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Generators from Europe to help combat power crisis: PM

May Kunmakara / Khmer Times Share:
A hydroelectric power plant in Kampot province. According to Mr Hun Sen, energy output at the country’s hydropower dams has decreased dramatically this year. KT/Chea Vannak

Two generators from Europe will help Cambodia deal with the power crisis, Prime Minister Hun Sen said during a conference in Japan yesterday.

Speaking to hundreds of business representatives at the 25th International Conference on the Future of Asia, held this week in Tokyo, the Cambodian premier said the Kingdom will soon receive generators from Finland and Germany to deal with the power shortage.

“The Cambodian government has taken action. We got power generators from Finland and Germany, each one able to produce 200 megawatts, that will be used as a backup.

“There are also new investments in energy projects that will help us increase the power supply. In upcoming years, we expect to increase the energy supply by around 500 MW from alternative sources, including solar energy,” Mr Hun Sen said.

The prime minister said the current crisis was the result of exceptionally hot and dry weather that has limited production at the country’s hydropower dams.

“Please understand that this year our difficulties stemmed from the fact that we could only produce about 300 MW from our dams, which is about 1,000 MW less than what we would have normally produced,” Mr Hun Sen told the audience.

He also called on investors present at the conference to consider energy projects in Cambodia.

The government previously announced plans to rent a 200 MW floating power plant from Turkey. However, those plans were eventually scrapped.

During a cabinet meeting in early April, Mr Hun Sen approved plans by SPHP (Cambodia) to invest in a new hydroelectric dam in the Pursat river, as well as plans by Schnei Tech to build solar farms in Kampong Chhnang and Pursat.

The dam in Pursat will be able to produce 80 MW and will be built on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis with a total investment capital of more than $231 million. The company has been granted a 39-year concession for the project.

The solar farms approved will each have a 60 MW capacity. They will be built on a build-own-operate (BOO) basis with an investment of more than $58 million. The government also approved Schnei Tech’s expansion plans at an existing 60 MW solar farm in Kampong Speu province.

Last week, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved a $7.6-million loan to support the construction of a 100 MW solar power park in Kampong Chhnang.

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