Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ministry asked about Mekong plan

Ministry asked about Mekong plan

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Members of the Supreme Consultation and Advisory Council on Thursday listen to Minister of Mines and Energy Suy Sem discuss a proposed plan to develop a sizeable stretch of the Mekong River and the recent increase in electricity bills despite a spate of power cuts. Ministry of Mines and Energy

Ministry asked about Mekong plan

A member of the Supreme Consultation Forum told The Post on Thursday that he had questioned the Ministry of Mines and Energy over its position regarding a proposed project to develop a sizeable stretch of the Mekong River.

Pich Sros, president of the Cambodian Youth Party, also raised the subject of the recent increase in electricity bills despite a spate of power cuts.

Sros was speaking after a Supreme Consultation Forum attended by the Minister of Mines and Energy and the chairman of Electricite du Cambodge (EdC) on Thursday.

He said he raised a question to Minister of Mines and Energy Suy Sem regarding the ministry’s stance on a proposed project by the Try Pheap Group Co Ltd for developing an extensive portion of the Mekong.

He told The Post on Thursday that he was worried the development of riversides was being used as a pretext for sand dredging.

“When the sand runs out from dredging, [we] are afraid there will be no support for riverbanks and our rivers will be negatively affected,” he said.

Sros said he wanted the Ministry of Mines and Energy to conduct research on the effects of sand dredging.

Ministry spokesman Yos Monirath told The Post on Thursday that Try Pheap had made a request to the government, with Prime Minister Hun Sen instructing Lim Kean Hor, Minister of Water Resources and Meteorology, to lead a study to evaluate the project.

The Ministry had therefore yet to take a position as it was still waiting for the assessment study, Monirath said.

According to a Council of Ministers letter dated May 7, the government requested Kean Hor to discuss with the relevant institutions, Try Pheap Engineering and Construction Co Ltd “requesting a principle for permission” to study restoring the banks of the Mekong River from Kandal province’s Ka’am Samnor commune near the Cambodia-Vietnam border to Kampong Cham and Kratie provinces, and the Tonle Bassac.

Sros also asked the chairman of EdC, Keo Ratanak, whether there was a second option for electricity supply when water levels in the reservoirs of hydroelectric dams were low.

“We cannot have only one option. Power outages occurred often recently but electricity bills increased. What solution does EdC have for the citizens who have complained about this throughout the country . . . no electricity but instead increased electricity bills?” Sros asked.

Sros said Ratanak blamed the recent high temperatures and heavy consumption of electricity by the general public.

“I don’t understand this point. I have had this experience. My home did not consume a lot of [electricity] when the temperature was not hot too, but the [electricity bill] still increased.”

The director-general of the General Department of Mines and Energy Victor Zona could not be reached for comment by press time.

MOST VIEWED

  • Omicron patients can stay home: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has given the green light for anyone who contracts the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron mutation or any other variant to convalesce or receive treatment at home or in any other reasonable non-healthcare setting. The new decision supersedes a restriction on home care for

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • Cambodia’s first ever anime festival kicks off Jan 22 at capital’s F3 centre

    Phnom Penh's first ever Anime Festival will bring together fans, artists, shops and other local businesses with ties to the Japanese animation style for cosplay competitions, online games, pop-up shops and more on January 22, with Friends Futures Factory (F3) hosting. F3 is a project that

  • PM eyes Myanmar peace troika

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has suggested that ASEAN member states establish a tripartite committee or diplomatic troika consisting of representatives from Cambodia, Brunei and Indonesia that would be tasked with mediating a ceasefire in Myanmar. The premier also requested that Nippon Foundation chairman Yohei Sasakawa

  • Demining rat ‘hero’ Magawa dead at 8

    A landmine-hunting rat that was awarded a gold medal for heroism for clearing ordnance from the Cambodian countryside has died, his charity said on January 11. Magawa, a giant African pouched rat originally from Tanzania, helped clear mines from about 225,000sqm of land – the equivalent of 42

  • Hun Sen gets 4th Covid shot, urges compatriots to follow

    Prime Minister Hun Sen and his wife Bun Rany on January 14 received their fourth dose of Covid-19 vaccine and called on compatriots to follow suit as the Omicron coronavirus variant continues to spread in the community. This marks the launch of Cambodia's fourth-dose vaccination campaign,