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Gov’t to buy power from companies

Chea Vannak / Khmer Times Share:
Karadeniz Powership Zeynep Sultan
Karadeniz Powership Zeynep Sultan on her way from Istanbul, Turkey to Jalarta, Indonesia. Wikimedia Commons

In a bid to end ongoing blackouts across the country, the government is planning to buy power from the private sector to supply households.

The country is now experiencing daily power cuts as a result of extremely hot and dry weather. The seven hydropower dams in the country are unable to produce energy due to a lack of rain.

Ty Norin, secretary of state at the Ministry of Mines and Energy, said in a press conference on Friday that the government has prepared a budget to buy electricity from private sources.

Those sources include special economic zones and “big companies” that have their own generators or solar power systems.

“The government has decided to ask the private sector to supply surplus power to the national grid. That surplus will be supplied to those facing power outages,” Mr Norin said.

The tariff paid will be higher than the one the government uses to sell the power, Mr Norin said. He did not reveal how much money the government has allocated to purchase energy from the private sector.

“It is one solution to deal with power cuts,” Phay Siphan, a spokesman for the government, told reporters at the press conference on Friday, adding that the government is working on other solutions to its power woes.

For example, it is considering bringing a 200-megawatt powership from Turkey. It is also in talks with neighboring countries to increase power imports, he said.

Prime Minister Hun Sen last week said the country is now facing an electricity shortage of about 400 MW. He appealed to people, especially those in the business sector, to understand that this is because of an ongoing dry spell.

Ty Norin, secretary of state at the Ministry of Energy
Ty Norin, secretary of state at the Ministry of Energy, speaks during the press conference on Friday. KT

Electricite du Cambodge announced last week that a 60 MW solar power park in Kampong Speu province will start generating power next month, roughly four months ahead of schedule.

The solar farm will start generating 20 MW in mid-April and will run at full capacity in August, EDC said.

About 9,300 million kilowatt-hours per year were used in 2018, an average of 25.5 million kWh per day, according to the Ministry of Mines and Energy.

From January to the end of February, power consumption increased to 31 million kWh per day due to a host of new investment projects in the capital, Mr Norin said.

Mr Norin said the power cuts will last until the end of June.

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