New energy imports from Laos, a fossil fuel-based generator coming online in Kandal province and the emergence of solar power should ensure there will be enough electricity this upcoming dry season, the Mines and Energy Ministry said.

A new power plant in Kandal’s Lvea Em district will produce 200 MW, imports from Laos will be increased by up to 200 MW, and solar generators in Kandal and Kampong Speu provinces will have a total capacity of 90 MW, making up for this year’s shortfall, said Victor Zunea, the ministry’s energy department director.

“Because of our experience last year, now we have prepared for better stability in the electricity supply by improving sources,” Zunea said.

Earlier this year, a shortage in power generation from the country’s hydroelectric dams due to low water levels caused regular blackouts across the country.

At the time, the government announced it would lease ships from Turkey to generate electricity offshore.

However, Zunea said the plan turned out to be too expensive.

Cambodia’s demand for electricity reached 2,650 MW in 2018, he added. About 85 percent was supplied locally, with the remainder coming from Vietnam, Thailand and Laos. About half of the total was generated by hydropower dams, he said.

Chan Yutha, spokesman for the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology, said last month that waters in the country’s rivers were already receding rapidly ahead of the upcoming dry season, but he was confident that enough of it had been captured in reservoirs.

At a conference in March, Ty Norin, secretary of state at the Energy Ministry, said Cambodia had faced a 400 MW shortfall during the past dry season due to El Nino, a natural phenomenon.