Thailand, Cambodia to establish power plant working group

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PHNOM PENH, Dec 30 – Thailand and Cambodia are to establish a working group to facilitate cooperation for the Stung Num hydropower plant and a coal-fired power plant on Koh Kong after both countries agreed on electricity sharing.

Thailand’s Minister of Energy Pichai Naripthaphan and Minister of Foreign Affairs Surapong Tovichakchaikul were officially visiting Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen Thursday when the Cambodian leader raised the issue.

Mr Pichai said the matter had been on hold due to political problems between the two nations.

According to Mr Pichai, the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) was assigned to discuss with Cambodia in detail, as it is to purchase power as stated in the existing agreement.

EGAT subsidiary EGAT International was tasked to further study both power plant projects.

He said that both countries agreed that it would be beneficial for the Stung Num power plant to be in Thailand while the dam and reservoir should be on the Cambodian side.

Cambodia’s Koh Kong Seaboard Company presented its study for 94 and 101 megawatt power capacities with a construction budget of Bt5.5 billion.

Water stored in the dam will be managed for Cambodian communities as well as for agricultural and industrial sectors in the Koh Kong area, and it will be sufficient for sharing some 200-500 million cubic metres with Thailand’s Map Ta Phut industrial estate in the eastern seaboard province of Rayong, as well as with Chantaburi and Trat provinces.

Regarding the coal-fired power plant at Koh Kong, Mr Pichai said the project now awaits a response from Cambodian investors, which is needed for further progress.

In April 2008, the Cambodian government allowed three private companies to compete for the project development. The condition is any firm succeeding in electricity sales to Thailand will be granted the right to develop such a project.

The three firms are Koh Kong Power Light (KKPL), Cambodia’s international joint venture, and Gulf JP Company. All have a power capacity installation of 1,800 megawatts.

Koh Kong Power Light (KKPL) is a joint venture involving Italian Thai Development Plc, Egco Group Plc and Ratchaburi Power Generating Holding Plc. It supplies coal from Indonesia.

The second group comprises a 72-per cent share from Charoen Energy and Water Asia Company (CEWA) and a 28-per cent stake from Cambodia’s joint venture with coal supply from Indonesia and Australia.

Gulf JP’s shareholders are GJP Holding Company (GHC) and Japan’s J-Power, with coal supplied from Indonesia and Australia.