Your Excellency PAN GUANGXUE, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Cambodia,Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen National and International Guests, Members of Armed Forces,Dear Compatriots!
Today, I am pleased to be here once again to take part in the opening of the construction site of the 246-MW TATAIY Hydropower Plant, following my presence in the opening of the construction site of the 338-MW Russei Chrum Krom Hydropower Plant on December 28, 2010.
Taking this opportunity, I would like to convey my warmest welcome to H.E. PAN GUANGXUE, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Cambodia to this event and I congratulate China National Heavy Machinery that has been awarded with the construction project.
This project clearly corresponds to the development vision of the Royal Government. In particular, we are working hard to build reliability and stability of the energy sector to respond to the increasing demand for investment, economic development, and urban and rural household uses. To do this, we have strived to develop domestic energy resources with minimal impact on the environment and society as well as expanding electricity transmission lines from neighboring countries and encouraging private sector’s participation to produce and supply electricity to all households by promoting the process of rural electrification.
Within this goal, the Royal Government prioritizes the private sector’s participation in electricity development, both in transforming natural resources to electricity and in building transmission networks by well balancing public interests and private benefits.
In this direction, the Royal Government has given high priority to attract private sector to participate in the development of electricity infrastructure including innovation the use of electricity source and power lines network with a fair balance between public interests and private interests.
In addition, the Royal Government has also focused on the exchange of electricity business in the region through bilateral and multilateral cooperation. We have not just thought about importing electricity from neighboring countries to temporarily fulfill the shortage of our need but we have also thought about developing a number of projects that, after being completed, can export electricity to neighboring countries in the future.
In general, Cambodia is a country that has high potential in hydro power with capacity of about 10, 000 Megawatts on top of the positive presence of ores, petroleum, gas, and charcoals as well as other renewable energy sources such as bio-fuel, solar, and other small hydropower plants. These energy sources have been playing an active role in the place of petroleum for electricity generation, while the global price of petroleum has steadily risen from day to day. Hence, hydropower plant is one of the priorities that the Royal Government has focused upon. In connection with the development of each hydropower plant project, we have also properly taken the environmental impact and environmental balance into account from the beginning of the projects to the completion; the weighing of environmental impacts results will serve as an important input for investment negotiations, a base for investment approval, and the implementation of investment projects in reducing impacts on the environment and society.
This hydropower plant project is the second biggest project invested by a company from China after the Russei Chrum Krom project with the capacity of 338 Megawatts, estimated at a cost of USD 500 million and in a form of Built-Operate-Transfer (BOT). Today, the Kingdom of Cambodia has commenced another new hydropower plant project, STEUNG TATAIY Hydropower plant, invested by China National Heavy Machinery Corporation from the People’s Republic of China through Build-Operate–Transfer agreement, estimated at a cost of USD 540 million with the capacity of 246 Megawatts.
Truly, STEUNG TATAY Hydropower plant will provide tremendous advantages to Cambodia such as contributing to the flood protection, creating tourism resorts, generating more jobs, increasing tax revenues, and especially increasing the capacity of electricity supply along with stability and energy security. In addition, it will contribute to the reduction of electricity price, which is truly significant for the socio-economic development. Furthermore, this project will be part of the Cambodia’s capacity in the construction of hydropower plants with total capacity of 10, 000 Megawatts.
Taking this opportunity, I would like to, once again, affirm that economic policy of the Royal Government of Cambodia is focusing on the rehabilitation and construction of physical infrastructure such as irrigation system, telecommunication network and human resource development, which I always say, in a few words, Water, Electricity, Roads, and Human Resources. Besides, the continued development of energy sector to ensure effectiveness and decent prices for the increasing need of energy from day to day is an important agenda of economic policy of Royal Government of Cambodia.
