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May 19, 2008

Cambodia will open nine hydropower dams in 2019


Cambodia will construct controversial Chinese-funded dams as part of a plan to feed its electricity-starved economy, according to government documents obtained on Monday.

The Southeast Asian country will open nine dams of various sizes between 2010 and 2019 to generate 1,942 megawatts of power, according to a government report to parliament obtained. At least four of the dams will be backed by China.

The US-based International Rivers Network last year said that two Chinese-funded hydroelectric dams already under construction threatened to flood huge swathes of Cambodia's protected forests.

The group said the Kamchay and Stung Atay dams, unchecked by public scrutiny, will wreak havoc on local communities and slow development.

The new government report said the Kamchay hydropower plant will open in 2010, while Stung Atay hydroelectric dam will open in 2012.

"By 2020, all villages will have electric power. (And) by 2030, at least 70 percent of the families countrywide will have electricity use," the report said.

The government also plans to build nine coal-powered plants between 2011 and 2020, the report said.

Only some 20 percent of Cambodian households currently have access to electricity.

Spiralling utility prices, driven by this lack of supply, are a major obstacle to attracting foreign investment, and the government has struggled to find a way to bring down the cost of power.



February, 2007


Australian Senate President Visited Cambodia

Australian Senate President Paul Calvert arrived in Cambodia , for an official visit in Cambodia from Feb.14-21 to strengthen the cooperation and bilateral ties between the two countries.

During the visit, Senator Paul Calvert was granted an audience with His Majesty King Norodom Sihamoni, and met Senate President Samdech Chea Sim, National Assembly President Samdech Heng Samrin, Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen and visited important cultural sites.

During meeting with His Majesty King Norodom Sihamoni, His Majesty stressed that the visit would further strengthen and consolidate the bonds of friendship and cooperation in all fields between the two countries Australia-Cambodia.

His Majesty the King also thanked Australia for playing its active role in resolving Cambodian conflict and granting aids for development in all domains to Cambodia, particularly, agriculture, healthcare, and human resource and legal field in Cambodia.

Addressed during an official banquet at Chamcar Morn Palace in Phnom Penh in the honour of the Australian President of Senate, Cambodian Senate President Samdech Chea Sim hailed Australia for constantly giving support to the national development in Cambodia since the period of peace keeping and national reconciliation in the late 1980s till now, he added that, Australia has also assisted Cambodia in improving good governance and rule of law, human resource development, demining, productivity and revenue enhancement of the Cambodian people, as well as military cooperation and anti-terrorism.

While meeting with Cambodian National Assembly President Samdech Heng Samrin, the discussion focused on strengthening and consolidation of the relationship and cooperation on legislative bodies between the two countries.

During a meeting with Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen, Samdech Hun Sen emphasized that, at this moment, Cambodia and Australia’s cooperation is better, especially in fighting terrorism, drug and human trafficking, and intelligence information exchanges.

In reply to Cambodian leaders, Australian Senate President Paul Calvert raised the exchange of trade and the close cooperation between the two countries on the prevention of terrorism and trans-national crime.

He said that the Australian defence cooperation program has also helped the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces in a number of areas, including Cambodia’s participation in international peace keeping, thus contributing to the achievement of a prosperous and secure future for the region.

Australian Senate President Paul Calvert also promised to carry out more cooperation and to assist Cambodia in its national development.

Cambodian Senate President Samdech Chea Sim and Australian Senate President Paul Calvert

Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen and Australian Senate President Paul Calvert

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