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Hydropower boosts Cambodia investment

By Chen Jialu | China Daily | Updated: 2010-09-21 07:54

Earlier this year, CHD signed an agreement for the construction of a hydropower plant in Cambodia.

The project will be one of the largest investments to date in the country's power sector, said Sun Qingsong, general manager of China Huadian Engineering Co.

The estimated cost of the CHD facility is $558 million. Huadian will finance the project following an agreement with the China Export-Import Bank.

The plant will be located 180 km west of Cambodia's capital, Phnom Penh, and will have a 338 megawatt capacity.

Chinese enterprises fund the bulk of Cambodia's new power generating facilities, said Sun.

The general manager explained Cambodian officials hope to establish 10 hydropower plants by 2019 in efforts to reach set electricity targets.

Between 2010 and 2019, the country will add 2 gigawatts of power capacity to its networks, said Sun.

Cambodia's current power generation capacity is around 200 megawatts. Its electrification rate is 20 percent - the second lowest among large Asian nations, said a recent World Outlook Report.

The country's government has endorsed foreign investment, but low electrification rates are a barrier to entry, said CHD representatives.

Business Monitor International reports real GDP growth in Cambodia is 4.9 percent. That number is expected to rise to 6.9 percent next year.

New power generation will be necessary to buttress projected economic development, said Sun.

(China Daily 09/21/2010 page15)

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