Twenty-six companies have bid to develop a 60-megawatt solar park in Kampong Chhnang province, according to an official from the Ministry of Mines and Energy.
Since public bidding for the Cambodia National Solar Park Project began in February, a total of 148 companies have requested applications, but only 26 submitted one, said Ty Norin, secretary of state at the ministry.
He said that the applications will now be studied in detail and the winner will be announced as soon as possible.
“There are a lot of procedures to follow and it is quite complicated because it is a project in which ADB is involved. It will take some time to select a company,” Mr Norin told Khmer Times yesterday.
He added that most applicants are foreign firms, although some of them have partnered with local companies.
The 60 MW solar park will be built on a build-own-operate (BOO) basis under the cooperation of the Asian Development Bank (ADB). Electricite du Cambodge (EDC) will purchase the power generated at the plant under a long-term power purchase agreement.
The 60 MW solar park project is part of a bigger project funded by the Asian Development Bank that will generate a total of 100 MW. Last week, ADB approved $7.6 million in loans to fund it.
Power generation will begin 24 months after an agreement with the developer is signed, according to the ministry.
According to a statement issued by EDC, the tariff proposed by the developer must be less than $0.076 per kilowatt hour (kWh).
The government in April approved a new hydroelectric dam in the Pursat river and two solar farms in Kampong Chhnang and Pursat provinces.
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 approved solar farms will each have a 60 MW capacity. They will be built on a BOO basis with an investment of more than $58 million.
“The government is trying to focus on solar energy. Many solar projects have already been approved and many more will be approved soon,” Mr Norin said.
“When we are able to generate a lot of energy through solar, we will not rely on hydropower dams as much and we will not worry about power shortages, particularly during the dry season.”
Cambodia currently has a 10 MW solar farm in Bavet city and a 20 MW one in Kampong Speu province.