Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday inaugurated a 338-megawatt hydropower dam in Koh Kong province and heralded it as a significant step toward reducing electricity costs in the country.
Speaking to government officials in Koh Kong province’s Mondol Seima district, Mr. Hun Sen said the Lower Stung Russey Chrum hydroelectric dam would reduce electricity costs for those living in the province’s Sre Ambel and Botum Sakor district towns starting later this month. He added that they would see a further decrease in costs in March 2016.
Mr. Hun Sen said residents of Khemara Phoumint City and Mondol Seima district, which currently rely on electricity imported from Thailand, could expect energy prices to begin to fall in May.
“What will this 338 megawatts of power provide us?” he said. “It’s not just electricity used to light people’s homes, but it also creates thousands of jobs in thousands of places.
“It will supply [electricity] to factories, enterprises…and special economic zones that can create jobs for Cambodia’s economy.”
Mr. Hun Sen also said Electricite du Cambodge, the country’s national electricity supplier, would build a transmission network that will distribute power created from the new dam and from the recently completed Stung Tatai Dam, also in Koh Kong, nationally.
“I hope it will begin in early 2016,” he said.
Ieng Savan, deputy director of the Koh Kong mines and energy department, said electricity generated from the Lower Stung Russey Chrum dam so far only supplies 2.5 MW of energy to the downtown area of Khemara Phoumint City, while an additional 10 MW is being used to supply factories in the surrounding region.
“The electricity has not yet been distributed outside the provincial town,” Mr. Savan said, adding that transmission lines were still being built, but that he did not know when they would be finished.