A major rice husk biomass power plant in southeastern Phnom Penh’s Chbar Ampov district went online on September 22, marking a significant milestone and a big win for renewable energy in the Kingdom.
Designed as a part of the Kingdom’s emission reduction efforts, the plant broke ground on December 8, 2021, in collaboration with Singapore-based Berkeley Energy Commercial and Industrial Solutions (BECIS), with capital investment of around $6 million.
Located in Prek Eng commune’s Roboh Angkanh village, the facility will reportedly use waste paddy husk sourced from nearby Prey Veng province to the east, and initially supply energy to the Heineken Cambodia brewery.
Speaking at the September 22 launch ceremony, Heineken Cambodia CEO Dolf van den Brink lauded the plant, along with the brewing firm’s close partnership with suppliers and partners, as significant contributions towards its Dutch multinational parent company’s aim for production sites and full value chain to become carbon neutral by 2030 and 2040, respectively.
Van den Brink commented that Cambodia is a relatively fast-growing economy regionally that is in a transition to a low-emission future. He highlighted the Kingdom’s successful carbon-credit sales and an underway feasibility study for a climate finance facility.
He voiced Heineken Cambodia’s commitment to do its part to aid the Kingdom on this journey, noting that the company expects to reduce up to 60 per cent in CO2 emissions in production with the $6 million biomass power plant online.
This would save 17,000 tonnes of CO2 per year, claimed a May 5 joint press release issued by BECIS and the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC).
Van den Brink added that the biomass project would generate new jobs; benefit farmers, millers and other actors in the rice value chain; and turn organic waste into sustainable livelihoods for the community.
Speaking at the same event, BECIS CEO Eren Ergin shared that one of BECIS Cambodia’s key associated projects would be to share knowledge with local communities and schools on renewable solutions and circular economy initiatives, using the plant as an example.
Minister of Environment Say Samal, who presided over the ceremony, argued that the biomass power plant would “directly contribute” to government efforts to tackle environmental issues.
He asserted that the plant “clearly reflects” investor confidence in government policy as well as long-term visions for Cambodia’s burgeoning economy.
The minister called on investors to adhere to Cambodia’s rules and regulations concerning environmental protection and sustainability, voicing confidence that private sector players will “highly prioritise” eco-friendliness in their projects and help promote a “good environment and sustainable development” in the Kingdom.