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Two Ministries Plan to Develop Old Power Plants to Stop Emissions

PHNOM PENH: The Ministry of Environment, together with the Ministry of Mines and Energy, is considering energy development projects for older power plants to increase electricity as well as stop emissions by burning black oil inside the plant.

Speaking at a press conference on the Cambodian Clean Air Plan on Tuesday, Undersecretary of State for the Ministry of Environment, Chea Sina, said that the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Mines and Energy plan to repurpose small old power plants in Phnom Penh to modify and develop those factories to both improve power and reduce air pollution.

Undersecretary of State Chea Sina said that the collection of small power plants are under the project of the Ministry of Mines and Energy because of the low visibility of energy received from these plants, especially the impact on the population of people nearby when the factory is operating.

He said, “The direction is in the project of the Ministry of Mines and Energy, and we take small power plants in Phnom Penh, such as in Chak Angre or in Tuol Sangke [...] Both ministries have agreed. That we must liberate those small power plants from Phnom Penh because we want a clean Phnom Penh."

The two ministries acknowledge that these power plants have disrupted the lives of people living nearby when in operation, as they emit black smoke as well as flames by runing on black oil, unlike modern coal-fired plants.

According to people who live in Tuol Rokar village in Meachey district, the second power plant in the area often produces sounds and vibrations that disturb residents, and the plant also emits a lot of smoke. The plant begins operating from 5-6 am and closes at 10-11 pm.

Undersecretary of State Chea Sina said that this power plant has been operating since The Community of The Common People era, and produces less than 10 megawatts of power. He added that the factory operates by burning black oil, which causes smoke and debris to fall on nearby residents' homes while in operation.

He said that the plant only operates in the summer to meet the demand for more energy from the dam, because this season there is less rain, so there is not much water to adequately generate enough power for electricity. He continued that they have two options for these old power plants, either to relocate all those plants from within Phnom Penh, or to stop using them immediately.

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