Your Venerable Buddhist Monks,
Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Today, I am most honored and pleased to participate in the ceremony to inaugurate the Solar and Biogas Power Station, which was constructed under the cooperation on power research between the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Mines of Cambodia and the New Energy Development Organization (NEDO) of the Japanese Government.
On behalf of the Royal Government of Cambodia and my own self, may I extend my warmest welcome to all of you who present in this joyful gathering!
May I also take this opportunity to express our deepest gratitude to the government and people of Japan, as well as to those NGOs and other Japanese generous people who have provided financial and spiritual support to the Cambodian government and people. The government and people of Cambodia consider that the assistance has greatly contributed not only to the enhancement of the well-being and dignity of Cambodian people, but also to the sustainable promotion of good governance, respect for human rights and democracy across the country.
Specifically, the NEDO of Japan, with H.E President Suitomui Makino and his colleagues present here, has provided support to the cooperation in two study projects:
1. The installment of a solar power and micro hydropower system with 108.7 Kw capacity in Teuk Chha of Kampong Cham province; and
2. The installment of a solar and biogas power system with the capacity of 110 Kw at the Mong Rithy cattle farm in Cheung Kor, Prey Nob of Sihanoukville.
I recall that on 13 June 2003 H.E Gotaro Ogawa, the former Japanese Ambassador to Cambodia, and myself participated in the opening of the first project in Teuk Chha of Kampong Cham. Now today, we are greatly pleased to have H.E. Fumiaki Takahashi, the new Japanese Ambassador to the Kingdom of Cambodia, to help officially open this power station with us all!
I have been kept informed by H.E. Suy Sem on the progress of the projects so far from the initial stage to the completion of their construction and the testing operation of the two projects, that especially they started supplying electricity since the traditional Khmer New Year 2003, safely and sustainably. Thus, I greatly appreciate the committee and contracting companies for their good cooperation in implementing the projects to be successfully completed as scheduled.
Indeed, the produced electricity has been distributed for research activities and for the consumption by the general citizens, schools, health centers and pagodas as well as the Mong Rithy Group. More importantly, the contribution by people to pay the costs of operating the electricity distribution system is crucial for its efficiency and sustainability.
As you all may know, the development of energy and power grids represents one side of the Second Rectangle on Continued Rehabilitation and Reconstruction of Physical Infrastructure within the structure of the “Rectangular Strategy for Growth, Employment, Equity and Efficiency”, which I have launched in the first cabinet meeting of the Third Legislature on 16 July 2004. Within the Rectangular Strategy, the development of energy and electricity network becomes one of the priority areas, which the RGC will focus on to ensure the production, supply and management of electricity power with quality, sustainability and transparency. In this sense, the encouragement and development of the sector is key to the acceleration of national economic development. In fact, the needs for electricity power are important not only for the industry, handicrafts, trade, agriculture and businesses, but also they are of great important for every citizen for their everyday consumption.
Moreover, we all recognize that the use of petroleum is now causing damages to the environment such as pollution, acid rains, global warming and changing climate all over the world. Nevertheless, we cannot stop using it easily as we need power for our everyday life and for operating all kinds of engines. In this context, with recognition of the need for addressing the emerging issue of pollution and its impact on earth climate the Royal Government of Cambodia ratified the UN Convention on Changed Climate on 18 December 1995 and became the member of the Kyoto Convention on 4 July 2002.
All these factors have induced the RGC to provide greater attention to encouraging the development of recycle energy in Cambodia for the benefit of (i) reducing the impacts on environment of the country and that of the globe; (ii) enhancing the well-being of rural and remote area people through the provision of recycle energy and technology.
Therefore, with the aim to promote incentives in this sector and on behalf of the Royal Government of Cambodia, I myself would fully support and make myself ready to closely cooperate with other countries in the region and the world to search and select energy sources such as solar energy, wind, small hydroelectric power, biogas, etc. in order to transform these natural energies into electrical energy which is useful and beneficial for promoting incentives to incorporate technology into recycle energy.
On the other hand, I think that the cooperation of these two research projects with the Japanese government is the first project in Cambodia which has the criteria and benefits paralleled to the Royal Government’s policy which always promotes the creation of policies, strategies, action plans and other goals to encourage the development of recycle energy sector in Cambodia in order to enhance and expand this sector with the aim to extract maximum benefit from all natural resource energies that are readily available in Cambodia. This is a major strategy, which is appropriate and highly economical, and it is an energy, which has no impacts on the environment.
Moreover, with the great potentiality of the natural resource energy, which is plenty abundant in Cambodia, the Royal Government provides a special priority to promote more opportunities in this sector. In this sense, the Royal Government is now drafting a Royal Decree about the creation of “Fund for Rural Electrification” under the support from the World Bank, World Environment Organization, and Aid Energy Program Organization of United Nations. At the same time, I also confirm that the main aim of the creation of this fund is to provide support fund and incentives to private sector to provide electricity and services in rural areas in the recycle energy sector by helping people to get access to electricity with reasonable price and balancing to their everyday living standard.
Once again, I would like to express my sincere thank for the support, research cooperation and continuous pilot projects from NADO organization in Japan, especially H.E. Sutomu Makino, and admiration to all private Japanese companies that have actively participated in the construction of these two projects. I strongly believe that this cooperation will continue forwards in order to develop recycle energy resources into an excellent benefit for economic development and poverty reduction in Cambodia.
At the same time, I would like to highly appreciate for the participation and cooperation from all related ministries, departments and institutions including all levels of local authority as well as Mong Rithy company for setting up the inaugural ceremony of this power station, and for having facilitated every request and solving some problems belonged to the Japanese side in order to smooth the construction process and to successfully complete its construction as we all see on this occasion.
In closing, I would like to wish you all with the five gems of Buddhist wishing. To promote the development of energy sector and power network that contribute to economic development of higher growth, employment, equity and efficiency, I officially declare the opening of the Solar Energy and Biogas Power Station at the Mong Rithy cattle farm from today on./.