Charting the Course of the E-Mobility Project Preparation Study in Siem Reap

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Stakeholders of the project, Electric Bus Fleet as a Public Service in Siem Reap convened for an inception workshop on 11 June 2024 to discuss issues and chart the way forward for the ongoing project preparation study (PPS).

Supported by ADB-CDIA, the PPS aims to develop a low-carbon and smart public transport system for Cambodia’s second-largest city.

The Angkor Archeological Park has long attracted tourists to Cambodia. Siem Reap City, the gateway to the world heritage site, has seen over 5,000 daily visitors in the early part of this year. To enhance urban mobility, promote sustainable tourism, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the government sought ADB-CDIA’s support for a PPS that will establish a functional electric bus system.

Building on earlier studies by the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) and the World Bank (WB), the PPS will provide the technical analysis to optimize the system, and explore the commercial viability of the project under public-private partnership. It will also incorporate an institutional strengthening and capacity development roadmap and environmental and social assessments.

A workshop was conducted at the inception phase of the PPS to discuss the key issues and opportunities that emerged based on the initial findings of ADB-CDIA consultants. Officials from the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, the General Department of Public-Private Partnership of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the Provincial Government of Siem Reap, and international partners, such as GGGI and WB, attended the said workshop.

Among the issues raised included the corridor options for further assessments; and the locations for depot, terminals, and bus stops. Meanwhile, the opportunities discussed included testing local demand by piloting operational lines utilizing the existing unused diesel buses.

Moving forward, the government officials and stakeholders agreed to finalize the composition of the technical working group essential for streamlining project coordination. They will also consider extending the bus corridors to enhance access to several tourist destinations. Moreover, they discussed adding an e-bus line to the new airport but later agreed to consider it for the project’s potential second phase and not include it in the current PPS.

The Ministry of Land Management and the Siem Reap Provincial Government confirmed that they will conduct an ocular inspection to identify government-owned lands for the depot and prospective sites for terminals and bus stops. Finally, ADB-CDIA will draft a concept for the proposed pilot diesel bus operations to facilitate inter-ministerial approval.

ADB-CDIA’s Project Management Specialist Ivan Fuentetaja Rodriguez and Monitoring, Evaluation, and Knowledge Management Specialist Kathleen Jovellanos participated in the inception workshop, aside from engaging in site visits and meeting with key government officials.

They underscored the importance of government commitment to the project during the workshop. “This is a project by the Government of Cambodia for the benefit of the Cambodian people. We share your vision, and we are committed to the best of our abilities. Nonetheless, the success of this project will not be possible without your commitment as well,” said Ivan during his opening remarks.

Post-inception, ADB-CDIA will continue with Stage I activities, including finalizing the institutional arrangements; environmental and social assessments; financing options; and the initial design of the corridor, stations, and hubs, among others.

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