Battambang Gets Power Boost

A US-Canadian joint venture is preparing to build a temporary power station in Battambang pro­vince, even though the government has an exclusive agreement on electricity with another firm.

Jupiter International Resources Cambodia is moving to purchase for $2.5 million equipment for a temporary 2.9-mega­watt power station, Vice President Michael Fogarty said last week.

The equipment could be in the northwestern province within a few days.

Battambang town has suffered almost-aily power outages that have worsened in recent years said Nam Tum, the province’s second deputy governor. “We need help—the power al­ways goes off and on, off and on,” Nom Tum said.

Help is supposed to come from the British-based Anglo-Cam­bodia Holdings company, which signed a 20-year contract in early 1997 to provide two new power plants for Battambang town. A com­pany spokesperson said the project is stalled because the government has not met its contractual obligation to privatize state-run Electricite du Cam­bodge.

The Jupiter equipment is only go­ing in temporarily until the Anglo-Cambodia project is up and running, a Ministry of Industry official said last month.

The equipment is to be instal­led on a temporary basis, Fogar­ty confirmed. But he said Jupiter has asked the Ministry of Indus­try to allow it to operate for “at least two years” to recoup costs.

Jupiter and the US-based construction giant Cater­pillar Inc formed a joint venture last month. The new partnership aims to take on smaller power contracts in Indonesia and Cambodia.



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