Singapore’s home grown renewable energy firm, Sunseap Group Pte Ltd has won the tender to build Cambodia’s first ever 10MW (MegaWatt) solar farm project and with that, it will also enter into a 20 year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Electricite Du Cambodge (EDC). This marks the first ever large scale solar farm project in Cambodia by the Cambodian government. Sunseap Group’s majority-owned subsidiary, Sunseap (Asset) Cambodia Co. Ltd will be executing this project along with EDC, a wholly state-own limited liability enterprise to generate, transmit and distribute electric power though-out Cambodia.
Cambodia, through this project, will see its first solar farm developed in Svay Rieng Province, Bavet City. The site is located 10 kilometers (km) from the city of Bavet and 130 km south-east from the country’s capital, Phnom Penh. The energy requirements of Bavet City and Svay Rieng Province adds up to about 40 MW, of which, 20 MW is imported from Vietnam. The solar farm will supply solar energy to residents in Bavet City and Svay Rieng Province. This will alleviate the demand from the load center in the region and reduce Cambodia’s carbon footprint with the supply of clean renewable energy from the solar farm.
When completed, the solar farm is expected to generate enough solar energy in a year to power approximately 2,600 households living in a typical 4-room flat/apartment.The solar farm is expected to be completed in the first half of 2017. Just to give you an idea of how big is this solar farm: It covers approximately the size of 10 football fields and will generate enough clean renewable energy to allow Bavet City to offset 5,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually. This project also falls in line with the Cambodia’s plan to increase the country’s energy security and provide electricity to 100% of villages in Cambodia by 2020.
Sunseap’s Director, Mr Frank Phuan shares, “This project is indicative of Sunseap’s move towards the international market as we focus on deploying large scale photovoltaic (PV) systems. Cambodia is a region where there are a lot of potential for solar development, particularly in rural electrification, we hope that this project will provide an impetus for future solar projects in Cambodia.”
Said Mr Kow Juan Tiang, Group Director for Environment and Infrastructure Solutions, International Enterprise (IE) Singapore, “Renewable energy is gaining importance as a mainstream energy source. Cost of implementation of renewable energy is decreasing and the effect of climate change is getting more pronounced. Singapore companies have developed strong expertise in renewable energy in Singapore and the region. IE Singapore has been partnering Singapore companies like Sunseap on strategies to own and develop renewable energy projects in Southeast Asia. This solar farm project represents an important breakthrough and milestone for Sunseap in Cambodia.”
About Cambodia’s Electrification situation
Presently, 66% of villages and 55% of households have access to grid quality electricity, with the majority of this group situated in developed regions of Cambodia. Solar energy generated through this project will not only provide clean renewable energy to the community, but it will also help diversify Cambodia’s energy mix, which is currently made up of fossil fuels, biomass, hydro and coal. Furthermore, this solar project is expected to create more than 100 jobs in the solar photovoltaic sector, providing an additional source of income for the population living in Bavet City, which currently relies mainly on tourism and manufacturing as its main economic activities.
Commenting on the project, Sunseap’s director, Mr Lawrence Wu says, “Sunseap would like to thank the Cambodian government for its initiative to develop the solar industry in Cambodia. We are privileged to be the first to take on this development. Demand for electricity continues to grow in double-digit figures each year and this project will help to provide a clean and sustainable energy supply and reduce the reliance of imported electricity from neighbouring countries.” In addition, Sunseap will also provide a training programme to impart technological knowledge on the operation of solar systems to the Cambodian community.