Toshiba to build power plant in Cambodia
Toshiba is the first Japanese company to win a power plant construction contract in Cambodia.
The Cambodian government has awarded Japanese-owned Toshiba Plant Systems & Services Corporation (TPSC) the concession to construct a coal-fired power generation project in Preah Sihanouk province.
Prime Minister Hun Sen, who signed the agreement on February 17, said the new power plant would address the energy deficiency caused by the shelving of the Stung Cheay Areng Dam in Koh Kong province’s Areng Valley.
The building of the dam was halted due to strong opposition from ethnic minorities in Areng Valley who claimed the hydro project would destroy their ancestral lands. The government has indicated that the Areng Valley would be designated as an eco-tourism site.
“We have had a problem with Areng [hydropower dam] before and we decided not to build it there since we lacked data from the study,” Mr. Hun Sen said.
“So we will leave Areng for eco-tourism and we will preserve the area. The energy shortfall will be met by a coal power plant in Sihanoukville,” he added.
According to a press release from TPSC, the company will be working with its subsidiaries in Malaysia and Thailand in order to build the 150-megawatt power plant in Preah Sihanouk province for Cambodian Energy II Co., Ltd. (CEL2). The generated electricity will then be purchased by Electricité du Cambodge.
“TPSC is the first Japanese company to win a power plant construction contract in Cambodia. CEL2 selected TPSC based on the evaluation of TPSC’s extensive experience and capabilities in power plant construction in international markets, its high level of technology and its ability to meet strict Japanese criteria for plant reliability and performance,” stated the company’s press released.
Mines and Energy Minister Suy Sem said during a Cabinet meeting on Friday that there was an increasing demand for investment in the energy sector to fill the electricity production gap in Cambodia given its rapid development and growing economy.
“Due to the country’s economic development over recent years, there is also now an increasing demand for electricity, making the rate of increase year-on-year quite remarkable. In this regard, investment in supplying electricity is a must,” he said.
TPSC explained that it, along with its subsidiaries, will be responsible for the entire project including the supply of equipment, engineering, construction, installation and testing of the power plant.
“Through proactive collaboration, TPSC aims to complete construction by November 2019,” said the press release.
In 2016, the total electricity production nationwide increased by 19.79 percent compared with 2015 while electricity imports from neighboring countries decreased 22.06 percent.
To date, however, only 58.23 homes across Cambodia, or 1,910,000 households, are connected to the nation’s power grid, according to the Ministry of Mines and Energy. Electricity prices in Cambodia are among the highest in the region.