Your Venerable Monks,
Mr. SUN HONG SHUI, Director of Sinohydro Corporation and colleagues,
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen Distinguished National and International Guests,
It is my pleasure to be here to inaugurate the 193.2 MW-Kamchay Hydropower Plant which is located in Kampot Province. On behalf of the people and Royal Government of Cambodia, I would like to congratulate Sinohydro Corporation on the successful construction and opening of the plant today. This achievement is another evidence of our contribution to socio-economic development and improvement of people’s livelihoods.
To attain this goal, the Royal Government has invested substantially on the public sector and mobilized the private sector to take part in developing power supply sources to reduce electricity cost and ensure adequate supply for enterprises’ operation and people’s everyday use. Moreover, the Royal Government believes that these power sources are catalysts with great potential for reviving the economic dynamics and ensuring growth, ensuring growth sustainability and social welfare. In this spirit, the Royal Government is convinced that hydropower is our highly potential source of power. Therefore, the Royal Government encourages both domestic and foreign investors to consider and invest in this sector. As a result, numerous project proposals have been submitted for approval from the Council for Development of Cambodia. Those projects are now being implemented. Among those, some projects have been completed and put to operation, for instance, the Kirirom hydropower plant project. We believe that the Kamchay hydropower plant will be a great boost of our power supply capacity to serve the needs of our socio-economic activities.
As having been raised by H.E. Mr. Suy Sem, Minister of Industry, Mines and Energy on the general development of the electricity sector in Cambodia, we can see these activities are the actual implementation of the socio-economic framework of the Rectangular Strategy – Phase II which focuses on restoring and building physical infrastructure such as irrigation systems, electricity supply systems, telecommunication systems and building human capital, as I have often simply referred as water, roads, electricity and human. In this sense, the continued agenda on developing electricity sector is an effective answer to our increasing demand of electricity with low cost, more specifically speaking, this is one of the most important agenda of the socio-economic development policy of the Royal Government of the Fourth Legislature of the National Assembly. That is the reason the Royal Government prioritizes the participation of the private sector to produce and supply electricity in provinces and urban areas and implement rural electrification projects with the view of low-cost and reliable electricity supply. Moreover, the Royal Government is also paying attention to accelerating the construction of electricity transmission line to connect to neighboring countries, ASEAN and GMS electricity.
Royal Governments of the previous terms of the National Assembly have successfully restored electricity supply in Phnom Penh and other urban areas as well as rural areas, albeit temporary and expensive. But, the development of our electricity sector has now reached another milestone, that is the Royal Government’s plan for constructing transmission lines and reliable and cheap sources of power supply as well as provincial and municipal electricity sub-stations so that we can supply the electricity produced by this hydropower plant to other provinces and rural areas across the country. This effort is not only the development of electricity supply foundation that aims at providing adequate supply of electricity to provinces and rural areas, but also assurance of stable, quality and cheap electricity supply in Cambodia.
Along with the development of the electricity supply foundation, the Royal Government also pays great attention to the future electricity security for Cambodia by promoting the development of domestic electricity sources, efficiently and fully utilizing those sources, and diversifying the sources of electricity supply so that we can minimize the future risk of overreliance on a single source. In this spirit, the Royal Government continues to provide priority to attracting the private sector participation in the development of electricity infrastructure, both the electricity production and transmission, by striking the balance between public and private interests. Along with this, the Royal Government also gives attention to improving regional electricity trade through bilateral and multilateral cooperation.
In the face of the constantly rising global crude oil price, GMS and ASEAN countries are strongly encouraging the development of alternative sources of energy. Cambodia, in particular, has the maximum potential of 10,000 MW of hydropower, adding to the existence of oil, gas, coals, and renewable energy sources such as biomass energy sources, solar energy and small-scale hydropower plant. In this sense, to harness natural resources and current technologies, we are also accelerating the feasibility study on the use of these highly potential sources of energy for providing additional electricity supply to ensure supply adequacy in the future. However, we believe that hydropower is a priority among other sources of energy that must receive the Royal Government’s attention because it substitutes the construction of fossil fuel power stations. We have been aware that, in spite of progress in the construction of domestic hydropower plants and import of electricity from neighboring countries such as Thailand and Vietnam, we also need to build coal-fired power stations to ensure stability of electricity supply during both seasons, because of water shortage during dry seasons. Based on this, as part of our future electricity supply will rely the import of coals, the price of our electricity will fluctuate according to the global coal price which is now constantly increasing. Moreover, according the preliminary notice from Loa, Thailand and Vietnam, the price of our imported electricity will be substantially increased in 2012.
