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ADB okays $16M loan for solar farm

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Japanese-LED Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $16.4 million loan for a new 60MW alternating-current solar farm in Kampong Chhnang province’s southwestern district of Teuk Phos. Heng Chivoan

ADB okays $16M loan for solar farm

Japanese-led Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $16.4 million loan for a new 60MW alternating-current solar farm in Kampong Chhnang province’s southwestern district of Teuk Phos.

This comes after the Council for the Development of Cambodia’s (CDC) on February 5 gave nod to the project, which the council noted had capital investment of $37.4 million and would be developed and operated by a Thai special purpose vehicle named Prime Road Alternative (Cambodia) Co Ltd.

ADB said: “The project is the culmination of a ‘One ADB’ effort over several years involving [its] SERD [Southeast Asia Department], SDCC [Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department], OPPP [Office of Public-Private Partnership] and PSOD [Private Sector Operations Department].

“The ADB financing will meet the borrower’s requirements for longer-tenor, [US] dollar-denominated project financing, which local financial institutions are unable to provide,” it asserted.

“ADB has been leading the transaction and will mobilise over $5 of co-financing from commercial, development finance, and concessional sources – including Canadian Climate Fund for the Private Sector in Asia II – for every $1 of ADB investment.

“Classified effective gender mainstreaming, the project will also promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in Cambodia,” said the Metro Manila-based multilateral lender.

Provincial Department of Mines and Energy director Uk Ros told The Post on February 18 that the new solar farm would be managed by state-run electricity supplier Electricite du Cambodge (EdC).

“We’re nearly done with the environmental and social impact assessment of the project and it’s been determined that there won’t be much impact on the environment or society. The project will run smoothly,” he said.

Unsure of the timeframe for construction and with a precise area yet to be demarcated, Ros said the project would likely be built on 80-100ha in Teuk Phos near the border with Samaki Meanchey district to the southeast.

“It will provide socio-economic benefits as well as improve life of those living in the area,” he said.

ADB said in a September 2019 press release that auction for the project, which was conducted by EdC, ended with Prime Road Alternative’s lowest bid of $0.3877 per kilowatt-hour.

Meanwhile, a 40MW solar farm is in the pipeline for Kampong Chhnang, as the government prepares bidding documents submitted for the solar tender, according to Victor Jona, director-general of the Ministry of Mines and Energy’s General Department of Energy.

“The 40MW solar power plant is initiated by Asian Development Bank, which will help prepare the bidding documents for us,” he said, adding that the project is scheduled for completion in the third quarter of this year.

And another 60MW solar power farm in Teuk Phos district was connected to the national grid in April, which brought the Kingdom’s total solar-power generation to 150MW, according to Jona.

The project, located in Taing Krasaing commune’s Romeas village, is developed by SchneiTec Renewable Co Ltd, a joint venture between Chinese and local partners.

Jona claimed that three solar farms with a total 120MW of installed capacities are on track to be connected to the national grid by this year’s end.

He listed the projects as a 60MW solar farm in Battambang province, a 30MW project in Pursat province and another 30MW facility in Banteay Meanchey province.

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