The Beijing-based PowerChina Resources Limited (PCR), a shareholder of Sinohydro Kamchay Hydroelectric Project Co. Ltd, which developed the Kamchay hydroelectric dam in Kampot, expressed its interest in building electricity transmission lines in Cambodia.
This expression of interest was made when the director general of PCR, Du Chunguo, met the Kingdom’s Minister of Mines and Energy, Suy Sem, in Phnom Penh on Wednesday.
Mr. Chunguo said that based on the company’s success in completing the Kamchay hydroelectric project in Kampot it was now keen to submit a bid to build power transmission lines in Cambodia.
Mr. Suy Sem welcomed PCR’s interest to help Cambodia meet its rising power demands and said that the Kamchay project was a testimony to the company’s technical capacity to successfully complete a large power project.
“Presently, the ministry is trying to realize the plan to install power transmission lines nationwide. After the terms of reference are completed and approved, the project will be open for bidding tenders to both local and foreign companies,” said Mr. Suy Sem.
“I believe that the company [PCR] will have enough technical expertise and capacity to submit a good bid for the project,” he added.
The Kamchay hydroelectric dam, which is funded by Sinohydro, will operate for 44 years before it is handed over to the Cambodian government in a build-operate-transfer agreement. It officially started operations in December 2011 and has a capital investment of $280 million.
According to the report from the Council for the Development of Cambodia released in June, presently some 22.47 percent of Cambodian households are connected to electricity, with most of them in urban areas. The state owned enterprise Electricité du Cambodge (EDC) hopes to provide electricity to all villages by 2020 and to 70 percent of all rural households by 2030.
The CDC also said the government relies mainly on hydropower, coal and imported electricity in an attempt to meet the country’s power demands. The construction of power lines to import electricity from Thailand and Vietnam was finished in 2012. The government is also planning to import electricity from Laos and the construction of transmission lines to connect with Laos is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
Phnom Penh alone consumes 90 percent of the total electricity supply to the country, while about 80 percent of the population living in rural areas do not have electricity at all, according to the CDC.