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Non-renewable energy production

Diesel generator. Photo by Hiroo Yamagata, taken on 10 November 2009. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic.

Diesel generator. Photo by Hiroo Yamagata, taken on 10 November 2009. Licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Non-renewable energy sources are chiefly fossil fuels such as coal, diesel, oil and gas.

They provide much of Cambodia’s locally-produced electrical supply – according to the Electricity Authority Cambodia’s 2016 annual report, coal’s contribution to energy production went from 28 percent in 2014 to 47 percent in 2015.1 An EAC report states that the CIIDG coal plant is the country’s single largest domestic energy provider.2

These fuels are likely to remain significant sources of electricity generation for many years. This comment appears in the National Strategic Development Plan 2014–2018:

To meet the demand for electricity across the whole country, the Ministry of Mines and Energy will promote the exploration of energy sources such as hydropower, natural gas, and coal for the electricity generation.”3


According to Electricity Authority of Cambodia (EAC), the electricity generated by coal power plants in Cambodia increased from 168.75 million kWh in 2013 to 863.02 million kWh in 2014.4 The production rise is due to the full operation of the 270MW coal-fired power plant by Cambodian Energy Limited, and the first-phase operation of coal-fired power plant by C.I.I.D.G. Erdos Hongjun Electric Power Co. Ltd.5

The coal power plants that are operating, include:

  • A 13MW plant in Kandal province: this project was commissioned from Sovanna Phum Investment Co. Ltd in 2008 and has an installed capacity of 13MW.6
  • A 100MW power plant in Preah Sihanouk province: the project has been implemented by Cambodian Energy Limited. The first phase was opened in 2014.7
  • A 270MW coal-fired power plant in Preah Sihanouk province: the project is implemented by C.I.I.D.G. Erdos Hongjun Electric Power Co. Ltd.8An additional 135MW unit will become operational at the plant in 2017.9

The coal power plants that are planned include:10

  • A 150MW plant in Preah Sihanouk province: the project is headed by the Malaysian firm Cambodia Energy Ltd. The plant will be constructed by Toshiba, the first Japanese company to build a power plant in Cambodia.11 It is scheduled to become operational in 2019.12

However, Cambodia’s coal reserves are not yet being commercially mined and so the country relies on imported coal supply. For example, the large coal-fired plant in Preah Sihanouk province imports coal from Indonesia.13


The international NGO REEEP (Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership) estimates that there are approximately 200 diesel mini-grids in Cambodia. They often face very high production costs due to inefficient fossil-fuel powered generators and the poor design of distribution systems.14

The government sees a role for larger-scale diesel generation of electricity in Cambodia. In 2012 Suy Sem, Minister of Mines and Energy, was reported in The Phnom Penh Post as saying:

We encourage the building of giant electricity companies such as diesel-fuelled generators, hydropower dams and coal plants in order to reduce the high price of electricity that small-scale generators charge in rural areas.15

Oil and gas

Oil and gas have been found on Cambodian territory, but no commercial extraction has begun. All the petroleum products Cambodia needs are imported. Estimated consumption of refined petroleum products is 47,490 barrels per day.16;17

For exploration of oil and gas there are six offshore blocks, nineteen onshore blocks and four blocks in an overlapping claims area contested with Thailand. Maps can be viewed here.

Cambodia has no refinery with the capacity to deal with the oil and gas that may be extracted, although in early 2015 the Cambodia Petroleum Company confirmed its $2.3 billion oil refinery, to be built on 365 hectares across Kampot and Sihanoukville provinces, was in the early stages of construction.18

Last updated: 28 February 2017

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