Foreign Firm Blamed for Outage in Stung Treng

Representatives of state-owned Electricite du Cambodge on Mon­­day blamed six months of elec­tri­city shortfall in the Stung Treng provincial capital on a South Ko­rean company hired to reestablish the city’s electricity grid.

Since Stung Treng town’s main power generator broke down in late June, residents have been with­out a working power grid while they wait to be connected to a new generator.

Locals claim that thousands of people have been left with no electricity.

The head of EDC’s office in Stung Treng, Pov Angkeavy, said that all complaints regarding the lack of electricity should be made to the South Korean firm Hyundai Consortium and EDC officials in Phnom Penh.

“When I ask they say it is finished soon,” Pov Angkeavy said of the company.

He said that the South Korean firm had won the contract to establish the city’s grid after the company previously contracted by EDC to do so closed down in 2004.

Tan Kim Vin, director general for EDC, said Hyundai Consort­ium was slow in reconnecting houses in the city because the requir­ed equipment had to be brought in from South Korea.

“The factory is already built, we are just waiting to supply the electricity,” he said.

However, local authorities and residents claimed on Sunday that only two people are currently working to set up the electricity connections.

Representatives from Hyundai Consortium did not return calls when contacted on Monday.

Heng Vicheta, director of Sok Sambath Hotel in Stung Treng, said the city’s streets were not lit at night due to the power shortfall.

As with many other businesses in town, Heng Vicheta said his hotel’s electricity was from a private generator running on expensive gasoline.

“I want to have government electricity soon because the cost for petroleum is high. If we had the government electricity it would be good for business,” he said.

 

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