Concern over Cambodia, Laos coal power deal

Environmental impact in spotlight as Cambodia seeks to diversify energy sources

A floating home on the Mekong River in Cambodia. Securing a steady supply of power is a big challenge for the kingdom.
A floating home on the Mekong River in Cambodia. Securing a steady supply of power is a big challenge for the kingdom.PHOTO: NYTIMES

With plans for cross-border electricity grids growing in the region, Laos is banking on hydropower exports to earn revenue. But a recent deal to also sell coal power generated in Laos to Cambodia has sparked environmental concerns over this trade.

Last month, Cambodia's state-owned utility firm Electricite Du Cambodge signed a 30-year deal to buy coal power from two producers with a combined capacity of 2,400 megawatts (MW) situated in Laos' Xekong province. The two companies - Xekong Thermal Power Plant Company and TSBP Sekong Power and Mineral Company - will start supplying power from 2024.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 15, 2019, with the headline 'Concern over Cambodia, Laos coal power deal'. Subscribe