KH09 Waste to Energy in Phnom Penh

At a Glance

Strategic Outcomes SO1 Reduced GHG emission, SO3 Increased access to sustainable services
Start Date Q3  20190603
End Date q4 20213012
Funding Source Core
Actual Budget (USD) 359,890
Budget Percentage 61%
Actual Expenditure (USD) 219152
Status Active
GGGI Share (USD) 116,248
Poverty and Gender Policy Markers poverty
Name of Client (Lead/Prime implementer if GGGI is part of a consortium) National Council for Sustainable Development, Phnom Penh Capital Hall
Participating Organization (Funding/donor) Core funded
Name of consortium members, if any Anticipated co-financing by CDIA
Thematic Area
  • Green Cities
GGGI Project Code :
Project Manager and Staff +

Project context, objectives and description

Low collection and gate fees for waste and a lack of standardized Power Purchasing Agreements (PPAs) and Feed-in-Tariffs (FIT) currently prevent investment in traditional Waste to Energy (WtE) infrastructure to manage mixed wastes in Cambodia. Traditional WtE infrastructure, such as a standalone incinerator, requires relatively high investments and standardized offtake arrangements.  This project proposes a Waste to Fuel (WtF) intervention that overcomes these bankability hurdles, by facilitating investment in Mechanical and Biological Treatment (MBT) facility in Phnom Penh to produce Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) and subsequent use of the RDF at the cement kilns. This approach requires relatively low CAPEX and no PPA as fuel is sold directly to the cement kilns.

The project will support government counterparts in assessing the technical feasibility of the plant, and in designing a suitable procurement and contractual set-up for a Public Private Partnership.

As the biggest city in Cambodia, Phnom Penh is the ideal candidate for such a project as it generates enough volume of municipal and industrial solid waste, within a relatively small area. There is no large-scale recycling facility in Phnom Penh and no source segregation of waste, apart from the informal collection of some recyclables. Therefore, WtE represents a suitable option to deal with such mixed waste streams on large scale. The model is potentially replicable in larger cities in GGGI member countries.

The project objective is to facilitate investment in a Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) plant in Phnom Penh and subsequently replace coal with RDF at the cement manufacturing in Cambodia and this project is aligned with IO2. Increased green growth investment flows enable partner governments to implement green growth policies.


Note: The approved budget and actual expenditure indicated as of Q1 2021.

Type of services provided, and results achieved

Impact: Reduction in solid waste dumping and a consequential reduction in coal use for energy generation, resulting in environmental, public health, and economic benefits. 

Outcome: N/A 

Project Outputs completed in 2019: 

i. Green Growth Policies: N/A

ii. Green Investments: 

  • GGGI has successfully completed a pre-feasibility study on setting up a centralized RDF facility in Phnom Penh to demonstrate the viability of such a plant. Legal assessment of procurement options and regulatory requirements was completed. GGGI received written support from Phnom Penh Capital Administration and the Cambodia Cement Manufacturing Association for the project.  

iii. Capacity Building and Knowledge Products 

  • One workshop and multiple detailed briefings to government officials.  

Number of staff provided

Project Manager: Tero Tapio Raassina 

Jerome Fakhry, Karolien Casaer, Putheary Kuy, Sut Samedy