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ADB okays $127.8 M loan to expand power grid

Cambodia: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $127.8 M loan to help expand the Cambodian power grid at a time when the government is making significant progress in expanding lower-cost power generation.

The project will help the Electricite du Cambodge (EdC) strengthen its transmission infrastructure by financing the construction of four 115 – 230 kV transmission lines and 10 substations to help provide Phnom Penh and three other Cambodian provinces with a stable and reliable electricity supply.

The amount includes $4.7 M from the Strategic Climate Fund under the Scaling Up Renewable Energy Programme in Low-Income Countries and $2 M from the Clean Energy Fund under the Clean Energy Financing Partnership Facility. Both funds are administered by the ADB.

ADB Cambodia country director Sunniya Durrani-Jamal said the grid reinforcement project, along with ADB’s ongoing assistance to Cambodia in power system planning, shows that an adequate, reliable, and environmentally sustainable power supply can be provided at a reasonable cost to support equitable development.

The government plans to increase solar photovoltaic generation capacity to 415MW by 2022 – up from 155MW in 2019.

The ADB release said, “The government has set energy sector development as a national priority, as a more robust electricity supply will boost economic productivity and quality of life.”

“The government has made significant progress in expanding lower-cost power generation in the past 15 years, its existing transmission infrastructure is reaching capacity and needs to be expanded and reinforced to avoid supply interruptions,” the release said.

ADB Energy Specialist Daniela Schmidt said the project, by financing and constructing much-needed transmission infrastructure, will boost economic productivity, competitiveness, and diversification, create jobs, and support the country’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Source: The Phnom Penh Post