An extra 7.5 megawatts of power has entered Electricite du Cambodge’s Phnom Penh grid this week as CPP tycoon Senator Ly Yung Phat’s private power plant begins testing its six new generators, officials said Wednesday.
At full capacity, the Cambodian Electricity Private Ltd plant will consume 256,000 liters of sulfurous heavy fuel oil every day, supplying the capital with 45 megawatts of electricity, said plant manager Tun Bunna.
Tun Bunna added that the plant should be fully operational by Monday, claiming that this would more than close the gap between Phnom Penh’s supply and demand to stop the capital’s epidemic rolling blackouts.
“There will be no problem with a lack of electricity in Phnom Penh,” Tun Bunna said.
The six generators, each weighing 120 tons, were imported from Finland, he said.
The capital currently requires approximately 130 megawatts during peak hours, and is about 12 megawatts short, according to EdC.
Chea Sunhel, EdC’s transmission department director in charge of power cuts, said he welcomes the new power source and hopes for an end to residents cursing him because their power has gone out.
He added that the shortage had affected many residents, but acknowledged that certain customers—Phnom Penh International Airport, government buildings and some senior officials’ homes—were spared by the blackouts.
“For the residences of some top leaders, we would keep them lit up because they work for the government,” Chea Sunhel admitted, though he declined to reveal exactly which high-ranking officials had been spared the blackouts.
He also admitted what many had suspected: that poorer suburban areas had sometimes suffered more cuts to keep central Phnom Penh charged.
“Please just wait a bit, then there will not be any more cutoffs,” he said.
Residents around Minister of Defense Tea Banh’s Tuol Kok district residence said Wednesday that his power never seemed to go out, so they suspect that he was one of the special no-outage customers.
But Tea Banh had another explanation, adding that he too is subject to the power cuts.
“There are two to three power cuts per day, every day, especially around twilight,” he said.
“Electricity doesn’t differentiate. They cut off the line to my house. But I have a generator for backup,” he added.