VN Answers Hun Sen’s Call for More Electricity

Vietnam has agreed to more than double the amount of electricity it is to supply Cambodia following a request made by Prime Minister Hun Sen, a Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy official said Wednesday.

On Monday, Hun Sen said that he had asked Vietnamese Prime Min­ister Nguyen Tan Dung to in­crease the amount of electricity his country will supply Cambodia from 80 megawatts to 200 megawatts.

“We had anticipated that, in Phnom Penh, the increase in electricity consumption annually was only 12 percent. But the increase is actually 25 percent,” Hun Sen said.

According to Ministry of In­dus­try, Mines and Energy Secre­tary of State Ith Praing, the Viet­namese government has al­ready agreed to Hun Sen’s re­quest and struck an agreement with his ministry.

Phnom Penh’s current supply of 170 megawatts is not enough, he said Wednesday. The connection linking Phnom Penh to Vietnam’s power grid through Takeo province should be in place by the end of the year or early next year, he added.

In recent weeks, numerous areas in the city have reported regular power shortages lasting 30 to 60 minutes. At the present time, Electricite du Cambodge has to cut electricity at intervals in order to save energy, Ith Praing said.

However, such problems will soon be a thing of the past, he said. “We won’t lack electricity any more,” he added

SRP Secretary-General Eng Chhay Eang said that he supported the buying of electricity from Viet­nam to help supply the growing de­mand, but only if the price is right.

“If the price [of electricity] is too high, it will not help the country economically and dissuade investors from setting up businesses here,” he said.

According to Eng Chhay Eang, a greater focus should be put on trying to generate more electricity by local means, such as hydropower.

“We have only heard about this investment in hydropower, but there has not been enough substance to it,” he said.

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