The Bakheng Water Production Facilities Phase 1, which commenced construction on May 5, 2020, stands as the largest project in Cambodia's history of clean water infrastructure development. After an intensive 36-month construction period, Phase 1 of Bakheng, boasting a production capacity of 195,000 m3/day, became operational on April 21, 2023. This achievement is attributed to the Design and Build contract undertaken by Vinci Construction Grants Projets, a French firm and supervised by SUEZ CONSULTING, also a French firm under the leadership of PPWSA. Emphasizing sustainability, the construction adhered to international standards by incorporating low carbon footprint technologies that are environmentally friendly.
The Bakheng Phase 1 project, which includes the transmission and distribution network, required a total investment of 247 million US dollars. The financing was contributed by the following institutions, namely:
- Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) : Customs Duties, Taxes, VAT and Levies
- Agence Française de Développement (AFD) : 85 million US dollar
- European Investment Bank (EIB) :100 million US dollar
- European Union (EU) : 12.7 million EUR (equiv. to 15 million US dollar) (Grant)
- Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority (PPWSA) :47 million US dollar
Expressing his satisfaction, His Excellency LONG Naro, Director General of PPWSA, stated, “This success marks an effective and efficient cooperation with the development partners, contractor, consultant, supplier, in particular with ministries, the PPWSA’s board of directors, Phnom Penh municipality and local authorities. The completion of Bakheng Water Supply Phase 1 is a source of great pride for the PPWSA management and team, showcasing our capacity to undertake large-scale projects with invaluable social impact. Thanks to this accomplishment, the population in Phnom Penh and Ta Khmau, especially those residing in poor communities and peri-urban areas, now have improved and reliable access to safely-managed clean water. Contributing to the Cambodian national development strategy, PPWSA remains committed to expanding, improving and increasing the production and distribution capacity to ensure “the Water for All” slogan”.
His Excellency Jacques Pellet, France's Ambassador to Cambodia emphasized the excellence of this Franco-Cambodian collaboration, which supports PPWSA's efforts to significantly improve access to drinking water for a greater number of inhabitants of the Phnom Penh area. He praised the quality of the work carried out by PPWSA, a strategic partner of Suez Consulting, which designed the project and monitored its implementation, and of Vinci Construction Grands Projets, which built it. He pointed out that the second phase of the project was already under construction and that a third one was being studied, with the support of the French Ministry of Economy and Finance. A great symbol of the strength of the long established and deep bilateral relationship.
Participating the inauguration ceremony, Mr. Jean-Pierre Marcelli, the AFD Southeast Asia Regional Director, highlighted the enduring partnership with PPWSA, spanning over 20 years, expressing: “Bakheng water supply project is a fantastic example of how Team Europe can bring together its full support and leverage French cutting-edge expertise. I am thoroughly impressed by remarkable achievement of Bakheng Phase 1 and its inauguration event. AFD continues its supports to the Royal Government of Cambodia and to PPWSA in providing safely managed water service to all population.”
EIB Vice-President Kris Peeters, who is in charge of bank’s operations in Cambodia, said: “As one of the world's largest lenders to the water sector, we at the European Investment Bank recognise the need to strengthen the global water security and understand the significant impact of water projects on the local economy and environment. With our Bakheng Water Production Facilities project, and through our arm dedicated to activities outside the European Union — EIB Global — we are proud to support the development of Cambodia’s water infrastructure. Moreover, I am delighted to mark today the completion of the first phase of the project. Collaborating in the spirit of Team Europe, together with our partners, including the Agence Française de Développement, the European Union and the Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority, we are making a tangible contribution to the economic prosperity of Cambodia and its people. This important milestone is our joint step forward under the Global Gateway common objective to make Phnom Penh a better place to live with access to clean, safe, and affordable drinking water, adequate sanitation and hygiene. It contributes not only to better health but also leads to great social and economic benefits of the country.”
Her Excellency Carmen MORENO, Ambassador of European Union Delegation to Cambodia, mentioned “I am pleased to see this key milestone achievement coming into reality today, the official start of the operation of the first water treatment plant of Bakheng Water Supply project. This project under the European Union Global Gateway framework aims to help Cambodia meet its sustainable development goal No. 6 on clean water and sanitation for all, contributes to improve health and to substantially decrease use of plastic bottles. The European Union’s contribution of 115 million USD (15 million USD grant from the European Commission and the 100 million USD loan from the European Investment Bank) to the Bakheng Water Supply Project also contributes to the installation and connection of water supply pipes to poor communities on the outskirts of Phnom Penh. This is currently the largest infrastructure project supported by the European Union in Cambodia and one of the most significant projects in the region under the EU’s Global Gateway.”
- Jean-Edouard NASLIN – Regional Communications Manager, AFD – email@example.com
- Olga SUSHYTSKA – Media Officer, EIB – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Pok POUN – Press and information Officer, EU Delegation to Cambodia – Pok.POUN@eeas.europa.eu
- Samreth Sovithiea– Deputy Director General, PPWSA – email@example.com