Mondulkiri province, Cambodia has commissioned two small hydropower plants in February 2009. The two plants built from $10 million Japanese grant produces 180 kilowatts (kW) of electricity per hour. So far, hundreds of places in the country have been identified where hydropower plants producing 100 kW of electricity per hour could be built and 30 places where between 20 megawatt (MW) and 2,000 MW of electricity per hour producing plants could be built.

Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy, General Directorate of Energy, Deputy Director General Victor Jona said In the future, we will build more of these hydropower plants in the country to expand the electricity available to rural people.

Jona also said that the officials hoped to supply electricity to 70% of the rural population by 2030 and cited plans to build between 20 and 30 plants.

Currently, only 20 percent of rural people have access to electricity, whereas the other 80 percent are accessing battery power, Jona said.

Kong Pisith, director of Mondulkiri’s Department of Industry, Mines and Energy, said that the opening of the two plants last month enabled 1,600 households to access electricity costing 1,600 riel ($0.40) per kilowatt.

Pisith said that the demand for electricity would be significant in the long term and called for investors to finance the construction of more hydropower plants.