Gov’t Signs Deal to Study Power Lines

Government officials signed an agreement Wednesday with a state-run South Korean firm to conduct a feasibility study on the installation of two high-voltage transmission lines.

One line would link the pro­v­inces of Battambang, Pursat, Kompong Cham and Phnom Penh. The other line would link Phnom Penh and Kompong Cham, Kompong Thom and Siem Reap provinces.

“The country badly needs transmission lines,” said Sat Samy, di­rector of the technical energy department at the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy, where the signing ceremony took place.

The high cost of electricity in Cambodia compared to Vietnam and Thailand is seen as a key deterrent to foreign investors. The country has been looking to set up links with the energy grids in Thailand and Vietnam in an effort to lower the cost of electricity here.

The Korean-run Poscon Corp, which is conducting the feasibility study, will cover all the costs for the project.

After the study is com­pleted, the company will meet with government officials to decide whether to invest in a build-operate-transfer arrangement or install the  lines with donor money.

“I believe that whenever we finish the transmission lines, we will be able to buy power at a lower price from Vietnam and Thai­land,” Sat Samy said.

Poscon President Soo Chul Shin, declined to comment on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Hun Sen agreed to stop a dam project in Battambang province at the urging of Actress Angelina Jolie.

In February, Cambodia and Viet­­nam announced plans to jointly build a hydroelectric plant in either Stung Treng or Ratanakkiri province.

“We decided to abandon the hydroelectricity plan, though we are facing an electricity shortage, because it is better to change the plan to preserve the forest and wildlife,” the premier said.

In February, Cambodia and Viet­nam announced plans to jointly build a hydroelectric plant in either Stung Treng or Ratanakkiri province.

 

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