Cambodia Considers Floating Plant From Turkey To Battle Power Woes

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Representatives of Electricite Du Cambodge are planning a trip to Turkey to discuss bringing a floating power plant that will help the nation cope with the current energy crisis, Prime Minister Hun Sen said.

EDC said the country lacks 13 percent of the energy it needs. KT/Chor Sokunthea

Speaking yesterday to a group of garment workers in Pursat province, the premier said bringing the floating facility would be an emergency measure to battle Cambodia’s power shortage.

Representatives from the Ministry of Mines and Energy, Electricity Authority of Cambodia, and EDC have been meeting with officials from the Turkish embassy since the beginning of the week to discuss the cost of bringing the floating plant as well as the tariff that will be charged.

EAC chairman Yim Viseth said, “The Turkish side requested to meet with us this week because they needed to know some information before making a decision on the floating power plant. We also need to know what tariff will be charged before we can make a decision.”

Mr Viseth did not reveal details regarding the cost of bringing and using the floating power plant.

EDC said earlier this week the country lacks 13 percent of the energy it needs, which has pushed the body to seek energy imports from neighboring countries.

On Monday, EDC announced it will buy 80 megawatts from Thailand and 10 MW from Laos.

Prime Minister Hun Sen on Saturday said the country is now facing an electricity shortage of about 400 MW, leading to power outages, and appealed to people, especially those in the business sector, to understand that this is because of an ongoing dry spell.

“Climate change is not only affecting Cambodia but the whole region. We need water to produce electricity,” he said. “I urge people not to waste water as we will experience a long dry season which will last until June.”

Mr Hun Sen appealed to people to understand that there is a need for power cuts during this period and called on those who have generators to use them in their houses, hotels or workplaces to reduce the usage of electricity.

“A large amount of our electricity is produced through hydropower dams, but now there is a shortage of water so the dams can only generate a small amount of electricity,” he said. “We currently lack 400 MW, and we are seeking solutions to tackle this issue.”

EDC 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 become fully operational in August this year, EDC said in a Facebook post.

“The 60 MW solar farm in Tmat Pong, located near Phnom Penh, will generate 20 MW in mid-April and will run at full capacity in August,” EDC said.

“The project will be complete four months ahead of the date stipulated in the contract.”

EAC’s Mr Viseth said the plant will be brought online earlier, despite not being at full capacity, to combat power woes in the country.

“We are facing a shortage of power and the EDC has made this a priority issue, so the fact that we can get this project online ahead of schedule is pretty good,” Mr Viseth said.

Last year, Cambodia consumed 2,650 MW, a 15 percent increase compared to a year earlier. 442 MW were imported from Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos in 2018, according to the Ministry of Mine and Energy.

This article was originally published in the Khmer Times.