Public Bidding Opens For 60-megawatt Solar Project

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With the Kingdom aiming to increase its energy output, the government is calling on private firms to enter the bidding process for the construction of a 60-megawatt solar plant project in Kampong Chhnang province.

A solar farm in Svay Rieng, in the southeast. KT/May Titthara

The plant, backed by finance from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the governments of Singapore and Canada, will be built on a build-own-operate (BOO) basis, according to a statement issued by Electricite du Cambodge (EDC), a state-run utility.

EDC will purchase the electric power generated at the plant under a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA). The tariff proposed by the developer must be less than $0.076 per kilowatt hour (KWh) and be fixed throughout the term of the PPA, EDC said.

The project includes the construction of a substation and a transmission interconnection system to supply power to the grid, according to ADB.

EDC said the project is the initial phase of a 100MW solar power park.

“EDC will be the executive agency for this project and would like to invite companies to submit a proposal for the development of the project as soon as possible but no later than May 17,” the statement from EDC said.

The project will address the country’s need to expand low-cost power generation, and diversify the power generation mix with an increase in the percentage of clean energy, EDC added.

Yim Viseth, chairman of Electricity Authority of Cambodia (EAC), told Khmer Times that the government has created a working group composed of officials from the Ministry of Mines and Energy, EDC, and EAC to work on the project, adding that Kampong Chhnang’s solar plant plays an important role in bringing power to all villages in the country.

“Our plan is to have all villages electrified by 2020. As of 2018, 86.87 percent of all villages in the country have access to power. We are now working to connect the remaining villages,” he said.

Victor Jona, director general of the Ministry of Mines and Energy, said that investment in renewable energies is increasing every year. In 2017, a $12.5-million, 10MW solar farm was completed in Svay Rieng province’s Bavet city by Singaporean firm Sunseap. This is the country’s first large-scale solar farm.

Another plant, able to generate 60MW, will come online by the end of this year. Developed by Schneitec Renewable, the $58-million project is a joint venture of Cambodian and Chinese investors. The plant will be located on 200 hectares adjacent to National Road 51 in Kampong Speu.

The government recently said that it plans to have all 24 provinces in the country connected to the national grid by 2020. Five provinces still lack access to it – Tboung Khmum, Kampong Thom, Oddar Meanchey, Ratanakkiri and Mondulkiri.

Cambodia now has 2,141 kilometres of transmission lines and 33 substations.

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

This article was originally published in the Khmer Times.