The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said today it will extend a loan of USD 7.64 million to support the construction of a 100-MW photovoltaic (PV) park in Cambodia.
The National Solar Park Project was developed with grants from the governments of Canada and Singapore and envisages the installation of a power plant in Kampong Chhnang Province, related facilities and a power transmission system connecting to the main grid near Phnom Penh.
The PV capacity will be added in two phases, of 60 MW and 40 MW, respectively, by Electricite du Cambodge (EDC). The utility will award contracts to independent power producers through a competitive tender, to be organised with ABD’s assistance.
In addition to the ADB loan, the project will also get a USD-11-million loan and USD 3 million in grant financing from the Strategic Climate Fund of the World Bank’s Climate Investment Funds (CIFs), and also a technical assistance grant of USD 500,000 from the Republic of Korea e-Asia and Knowledge Partnership Fund. ADB said it will take care of administering the funds.
The project is seen to help Cambodia diversify its energy mix and improve the competitiveness of its economy, ADB said. “Having reliable, sustainable, and affordable energy sources is crucial for the economic development of a rapidly expanding country such as Cambodia,” said ADB Principal Climate Change Specialist Pradeep Tharakan. “ADB’s assistance will not only help diversify Cambodia’s energy mix through solar power development but also help the country meet its greenhouse gas emissions reductions target, as per the Paris climate agreement,” he said.
The lender estimates that by 2021, around 200 MW of solar can be added there, relying on available technology and without disrupting the grid. In 2018, Cambodia’s installed electricity capacity totaled nearly 2,175 MWs, with hydropower accounting for 1,330 MWs, or about 62 percent, and fossil fuels-based generation accounting for 780 MWs, or about 36 percent, it added.
At present, almost 5 million Cambodians have no access to electricity. The National Solar Park Project will enable the Electricity of Cambodia to construct a 100-MW capacity solar power park and other related facilities, including access roads, fencing, and drainage systems, in Kampong Chhnang province, north of Phnom Penh.