>@Olga Pascenco/EIB
©Olga Pascenco/EIB

Construction works on Bakheng Water Production Facilities, Cambodia's largest water treatment plant, began this week to allow an increase in water production capacity in Phnom Penh, Cambodia`s capital and the largest city, by 65%, from current 600 000 m3/day to around 1 000 000 m3/day expected in 2024. Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the water plant, which marked the beginning of works on the project financed by the European Investment Banks (EIB), the European Union, and France`s Agence Francaise De Development (AFD).

Kris Peeters, Vice President of the EIB, who is in charge of operations in Cambodia, said: “The European Investment Bank welcomes the Bakheng project as a major improvement to the quality of life for thousands of Cambodians. The project will improve economic, social and health outlooks for people of Cambodia and the European Investment Bank, as the Bank of the European Union, is proud to have contributed to its realisation. The Bakheng project is also a testimony to the power of international cooperation and solidarity and we look forward to new cooperation opportunities with the Royal Government of Cambodia towards a sustainable, prosperous and green Cambodia.”

Ophélie Bourhis, AFD Cambodia Country Director said: “AFD is particularly proud of supporting PPWSA in this incredibly ambitious Bakheng project that will improve living conditions of hundreds of thousands citizens in Phnom-Penh. For us, it is a major achievement of our long-standing partnership with PPWSA initiated almost 20 years ago.   France has been supporting PPWSA constantly in its remarkable recovery and development, for instance with the successful construction of three other water production facilities in Phnom Penh (Chhroy Changva, Niroth and Chamcar Mon) worth of 91 M€ loan.  Along with other European partners, we remain fully mobilized to accompany PPWSA and the Royal Government of Cambodia, in achieving the objective of universal coverage at best quality standards”.

HE Carmen Moreno, Ambassador of the European Union to Cambodia said: “As Team Europe” we are collectively committed to support Cambodia tackling the unprecedented consequences of the pandemic. I am happy to have signed our grant contribution to the largest European project ever funded in Cambodia, the Bakheng project that will create jobs and distribute clean drinkable water to hundreds of thousand people in and around Phnom Penh. We believe that our joint action in this huge national investment will make Phnom Penh a better place to live and invest in the near future!”

The water treatment plant is expected to meet the Phnom Penh`s water demand and offer access to safe drinking water to the entire city by 2025. To accomplish this, the local water authority PPWSA will expand its water supply network by 1600 km allowing more than 100,000 new homes and 25,000 new businesses to connect.

The plant will produce 390,000 m3 of water per day, taking water with pumping station at the upper Mekong River bank. It will include a water treatment plant and a transmission main of 2-meters diameter pipeline. The plant will be operated through a fully automated control system, making the PPWSA maintain its role as the regional «role model » for successful production and distribution of drinking water.  Currently, water supplied by PPWSA complies with all international quality standards and the loss rate is at a low record of below 10%. 

The project is financed by two loans worth 186.4 M$ from the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), a 100 M$ loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) and a 15 M$ (13.25M€) grant from the European Union (EU). Direct investment by PPWSA worth 80 M$. The EU grant targets specifically the connection to the poor communities living in the peri-urban areas of Phnom Penh.

For more information please see the joint EIB-AFD-EU press release.