As rehabilitation of Cambodia’s sole existing hydro power station, the 12MW Kirirom I, formally begins, the country has announced firm plans for a further 353MW, spread over three projects by 2016. These projects are Stung Kamchay, now planned to have a capacity of 128MW by 2008, plus Stung Atay and mid-SRC which between them will provide a further 225MW by 2016.

The projects are embedded in a US$1355.8M World Bank and Asian Development Bank backed power system development plan, US$ 992.3M of which will be used for 683MW of new power plants. New hydro will account for just over half of all new capacity up to 2016. Cambodia will in addition import 80MW of electricity from Vietnam beginning in 2002/3 plus another 200MW beginning in 2006. These plans do not rule out additional smaller projects.

The prime minister, Hun Sen, invited China’s State Power Corporation (SPC) president, Gao Yan, to survey the Kirirom area to assess the possibility of a Kirirom II and III. If these projects are feasible, China Electric Power Technology Import and Export Corporation, a subsidiary of SPC which is rehabilitating Kirirom I on a 30-year build-operate-transfer basis, would be given priority to develop the projects.