Okra’s Newest Mesh-Grid Site Visited by H.E. Keo Rottanak and Australian DFAT

Marika Vallier
February 19, 2021

STEUNG CHROV, KAMPONG CHHNANG | 2021.02.16 ー A visit to Steung Chrov village – a BESD energy access site led by UNDP and MME Cambodia – was made by His Excellency (H.E.) Mr. Keo Rottanak, Minister attached to the Prime Minister and Managing Director of Electricité du Cambodge (EDC), and Mr. Pablo Kang, the Second Secretary of the Australian Embassy to Cambodia. Warm support was shown towards the viability of mesh-grid networks as a potential solution to achieving 100% rural electrification in Cambodia.

H.E. Keo Rottanak and Mr. Pablo Kang made the trip to Steung Chrov village to visit 140 rural households that have access to 24/7 clean and productive electricity now that they have been equipped with Okra’s IoT mesh-grid network. They spent time with community members crafting Maskhmer face masks using sewing machines and enjoyed a fresh sugar cane juice made by locals using an electric juicer. They even used Oyika e-bikes, charged by the mesh-grid, to ride throughout the village whilst inspecting the installation quality and asking families about the performance of Okra’s network.

Members from Electricité du Cambodia and the Australian DFAT in Cambodia arriving at Steung Chrov village in Kampong Chhang province in Cambodia

H.E. Keo Rottanak and Mr. Pablo Kang trying e-bikes charged by the mesh-grid

Locals make and serve fresh sugar cane juice using electric juicers

H.E. Keo Rottanak shared in an interview:

I would like to thank Okra for contributing to the expansion of electricity access for our people. This type of involvement from the private sector, and other development sectors, plays an important role for people to have access to affordable electricity, and represents a great opportunity to provide electricity sustainably through renewable sources.

In the past year, Cambodia has made tremendous progress towards achieving 100% rural electrification and is now looking for sustainable solutions to energize 210 last-mile villages that can’t be reached by the national grid. The Steung Chrov project is an example of EDC’s and MME’s commitment to pilot innovative approaches to energize the remainder of the country as fast as possible.

Okra is currently exploring a cooperation model with the Australian DFAT to support EDC in honouring its commitment to provide all Cambodians with reliable and affordable energy access.

“This was a great example of lots of stakeholders coming together to really bring power to the people. The Cambodian government’s commitment to try new innovative solutions and the affirmation from H.E Keo Rottanak gives us strong hope that Cambodia will hit its 100% electrification target soon, and much earlier than other emerging market nations.”

added Afnan Hanan, CEO of Okra Solar.

Household cluster mapping of the Steung Chrov village area

From left to right: Anthony Samson (Second Secretary at the Australian DFAT), Mr. Pablo Kang (Second Secretary of the Australian Embassy to Cambodia), H.E. Keo Rottanak (Minister attached to the Prime Minister and Managing Director of EDC), Afnan Hanan (CEO of Okra Solar) and Kisa Giebink (Project Development at Okra solar)