Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday inaugurated a new coal-fired power plant capable of supplying 100 megawatts of power in Preah Sihanouk province and unveiled plans to drastically boost the country’s energy sector.
Speaking at the ceremony in Stung Hav district, Mr. Hun Sen said the plant, owned by the Malaysian company Leader Universal Holdings, will help feed Phnom Penh’s growing consumption of electricity.
Mr. Hun Sen said that people in the capital are using 10 times more electricity than they did 30 years ago as consumption increases 25 percent per year.
Last year’s dry season was a worrying time, he said, as it showed that the energy sector could not yet provide the country with enough power.
The result was that some provinces, including Phnom Penh, experienced a spate of power outages during maximum electricity usage in the hot weather.
The country’s few hydropower dams, although capable of supplying substantial power, are not fully operational in the dry season.
In Kampot province, the Kamchay dam can provide 193 MW of power in the wet season, but during the dry season its output is reduced to 50 to 60 MW, Mr. Hun Sen said.
The coal-fired dam is part of a project in Preah Sihanouk which will see another plant built capable of delivering more than 400 MW.
“This is the first plant that will be able to provide 100 MW and by the end of the year another factory, backed by a Chinese investor, will be built capable of supplying 400 MW,” Mr. Hun Sen said.