Legislation signed earlier this month by King Norodom Sihanouk opens the way for the creation of a national regulatory body aimed at bringing Cambodia’s chaotic power sector under control.
The Electric Authority of Cambodia will issue licenses to power suppliers and distributors nationwide, helping to rein in the free-for-all of buying and selling that exists today, said Ith Praing, secretary of state for the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy.
The ministry’s function will be limited to policy making. The state-run utility Electricite du Cambodge and other private suppliers will continue to provide services to customers, he said.
Speaking at a provincial electrification workshop organized by the Asian Development Bank, Ith Praing said international donor organizations have encouraged Cambodia to restructure the power sector in order to provide better access and services.
“The country’s power sector is moving ahead in a right direction,” he said.
An expert from the World Bank said at the workshop that the law also encourages greater promotion of independent power providers. He said such participation will ultimately bring electricity prices down and improve the population’s access to energy.
Ith Praing said the authority’s chairman and board members will be selected in a few weeks by the government and need to be approved by the King before they begin serving.
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