Dam Finished end 2013

The Stung Atay dam in southern Pursat is open as of the end of 2013 despite lack of fanfare. The previous rumours about damage or delay seem to be unfounded. The dam’s reservoir extends north along the Atay river past the classic Cardamom’s town of O’saom. Between O’saom and Pramaoy, the old road is flooded and an extra 10km is now required to take a new road which wraps around a portion of the reservoir.

I don’t know how the dam project is structured but I think there are several stages (at least 3). They are spread out from the first stage pictured above to the 3rd stage which is a few km south

View of completed dam with filled reservoir

Driving from Pramaoy to O’saom, a finger of the dam’s reservoir is seen in the background (can be crossed by ferry or 10km diversion around)

Small ferry across mentioned portion of the dam’s reservoir

Small ferry across mentioned portion of the dam’s reservoir

View of the dam across the reservoir

The dam wall

Bridge across the Atay river just after O’saom

Second stage

Second stage

Second stage

Second stage

Third Stage

Third stage

Third Stage

Third Stage

Partial Collapse

Controversial projects better not have any complications to attract any additional media attention. This isn’t the case for Stung Atay dam which partially collapsed in early Dec 2012 leaving 4 missing and presumed dead. There are likely more than this official amount since the whole reservoir emptied but news doesn’t travel intact out of the deep jungles of Pursat.

Dam Construction

On the Dam

Looking towards the dam (reservoir side)

Looking towards the dam (intake side)

Possible damage area?


Dam Entrance

Apparent areal view after dam collapse and disaster

Looking off the dam

Looking off the dam (reservoir side)

Dam in the middle of the Cardamoms

Our Chinese friends are hard at work carving a huge hydro dam out of the jungle near O’saom in southern Pursat. Forshadowing the huge development are the hundreds of towers being constructed from the provincial capital to the dam in order to hold the 256kV power line needed to transfer power from the new dam to the national grid.

New power pylon (tower). Takes 3 days for a good crew after foundation already finished they tell me.

Power poles at sunset

Cleared landscape

Panorama of the site

Foundation work at the bottom of the future dam

Stung Atay construction site

Stung Atay construction site

Part of the site’s own quarry

Substation around 5km east of the main dam construction

View from the north

View from the west side

Warning signs only in Chinese 😉

Road sign around the site

Plans for Cardamoms dam

The Stung Atay dam is to be constructed near the Cardamom’s town of O’saom which is deep in the Cardamom mountains. It is conveniently just outside the national park but the area doesn’t look much different. It is difficult to find information about the dam but most information suggests the final size will be 120MW and online 2012, so lets say maybe around 2015.

Computer rendered picture

A chinese sign near the substation 5km from the main dam construction area

Engineering drawings

Project description which suggests the dam is only 20MW (can’t be true for this size!)

More Chinese signs for the workers