A power plant that officials hope will meet almost half of Phnom Penh’s electricity needs by 2006 was inaugurated Thursday in Meanchey district.
The 30-megawatt, diesel-fueled plant is run by Khmer Electrical Power Co Ltd and is projected to supply 45 percent of Phnom Penh’s electricity by mid-2006, said Phu Kok An, the plant’s owner.
The first Cambodian-run power plant in the country, its building costs will total $35 million when it is upgraded to 45 megawatts in 2006, Phu Kok An said.
“I hope there will be no more power cuts,” Phu Kok An said. “I won’t lose. I know the operation cost, and I’m fully supported by [Prime Minister] Hun Sen”
Hun Sen attended the ceremony and said local investors are showing a greater ability to be “good partners with the government.”
He urged the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy to “try hard to seek private [power] firms to join with state enterprises.”
“Electricity is not only necessary for daily living conditions, but it is also a necessary product to develop other sectors,” Hun Sen said.
He added that the government’s policy is to build a national electricity grid and to link it with electricity supplies in other countries.
Khmer Electrical Power has signed a contract with state-run Electricite Du Cambodge to sell electricity at $0.135 per kilowatt-hour, Phu Kok An said.
The power plant will require between 150,000 and 160,000 tons of diesel per day, he said. The diesel will be imported from Singapore.
Khmer Electrical Power was founded in 2003 after an Australian firm, Eclipse Energy Cambodia, ended its contract to supply electricity to EDC, said Suy Sem, minister of Industry, Mines and Energy.
Hun Sen also urged companies to supply power more cheaply.
“I think the most interesting point for me is that the price that KEP sells electricity at is much cheaper than previous companies,” Hun Sen said.