Hot weather, lack of supply causes Phnom Penh's blackouts

12:42, May 12, 2010      

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Rolling blackouts are being conducted in areas of Phnom Penh because the city's power usage is exceeding its capacity, local media reported on Wednesday.

The Electricite du Cambodge (EDC) official, who declined to be named, was quoted by the Cambodia Daily as saying that the current stretch of hot weather was to blame for the blackouts in Phnom Penh.

"The requirement of people using power is higher than our ability .... It is 10 percent higher than our ability," he was quoted as saying. "The blackout relates to the hot weather and the electricity generator being broken from overuse."

The official said EDC has been cutting power to difference areas in Phnom Penh for one to two hours each day to mitigate the problem.

The official said that Phnom Penh customers currently demand about 270 megawatts of power, but EDC only has the ability to supply 240 megawatts.

Keo Rattanak, director of EDC, confirmed that the blackouts were due to a lack of supply, but added that other factors were involved, such as equipment maintenance before the coming rainy season and the renovation of the Phnom Penh roads and drainage system.

Oum Ryna, deputy director of the meteorology department at the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology, said that the weather in April and May was hotter this year than last year.

Ryna said the temperature had risen to 40 degrees in Phnom Penh on Monday, adding that the temperature had been averaging about 41 degrees in Battambang and Siem Reap provinces since the end of April.

Source: Xinhua
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