EdC Reclaims Power From Wholesalers

The city’s power utility Elec­tricite du Cambodge will meet today’s deadline to take back control of privately operated power cabins, a senior EdC official said Thursday. 

Nou Sokhon, deputy director of distribution, said the utility has nearly completed reclaiming control of the city’s sub-stations, more than 100 of which were still being operated by private wholesalers a few months ago.

The completed task, which has been going on for several years, should spell good news for consumers, some of whom have been gouged by wholesalers.

Nou Sakhon said operators were instructed to sell electricity for 350 riel per kilowatt hour, but some sold it for as much as 500 or 600 riel per kilo­watt hour.

The EdC also will replace the old power sub-stations with new equipment to try to im­prove pow­er distribution and stop the theft of electricity, Nou Sok­hon said.

Taking control of the cabins is just one phase of a plan to overhaul the money-losing utility, which has slowly been privatized by the government since 1996, although the Finance and In­dustry ministries still own it.

The government considered a 60 percent rate hike in August to help stem the tide of red ink, but the resounding public outcry and threats by the water utility to similarly raise its own rates caused the government to cancel the increase.

 

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