Cambodia approves Chinese dam projects

The Cambodian government has approved two large hydropower projects that will be built with more than US$1 billion in funding from Chinese companies.

The new projects are Stung Tatay dam and Stung Russey Chrum Krom dam, both in the southwestern province of Koh Kong. The government said the dams would ensure Cambodia’s energy supply at reasonable prices.

But environmentalists are critical of the plans. Speaking in March, Carl Middleton of the US-based International Rivers Network told Reuters: "Poorly conceived and developed hydropower projects could needlessly and irreparably damage Cambodia’s river system, with
serious consequences."

China National Heavy Machinery Corporation will spend $540 million building Stung Tatay, which will generate 246 megawatts (MW) of power. China’s Michelle Corporation will spend $495.7 million to build Stung Russey Chrum Krom dam, which will generate 338 MW of electricity.

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