Laos to supply electricity to Cambodia in energy deal

Laos will supply electricity to Cambodia in an agreement signed by the two countries in Vientiane. (Khmer Times photo)

Cambodia will increase energy imports from neighbouring Laos following the signing of a deal between the countries.

The energy deal was signed in Vientiane on Wednesday during the visit of a Cambodian delegation that included Prime Minister Hun Sen, the Khmer Times reported on Friday.

Provinces near the border with Laos, including Preah Vihear, Stung Treng, Ratanakkiri and Kratie, will be supplied electricity produced in Laos, according to the agreement.

In the press conference that followed the signing ceremony, no details were revealed regarding the amount of energy that will be exchanged.

Victor Jona, director-general of the Energy Department, could not be reached for comment on Thursday.

The agreement comes amid construction of the Lower Sesan II dam in Stung Treng, which will be capable of generating 400 megawatts.

“The energy generated from Sesan II will be fed to the national grid and used in Kampong Cham and other provinces,” said government spokesman Phay Siphan.

The country now consumes 2,000 megawatts every year, with energy imports making up less than 20% of total consumption. Cambodia imports energy from Thailand, Vietnam, and, to a lesser extent, Laos.

With seven hydropower plants expected to fully operational by the end of 2018, a recent report by the Electricity Authority of Cambodia forecasts that total energy output in the country will be 1,329 MW.

The report said 538 MW will come from coal power plants, 251 MW from fossil fuel power stations, and 72 MW from renewable energy sources.

At the Laos-Cambodia Business Forum held on Wednesday, both countries also agreed to boost cross-border trade and investment, which is still low compared to Thailand and Vietnam.

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