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Malaysian group to invest $160m in Cambodian power

Written By vibykhmer on Monday, July 13, 2009 | 11:14 AM

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PHNOM PENH, July 13 (Reuters) - Malaysia's Leader Universal Holdings Bhd (LUNS.KL: Quote, Profile, Research), southeast Asia's largest cable and wire group, will invest $160 million in a coal-fired power plant in southern Cambodia, a government minister said on Monday.

The deal aims to meet the increasing demand for power in Cambodia and will increase production by 100 megawatts by late 2011 or early 2012, Ith Praing, deputy minister of industry, mines and energy, told Reuters.

He said the plant would be situated in the costal province of Sihanoukville and was expected to take two years to complete.

Cambodia currently produces an estimated 300 MW of electricity and has planned to meet its demand of 400 MW with supplies from neighbouring Thailand and Vietnam.

The high cost of electricity in Cambodia, which has a unit price of $0.20 per kilowatt hour, has limited foreign investment in the impoverished country as it seeks to rebuild after three decades of civil war.

The government is hoping to attract $3 billion of foreign investment to build six hydro power plants and a coal power plant by 2018 and more than double the current levels of production. (Reporting by Ek Madra; Editing by Martin Petty and Jon Boyle)

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