By Riyaz ul Khaliq
ISTANBUL (AA) - The sanctions on Russia, one of the major global energy suppliers, due to its ongoing war on Ukraine, have triggered calls for “saving energy” in Cambodia.
Urging over 17 million citizens to “save” energy “as much as possible,” Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said the country's energy authority Electricite du Cambodge (EDC) has been “impacted by the war in Ukraine (that started on Feb. 24) and sanctions on Russia.”
He added that the EDC, a state-owned company, has incurred a loss of $100 million, so far.
Russia is currently the world’s most sanctioned nation. Western nations are mulling blocking energy supplies from Russia but it has already triggered rises in energy prices.
Sen noted that the public, “especially the state institutions,” should save electricity as the government “is giving subsidies to stabilize the prices,” the state-run AKP news reported.
“Without the government’s subsidization, the electricity prices in Cambodia would already rise doubly,” he underlined.
Government can “generate enough energy to supply the local demand but the production cost is high,” the prime minister added.
The Southeast Asian nation generates most of its own electricity from hydroelectric dams and coal-fired power plants.
Cambodia also imports electricity from Vietnam, Thailand, and Laos.
Many Cambodians are reliant on car batteries, wood, and other traditional fuels to meet their energy needs.
“For cooking, about 62% of households use firewood, 5% use charcoal, 31% use liquefied petroleum gas, and 2% use electricity,” it says.
According to ADB estimates, fuel wood and other biomass accounted for an estimated 44.4% of the total energy consumption in the country while oil and petroleum products accounted for 38.5%, coal for 10.7%, hydropower for 3.6%, and electricity imports for 2.8%.
The Cambodian capital Phnom Penh consumes 90% of the country’s electricity but while the government says 98% villages have been electrified.