In this context, we hope that the effort in the development of hydropower plant will help resolve the challenge of rising costs of electricity generated by imported charcoals and of imported electricity from neighboring countries, because the production of electricity with hydropower plant is cheaper than the production of electricity with imported charcoals. In parallel, for the development of each hydropower project, the Royal Government has thoroughly evaluated the environmental impacts. Taking this opportunity, I would like to inform Excellencies, Lok Chom Teav, ladies and gentlemen and our compatriots that we cannot only think about development without thinking about the impact on the environment and society, otherwise we would not be able to ensure appropriate environment for long-lasting and sustainable socio-economic development for future generations. In this regard, the Royal Government has established concrete and appropriate mechanisms for environmental and developmental issues by evaluating and maintaining the proper balance between development and environmental conservation, such as monitoring and evaluating mechanisms for environmental and developmental issues, in short since the first study phase for master plan until the evaluation phase of achievements of each project, and the results of this evaluation will be used as an input for the decision-making in the investment negotiations, for the decision-making in investment and the implementation of investment projects. In addition, in the process of the development of each project, the strategy of the Royal Government is use full capability of the project to reduce impacts on environment and society.
Today, the Kingdom of Cambodia will inaugurate the operation of the 1st major hydropower plant in the country, which is Kamchay Hydropower Plant. This project is invested in by Sino-Hydro Corporation from the People’s Republic of China in the form of Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT), with the amount of USD 280.54 million. This Kamchay hydropower plant project is a project that Cambodian people always wish to see since 45 years ago, and now it has come into reality and in physical form that we all witness here, and this hydropower plant will provide many benefits for the socio-economic development for us now and in the future. Taking opportunity, on behalf of the Royal Government and Cambodian people nationwide I would like to express my congratulations Sino-Hydro Corporation for the effort in the construction until the inauguration of the operation. Also, I would like to extend my gratitude toward the government of People’s Republic of China for the close cooperation with the Royal Government of Cambodia as a strategic partner, making this investment successful with the completion of this hydropower plant. The investment in the construction of Kamchay Hydropower Plant project is not only a big investment in the electricity sector in the Kingdom of Cambodia, but this investment also reflects the confidence of the foreign investment companies in political stability and development strategy of the Royal Government of Cambodia that has implemented in the 3rd mandate and has continued to implement in the 4th mandate.
Taking this opportunity, on behalf of the Royal Government and I myself would like to express my admiration to the management and all personnel of the Sino-Hydro Corporation for paying lots of attention and taking high responsibility in the management process of this construction and electricity business, complying with technical standards, quality and safety aspects to ensure the advantage of the project for the benefits of the socio-economic development of Cambodia and the concerned company. I would like to encourage the company to continue steady cooperation with the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy (MIME), local authorities of Kampot province, Electricity Authority of Cambodia as well as relevant ministries-institutions to ensure that operation and the business go smoothly. In parallel, I would like to request the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy, the Ministry of Economy and Finance and relevant ministries-institutions to pay attention to the performance of their duties and their capability with high effectiveness in the spirit of the implementation agreement of the project and sale-purchase agreement of electricity that are in effect.
At the same time, I would like to request all ministries, institutions, local authorities, and relevant units and all people to continue good cooperation with the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy in order to push the implementation of other projects such as hydropower plants, transmission lines projects and charcoals generating electricity as such in order to make our country have sufficient electricity to use with reasonable prices, stable and independent supply and sale of electricity to neighboring countries in the region. I would like to thank the government and international financial institutions such as the government of German Federation as well as financial institution KFW, LBT company of Germany, Asian Development Bank (ADB), JICA, World Bank, and NORDIC Foundation that have been actively involved with the provision of grants and credits that led to achieve timely construction of electricity physical infrastructure in the southern region.
I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere admiration to the Inter-Ministerial Negotiation Committee including the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy, the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Electricity Authority of Cambodia and Electricité du Cambodge (EDC) for having fulfilled their tasks with utmost efforts and capability until accomplishing this proud achievement; since the discussion phase on technical and financing documents as well as the contract negotiation, all of which have also contributed to the fruitful success of the project as witnessed here today.
Finally, along with the Inauguration of this Kamchay Hydropower Plant, I would like to wish venerable Buddhist monks, excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, national and international guests, armed forces, compatriots, teachers, students, management board and personnel of Sino-Hydro corporation the four gems of Buddhist blessings: Longevity, Nobility, Healthiness and Strength.