Total Cambodge, a subsidiary of France-based petroleum firm Total Group, has moved into the solar sector, aiming to provide sustainable energy solutions to Cambodian companies.
The result is Total Solar, a business which is now being registered with the Ministry of Commerce, after the group submitted an application last year.
“If we look at the energy sector in Cambodia, there is huge demand for solar energy. This, coupled with global trends that favour green and clean energy, made us decide to go down this road,” Mam Samath, vice president of operations of Total Cambodge, said on Tuesday.
Total Solar will provide solar energy solutions to large scale industrial projects and commercial firms, Mr Samath said, adding that the company has conducted feasibility studies for projects with several factories in the Kingdom and is already working on a 5-megawatt installation for an undisclosed company.
“More recently, we carried out studies together with the European Union that have shown that solar energy investments yield significant benefits to users and to the environment,” he said.
However, Total Solar has no plans yet to invest on installations that feed power to the national grid, Mr Samath clarified.
George Edgar, EU Ambassador to Cambodia, praised Total’s initiative.
“It is an important achievement that a European company has ambitions in sustainable development and solar energy, which saves costs and helps reduce carbon dioxide emissions,” Mr Edgar said.
To reduce costs, Total Cambodge is now installing photovoltaic panels on the roofs of its gas stations in the capital, as well as some locations outside Phnom Penh, Mr Samath added.
In August, a $12.5-million, 10-megawatt solar farm in Svey Rieng province’s Bavet city – the country’s first solar power plant – came into service, selling energy to the national grid under a 20-year power purchase agreement.
Since then, feasibility studies have been conducted for several solar farms projects in the country, with at least one gaining government approval.