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Erratic power supply irks millers

Sum Manet / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Khan Kunthy, CEO of BRICO says power outages can be as frequent as ten a day. KT/Chor Sokunthea

Rice millers in Battambang province are seeing red due to an erratic power supply affecting their production and causing them to lose money.

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Khan Kunthy, CEO of BRICO, which is based in Ta Poung commune in Battambang’s Thmor Kol district, told Khmer Times that the province’s electricity supply had been unstable for the past month.

“We have power outages at least 10 times a day and this affects our production,” said Mr Kunthy.

“We need electricity to operate and when it is unstable we cannot dry paddy rice on time to be milled,” he added.

“With the power going off this often, our production has fallen by 50 percent and this is eating into our revenue.”

Mr Kunthy said the erratic power supply made it impossible to buy new stocks from farmers due to the old stocks still remaining undried.

“So this has a ripple effect on farmers and it is something beyond our control,” he said.

Mr Kunthy informed local authorities over this issue.

Hun Lak, the CRF vice-president, said the Cambodia Rice Federation would review the request before asking the appropriate ministry for action to be taken.

“We will check the location and ascertain for ourselves the power supply situation before taking action,” he said.

Mr Lak previously said that high electricity rates were eating significantly into the production costs of rice millers.

“We are trying to find ways to lower the cost of electricity. We want the electricity rate to be reduced to less than 400.60 riel (10 cents) per kilowatt hour for the agricultural sector,” he said.

Residents in rural areas pay higher electricity rates than those living in town, who pay 20 cents per kilowatt hour.

Chan Sophal, Battambang’s provincial governor, could not be contacted for comments.

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