Construction works on Cambodia’s largest water treatment plant are now 60 percent completed, announced PPWSA during a field visit with officials from the Ministry of Industry, Science, Technology and Innovation, Ministry of Economy and Finance, Agence française de développement (AFD), the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Union (EU).

According to a press release of Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority (PPWSA) dated Mar. 31, Bakheng Water Production Facilities will increase water production capacity in Phnom Penh by 65 percent.

The PPWSA has been facing a rapidly increasing water demand since the early 2010s, spurred by intense construction activities and population growth. After doubling its water production capacity between 2012 and 2017, PPWSA now aims at maintaining its coverage of water demand and expand its service area to 100 percent of the city by 2025, with the joint support of the AFD, EIB and EU.

The Bakheng Water Supply Project is the major infrastructure project defined in PPWSA’s 2016-2030 Third Master Plan. The total production capacity of the facilities will be 390,000 m3/day constructed in 2 phases. This additional capacity will be enough to meet the current shortage in Phnom Penh, which is estimated at 200,000 m3 of water per day during the peak of the dry season. Only one year after the groundbreaking ceremony presided by the Prime Minister of Cambodia, the Phase 1 of the project has already reached 60 percent completion and is set to be put in operation in the first quarter of 2023. The full capacity will be reached one year later, after completion of phase 2.

The project is financed by two loans worth US$186.4 million from the AFD, a US$100 million loan from the EIB, an up to US$15 million grant from the EU through the Asia Investment Facility and direct investment by PPWSA worth US$80 million. The EU grant targets specifically the connection to the poor communities living in the peri-urban areas of Phnom Penh.

During the field visit, Yazid Bensaïd, AFD Regional Director for Southeast Asia said, “AFD is pleased with the rapid progress of the Bakheng station. Our partner of more than 20 years, PPWSA, is once again demonstrating its efficiency in the implementation of large-scale works. As the dry season is already well underway and pressure on water resources is increasing, this progress is a source of hope for the inhabitants of Phnom Penh!”

Kris Peeters, Vice President of the EIB, in charge of operations in Cambodia, said that Cooperation between the Royal Government of Cambodia and Team Europe, including the European Investment Bank, the Bank of the European Union, on the implementation of Bakheng project is an excellent example of how nations can work together to improve lives and economic, social and health outlooks for their people. “Together, we laid the foundation for green, sustainable growth and development of Phnom Penh, and built bridges between Cambodia and the European Union based on solidarity and mutual respect. Easy access to safe, clean drinking water will soon become a reality for hundreds of thousands of people in Phnom Penh and I am delighted to see the EIB be a part of this amazing achievement. I am confident that the introduction of the EIB Global, a dedicated branch for the EIB’s operations outside the EU, will allow us to replicate projects like Bakheng and increase our impact in over 160 countries around the globe we support,” he added.

“There has been a lot of progress made for Bakheng Water Supply construction works as we see today, a year after our ground breaking ceremony in 2021. We are delighted to see this progress, and that the European Union has supported one of the most important infrastructure projects in Cambodia. It will address the shortage of drinkable water supplies in Phnom Penh, by ensuring that the residents will have sufficient water supplies in the coming years, creating opportunities for thousands of jobs and raising the living standard of the population. Bakheng programme represents a concrete example of the spirit of Team Europe, where we mobilise our joint investments for the benefit of Cambodia, making Phnom Penh a better place to live and invest in the near future!” said Mr. Tihamer CZIKA, Chargé d’Affaires a.i. of the EU Delegation to Cambodia.

For his part, H.E. LONG Naro, Director General of PPWSA, said, “In collaboration with the AFD, the EIB and other development partners, PPWSA keeps renovating, rehabilitating and developing our water production facilities and networks. After completion of Bakheng water supply project in 2024, our production capacity will increase from 600,000 m3/day to 1,000,000 m3/day. This will respond to the increased water demand in Phnom Penh and the expansion of the capital in every directions. The completion of this project will contribute to the achievement of the CSDG Goal 6 of the Royal Government of Cambodia aiming 100 percent of people living in urban areas having the access to clean drinking water by 2025.”

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press

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