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Energy deal inked with Laos

Chea Vannak / Khmer Times Share:
An electric power station in Phnom Penh. KT/Chor Sokunthea

Cambodia will increase energy imports from neighbouring Laos following the signing of a deal between the countries on Wednesday.

The energy deal was signed in Vientiane during the visit of a Cambodian delegation that included Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Provinces near the border with Laos – including Preah Vihear, Stung Treng, Ratanakkiri and Kratie – will be supplied electricity produced in Laos, according to the agreement.

In the press conference that followed the signing ceremony, no details were revealed regarding the amount of energy that will be exchanged.

Victor Jona, director-general of the Energy Department, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

The agreement comes amid construction of the Lower Sesan II dam in Stung Treng, which will be capable of generating 400 megawatts.

“The energy generated from Sesan II will be fed to the national grid and used in Kampong Cham and other provinces,” said Phay Siphan, government spokesman.

The country now consumes 2,000 megawatts every year, with energy imports making up less than 20 percent of total consumption. Cambodia imports energy from Thailand, Vietnam, and, to a lesser extent, Laos.

With seven hydropower plants expected to fully operational by the end of 2018, a recent report by the Electricity Authority of Cambodia forecasts that total energy output in the country will be 1,329 MW.

The report said 538 MW will come from coal power plants, 251 MW from fossil fuel power stations, and 72 MW from renewable energy sources.

At the Laos-Cambodia Business Forum held on Wednesday, both countries also agreed to boost cross-border trade and investment, which is still low compared to Thailand and Vietnam.

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