In this regard, in order to successfully solve the confronting problems such as high energy price compared to neighboring countries, which is a major obstacle to the strengthening of Cambodia’s economic competitiveness such as attracting the investment, increasing the people living standard, satisfying the increasing need of electricity, which partly ensures the economic growth with sustainability in the long term on average about 7% a year, Cambodia necessarily needs to continue trying her utmost efforts to control and manage her resources. At the same time, the development of this hydropower plant, in part, will fairly ensure the sharing of fruitful results of economic growth with equity, the reduction of input prices, the increase of productivity and economic effectiveness, which are important factors for increasing investment in Cambodia. Indeed, we have started the constructions of Kam Chay and TATAIY hydropower plants along with a number of electricity transmitting networks, and rehabilitated and strengthened the electricity supply in Phnom Penh and provinces in response to the increase in need of cities and provinces. Furthermore, urban areas along the borders have imported electricity from neighboring countries with decent prices, and have relied on small energy generators from private sectors permitted to operate within the framework of legal licenses provided.
It is true that investment on this hydropower project will require a lot of capital, hence to draw private sector to engage with the development of energy infrastructure investment including production, transmission, and distribution, the Royal Government will implement the policy and strategic framework with solidarity to ensure the effectiveness of the management of this sector. In addition, the Royal Government will continue its focus on the rehabilitation of physical infrastructure to support and develop private sectors by increasing public investment in transportation infrastructure such as road and railway, waterway and airway, also encourage production and extend electricity contribution network in urban and rural areas, and extend telecommunication network…etc.
Also, in order to ensure socio-economic development with the maximum attention to social and natural environment, the development of energy have to focus on capacity building and the institutional reform, exchanges of experiences, limitation, adaptation, and the selection of the necessary mechanisms of the Royal Government and people of Cambodia together with the effective and efficient strategy, which have been imposed, will overcome any challenges and obstacles for national progress. In this sense, I would like to suggest the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy, especially the Electricity Authority of Cambodia and Cambodia Electricity Company, to reinforce and build more capacity to improve efficiency management as well as increasing quantities and improving quality of electricity supply in Cambodia.
Taking this opportunity, on the behalf of the Royal Government and myself, I would like to congratulate the China National Heavy Machinery, which has put greatest effort in building, heading for the opening of the construction of TATAIY Hydropower Plant today. Also, I would like to thank the People’s Republic of China, who has always supported and has had close partnership with the Royal Government of Cambodia in promoting Chinese investment in Cambodia. In fact, the investment in TATAIY Hydropower Plant is a huge electricity investment in the Kingdom of Cambodia, which is not just only reflecting the confidence of the foreign investment on the political stability in Cambodia, but also showing the righteous development strategies designed by the Royal Government, especially the development of this energy sector.
Along with that, I would like the management and all staffs of the China National Heavy Machinery to pay high attention with strong responsibility to managing this construction process based on the international standard with high safety. In this spirit, I would like to recommend the company as well as the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy, Local Authorities in Koh Kong, Electricity Authority of Cambodia and Electricity of Cambodia along with other related Ministries-Institutions to continue constant cooperation, in particular, paying attention to the smooth implementation of this project with success.
Beside that, I would like the related authorities and all people to provide good cooperation with the competent Ministries-Institutions in order to promote the implementation of this project and other hydropower projects, including the energy transmission line and coal used electricity project in order to make sure that our country has sufficient electricity with suitable price, sustainable electricity supply, independence, moving toward electrical commercialization with the neighboring countries.
Before ending, I would like to express appreciation to the inter-ministerial negotiation committee, which includes the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy, the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Electrical Authority of Cambodia (EDC) and Electricity of Cambodia, who have fulfilled their respective tasks with greatest physical and mental efforts and ability to achieve this proud result since the start of the inspection on technical and financial documents as well as the negotiation on the agreement, including the above project with continued success and has come to the opening ceremony for construction today.
At the end, together with the official opening of the construction site of the 246-Megawatt Hydropower Plant of TATAY in Russey Chrum Commune, Thmor bang District, and TATAIY Commune, Koh Kong District, Koh Kong Province today, I would like to wish Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen National and International Distinguished Guests, and all Compatriots the four gems of Buddhist blessing: Longevity, Nobility, Health and Strength.
May I now declare the construction of the 246-Megawatt TATAY Hydrowpower Plant with success!