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6th China-built hydropower dam in Cambodia starts operation

PHNOM PENH - The sixth China-built hydropower plant, located in the Koh Kong province ofsouthwestern Cambodia, has begun producing electricity after more than four-yearconstruction, the China National Heavy Machinery Corporation (CHMC) said in a statementon Thursday.

CHMC started to develop the 246-megawatt Tatay River Hydropower Plant in 2010. The damcomprises three generators, each is capable to produce the power of 82 megawatts, thestatement said.

"One of the generators began operation on Wednesday as the construction of the remainingtwo generators is still going on," it said.

"The dam's operation will contribute to developing economic activities and reducing electricityshortage in Cambodia."

The statement said CHMC's president Lu Wenjun has recently visited the plant andcommended Chinese and Cambodian engineers and workers for their efforts to construct thedam.

CHMC invested $540 million to build the dam, which is a concessional contract of a 42-yearbuild-operate-transfer (BOT). Under the deal, the plant sells power to the state-ownedElectricity of Cambodia.

China is the largest investor in building hydroelectric dams in Cambodia. According to theCambodian Ministry of Mines and Energy, Chinese companies have invested over $1.6 billionto construct six hydroelectric dams in Cambodia with the total capacity of 928 megawatts.

So far, all six dams have come into operations.