The China Electric Power Technology Import & Export Corporation (CETIC) has signed a US$26M contract with Cambodia’s Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy (MIME) to rehabilitate the Kirirom 1 hydro project.

The 10MW plant which lies 110km southwest of Phnom Penh, was originally commissioned in 1968. However, it was abandoned in 1972 when the plant and its transmission line was damaged by warfare, denying power to Cambodia’s capital city.

CETIC will be re-building one of three earthfill dams that were breached at that time, and will also install two new turbines and re-erect the 110kV transmission line. Work is expected to begin in mid 2001 and be completed by early 2003.

The contract signals the effective rebirth of Cambodia’s state power sector. MIME oversees Electricite du Cambodia, which will soon be governed by a brand new electricity law and regulated by the Energy Authority of Cambodia.

Other hydro projects in the pipeline are Prek Thnot, Stung Kamchay, Stung Mnam 2 and the Stung Atay diversion.