Sihanoukville CEL power station

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Sihanoukville CEL power station is an operating power station of at least 250-megawatts (MW) in Sihanoukville, Cambodia. It is also known as CEL 1 power station (Unit 1, Unit 2), CEL 2 power station (Unit 3).


Table 1: Project-level location details

Plant name Location Coordinates (WGS 84)
Sihanoukville CEL power station Sihanoukville, Sihanoukville, Cambodia 10.740213, 103.580827 (exact)

The map below shows the exact location of the power station.

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Unit-level coordinates (WGS 84):

  • Unit 1, Unit 2, Unit 3: 10.740213, 103.580827

Project Details

Table 2: Unit-level details

Unit name Status Fuel(s) Capacity (MW) Technology Start year Retired year
Unit 1 operating coal - unknown 50 subcritical 2014
Unit 2 operating coal - unknown 50 subcritical 2014
Unit 3 operating coal - unknown 150 ultra-supercritical 2020

Table 3: Unit-level ownership and operator details

Unit name Owner
Unit 1 Cambodian Energy Ltd [100.0%]
Unit 2 Cambodian Energy Ltd [100.0%]
Unit 3 Cambodian Energy II Co Ltd (CEL2) [100.0%]

Project-level coal details

  • Coal source(s): Indonesia


  • Source of financing: CEL I: US$140 million in debt from OCBC Bank, Maybank, AmBank, and Bank of China; US$30 million in equity from HNG Capital and MKCSS Holdings


In 2009, China Huadian Engineering Co was awarded a turnkey contract for a 100 MW coal plant by Cambodian Energy Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Leader Universal Holdings Bhd. The budget was about US$170 million. Work started on November 29, 2010.[1]

The 100 MW power station was commissioned in 2014. It was Cambodia's first coal-fired power plant. Starting when it was first proposed in 2008, the plant faced strong opposition from local residents over its environmental and health effects.[2]

Financing for CEL 1 power station (Units 1 & 2)

In February 2010, a financing agreement for units 1 and 2 was closed. US$140 million in loans were provided by OCBC Bank, Maybank, AmBank, and Bank of China. US$30 million in equity was provided by HNG Capital and MKCSS Holdings.[3] BNP Paribas acted as financial adviser to the sponsor.[3]

CEL 2 power station

On February 20, 2017, the Cambodian government said it was indefinitely putting off plans for a hydropower dam in Koh Kong province’s Areng valley in favor of expanding the 100 MW Sihanoukville CEL power station by 135 MW. Malaysian-owned Cambodia Energy Limited (CEL) was the preferred bidder for the project, beating out CIIDG Erdos Hongjun Electric Power. The plant had already received government approval.[4]

On February 28, 2017, Toshiba said it had secured a contract to build a 150 MW coal plant in Preah Sihanouk province from Cambodian Energy II Co Ltd (CEL2). CEL2 shares the same board of directors as Cambodian Energy Co Ltd (CEL) of Malaysia’s Leader Universal Holdings. The plant would be located next to the existing Sihanoukville CEL power station.[5]

Construction began in 2017. The unit was planned for operation in December 2019.[6][7]

In March 2019, construction on the US$600 million plant was ahead of schedule and expected to be potentially completed by September 2019.[8]

Khmer Times reported in January 2020 that the new plant would be commissioned in February 2020.[9] In February 2020, Forbes reported that the coronavirus pandemic delayed work in Sihanoukville.[10]

On its website, plant owner Leader Universal Holdings reported CEL II was completed and achieved commercial operation in April 2020.[11]

Social and environmental impact

In October 2023, a former employee of Sihanoukville CEL power station, who now worked as a fisherman in Sihanoukville, expressed concerns over the clustering of coal plants in the province. Local residents reportedly feared the enivonmental and public health impacts of CEL and Sihanoukville CIIDG power station 2.[12]

Articles and Resources


  1. "Coal-Fired Plants Elsewhere," Industcards, accessed April 2016
  2. "Mixed reaction to coal-fired plant," The Phnom Penh Post, February 26, 2014
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Preview of Sihanoukville Coal-Fired Power Plant (100MW)," IJGlobal, accessed October 6, 2020 (subscription required)
  4. "Gov’t approves coastal 135MW coal-fired plant," Phnom Penh Post, February 20, 2017
  5. Kali Kotoski, "Third coal-fired plant on order," Phnom Penh Post, February 28, 2017
  6. "CEL II Sihanoukville Power Plant," Compelo Energy, June 7, 2018
  7. "Cambodian Energy Limited II," Leader Energy Pte Ltd, accessed December 2018
  8. "150MW coal-fired power plant in Sihanoukville nearing completion," Construction Property, March 19 2019
  9. "Struggling to keep the lights on," Khmer Times, January 31, 2020
  10. "Coronavirus Outbreak Puts Belt And Road Projects On Hold, For Now," Forbes, February 29, 2020
  11. "History," Leader Universal Holdings website, accessed November 18, 2020
  12. "Counting on coal: Cambodia’s fossil fuel push flounders with delays," Southeast Asia Globe, October 25, 2023

Additional data

To access additional data, including an interactive map of coal-fired power stations, a downloadable dataset, and summary data, please visit the Global Coal Plant Tracker on the Global Energy Monitor website.