Dam Interest Rate Blasted

Criticism of the Kirirom Dam hy­dro­­power project in the Nat­ional Assembly Monday focused on the 8 percent interest rate the Central Chinese Bank is charging builders of the proposed plant.

The Assembly is being asked to approve a government measure that would cover any potential loss suffered by the Chinese Electric Power Tech­nology Im­port & Export Corp. Some lawmakers complained about the risk Cambodia’s treasury would be assuming.

A large nation like China and its bank should offer a better deal, Fun­cinpec legislator Klok Bud­dhi said. “The interest rate should be much lower, so Cambodians can have access to electricity at lower prices.”

Lawmakers also complained about the 30-year lease period before Cambodia would actually own the hydroelectric equipment, pointing out the technology would be obsolete in 30 years.

Ith Prang, secretary of state for the Ministry of Industry, said the deal states that all turbines, generators and other equipment must be in good working condition when it is handed over to the government.


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