The Royal Group, Cambodia’s biggest private firm of tycoon Kith Meng, has secured 168.8 hectares of land in Koh Kong’s Botum Sakor National Park under a leasing agreement to develop a 700 megawatt (MW) coal power plant, according to a government sub-decree. The sub-decree, signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen and released on August 6, stated that the government has reclassified the state-public land of the park, in Thmar Sor and Chamlong Kor village, Thmar Sor commune, Botum Sakor district, to state-private land as sustainable use areas.

The agreement is under the Ministry of Environment as the authority to hold state property and in cooperation with the Ministry of Economy and Finance, as the authority to manage the property in accordance with the laws and principles of the government, according to the sub-decree. The Cambodian National Assembly in March approved a draft provision of a state guarantee for three new power projects, one of which is a 700-MW coal-fired power plant investment by the Royal Group. The $1.344 billion project will comprise two generators. One will be a 350-MW generator that is scheduled to generate power in 2023 and the other a 350-MW generator that is scheduled to generate power in 2024. According to the National Assembly’s approved draft, the project is contracted under a power-purchase agreement with Electricite Du Cambodge (EDC). The agreement is a state guarantee that pays investors if the facilities fail to operate as per the purchase agreement.