PHMON PENH, September 28, (Khmer Times) – The secretary of state of the Ministry of Mines and Energy, Ith Prang, has called a press conference for September 30 to clarify aspects of the controversial hydroelectric dam being planned for construction in the Areng Valley, in Koh Kong province, by the Sinohydro Corporation.
The press conference was arranged after concerned members of the National Assembly’s Third Commission on Environment and Water Resources requested Prime Minister Hun Sen to intervene with the project.
In response, the Ministry of Mines and Energy released a letter on Saturday attempting to explain some facets of the project.
The letter maintained that the Stung Cheay Areng hydroelectric dam project plan has not been finalized yet, and is still undergoing research and an environmental impact evaluation.
In the letter, the Ministry also points out the benefits of the proposed project, stating that the Areng dam project only has a power generation capacity of 108 MW. However, this is still sufficient to provide 595 million KWh per year more than the hydroelectric facility at Kamchay hydropower in Kampot province, which generates 498 million KWh per year.
The acting chief of the Third Commission on Environment and Water Resources, Te Chanmony, has requested Prime Minister Hun Sen and other organizations intervene to prevent further destruction of surrounding forests and to protect wildlife and golden fish in the Areng Valley zone.
The intervention request was processed by the head of the National Assembly, Heng Samrin, on September 25.