Monday, November 19, 2007

Dam Dirty Statistics, Cambodian Edition

Despite being a country of rivers, Cambodia is too flat to have a lot of good unexploited hydro. There are rumors about oil and natural gas, but they're still in the "fond hope" stage. How will Cambodia develop adequate electricity supplies? Coal is certainly on the table; they don't have their own deposits, but it's cheap to import from neighbors.

Again with the fucking coal. Since her predictions of willy-nilly coal burning in developing Vietnam proved lacking in the evidence department, McArdle has simply transposed them to Cambodia. How ever will Cambodia develop adequate electricity supplies? It's not as if the Royal Government of Cambodia implemented a 1999-2016 Cambodia Power Sector Strategy or anything, and if they had, surely they'd have concluded that Cambodia is too flat for hy-

6 - 1 - Generation Master Plan
The Generation Master Plan has been developed on the following criteria:
• Base load thermal generation will be located in Sihanoukville to give independent access to imported oil and thereby reducing the amount of oil transported on the Mekong,
• Peak load thermal generation in Phnom Penh,
• Small and medium size diesel units for base and peak load generation in the provincial towns and cities,
Hydro development based initially on the smaller easily accessible sites such as Kirirom, and Kamchay and subsequently mid size hydro projects: Stung Atay and Middle Stung Russei Chrum and also the two Battambang hydro sites.
The generation expansion projects have been prioritized as follows:

Stage 1- (5 years 1999-2003)
• Private developers to establish a 60MW generating plant (IPP2) in Phnom Penh with a commissioning date of December 2001.
To rehabilitate/construct Kirirom and Kamchay hydro projects, which is accessible, located reasonably close to load centers, and for which feasibility study results indicate good financial return.
(low capacity transmission links (115kV) from Aranyaprathet (Thailand) to Bantey Meanchey, Battambang and Siem Reap, and connection from Vietnam to Takeo,
large capacity transmission lines (230kV or 500kV) dedicated to energy imports/exports with the first interconnection with Vietnam. The date of this first connection is dependent on negotiations but tentatively planned to take place between 2003 and 2008. Move from 6-5 of page 8)
The cost of generation development associated with stage 1 projects is estimated at $M150.

Stage 2 - (5 years 2004-2008)
Carry out the feasibility studies commencing in 2001 of Battambang 1 & 2 hydro projects;
• Carry out detailed feasibility studies commencing in 2001 for key hydro projects identified by the least cost scenario including Kamchay 47-125MW (possible commissioning date 2008 if viable) and other hydro power stations including Stung Atay.

Carry out feasibility studies of export oriented power schemes such as Stung Mateuk (Mnam)2.
Carry out feasibility studies for other hydro projects identified by the least cost scenario, Lower and Middle Stung Russei Chrum for commissioning in Stage 3 and also Sambor identified in the preferred development plan for commissioning after the year 2016.
• Commence feasibility studies of large export oriented hydro schemes.

The cost of generation devlopment associated with stage 2 projects is estimated at $M219
to $M410. The $M219 estimate includes the Kamchay site 1 (47MW) whereas the $M410
includes the Kamchay site 2 (125MW).

Stage 3 (8 years 2009 - 2016)

Development of 110MW Stung Atay hydro station by 2012.
• Development of 90MW gas turbine at Sihanoukville.
Development of 125MW Russei Chrum hydro power station by 2016.


Cambodia's most pressing environmental problem isn't coal burning, it's deforestation and airborne pollution from fuelwood and charcoal. 80% of Cambodia's energy supply in 1995 was biomass-derived. Cambodia can't run before it can walk, and the government's first priority is the establishment of a reliable national power grid. Yes, thermal power plants running on fossil-derived fuels will play a sizable role, but so will - gasp! - hyrdoelectric plants, and the increase in carbon emissions from the large- and medium-sized thermal plants will be offset to some extent by the reduction in the reliance on the small diesel generators that so many businesses and residences currently depend on, and a reduction in biomass burning. If the Cambodian government's current strategy results in an adequate, stable power infrastructure by 2016, the real (not rumored) petroleum and gas deposits could be developed for domestic use and/or export. There are also domestic and foreign private sector initiatives aimed at developing green energy in Cambodia, including solar and wind power.

Why not nuclear? We asked.

They asked the question of the World Bank. If they'd asked the Cambodians, the answer would have been: "We don't think we need it. We have a plan, you know."

But if the Cambodians are really smart, they'll train their giant cockroaches to run treadmills.

Cambodian Royal Government energy document courtesy of the Cambodia Renewable Energy and Rural Electrification site.

Complaints about patronizing American twits with an aversion to basic research can be lodged with the American Embassy in Phnom Penh, Tel: (855-23) 728-000


spencer said...

I don't generally get embarrassed for other people; I usually just point, laugh, make popcorn and enjoy the show.

But man, I really wish she would stop. It would just be so much better for everyone involved. Especially her.

Clem said...

The best thing that can be said about McArdle is that she inspires readers to learn what she doesn't know.

I want her to stop, too. After she's fired.

Gene Callahan said...

Yeah, because a government says it's going to develop hydro, that means it will work. Because, ya now, those government 17 year plans are always on target.