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Cambodia’s Rural Communities to Get Sustainable Energy Access

Dec 09 2013

PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA (5 December 2013) – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Government of Australia are expanding access to economical and reliable energy for rural Cambodian households, including through the promotion of cookstoves in Svay Rieng and Kampong Cham provinces.

Aun Pornmoniroth, Minister of Economy and Finance, on behalf of the Royal Government of Cambodia, and Peter J. Brimble, ADB Deputy Country Director for Cambodia, today signed the grant agreement for the project called simply “Rural Energy.” Paul Keogh, Counselor for Development Cooperation of the Australian Embassy, witnessed the event.

“The project supports ADB’s key objective of improving access to affordable energy among the country’s poor and was prepared in line with the energy sector’s needs. It will address urgent rural electrification requirements which are fundamental to poverty reduction and to enhancing rural livelihoods and well-being,” Mr. Brimble said at the signing ceremony.

A $6.1 million Australian Aid grant, administered by ADB, will finance the construction of 220 kilometers of medium-voltage and 400 kilometers of low voltage electricity lines in Svay Rieng province, where less than 20% of the houses are connected to continuous energy. The project will connect an additional 8,000 households in this province to the electricity grid.

The project will promote the use of up to 90,000 improved cookstoves with higher efficiency in rural areas of Kampong Cham province, benefiting at least 63,000 women entrepreneurs. With less use of fuel wood, the improved cookstoves will abate 4,400 tons of carbon dioxide emissions on an annual basis. The capacity of the Electricity Authority of Cambodia, which is the regulatory body overseeing the power sector, will also be strengthened.

The Government and Electricité du Cambodge will contribute $2 million and $2.8 million, respectively toward the project’s total cost of $10.9 million. Electricité du Cambodge is the executing agency for the project, which will be implemented between 2013 and 2015.
ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth and regional integration.

Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members – 48 from the region. In 2012, ADB assistance totaled $21.6 billion, including cofinancing of $8.3 billion.

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