also bolsters the development of the surrounding agricultural lands as well as the tourism potential of the communities. Not only that, but the power station also generates employment opportunities for the people. With continuous efforts, local livelihoods will be improved and national economic development accelerated.”
The hydropower plant started its construction in October 2013, becoming fully operational after five years in December 2018. The upper reaches of the reservoir control a drainage area of 492,000 hectares. Its total water storage capacity is equivalent to 400,000 kilowatts and covers 6.5 kilometres, making it the currently largest hydropower project in Cambodia and the longest one in Asia.