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Tuesday, December 01, 2009

SNC-Lavalin awarded contract for an energy control system in Cambodia

MONTREAL, Dec. 1, 2009 (Canada NewsWire via COMTEX News Network) --
SNC-Lavalin is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a contract to design and build Electricité du Cambodge's National Control Centre and Energy Management System in Phnom Penh. The value of the contract is estimated at $5 million.

SNC-Lavalin will provide engineering, procurement and construction services for the complete system, including the control centre building, system software, hardware and system integration with the telecommunication networks and remote metering equipment. Based on SNC-Lavalin's state-of-the-art GENe Energy Management System, the control centre will operate Cambodia's entire electric transmission network. As part of the Rural Electrification and Transmission Project, this system will help provide electricity to a large portion of Cambodia's rural population.
"This project is important for the growth of the country, especially as it adapts to modern automation and Smart Grid technology to secure its electricity supply," said Joe Salim, Vice-President and General Manager of SNC-Lavalin's Power Systems Division. "Thanks to our experience in energy control systems in this region, we are able to support this project with local expertise and capabilities."

Work on the project has begun and the control centre is expected to be operational by June 2011.

SNC-Lavalin (TSX:SNC) is one of the leading engineering and construction groups in the world and a major player in the ownership of infrastructure, and in the provision of operations and maintenance services. SNC-Lavalin has offices across Canada and in over 35 other countries around the world, and is currently working in some 100 countries.


Media: Leslie Quinton, Vice-President, Global Corporate Communications, SNC-Lavalin Group Inc., (514) 393-8000, ext. 7354,; Investors: Denis Jasmin, Vice-President, Investor Relations, SNC-Lavalin Group Inc., (514) 393-8000, ext. 7553, Copyright (C) 2009 CNW Group. All rights reserved.
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Cambodia Recommended to Diversify Its Market

By Ron Corben Bangkok, Thailand

A new United Nations report says Cambodia needs to diversify the economy to help protect vulnerable groups, such as women workers, from downturns. As Ron Corben reports from Bangkok, the report also calls for the government to see the current slump as an opportunity to speed up structural changes.

The United Nations Development Program urges the Cambodian government to shift away from relying on the garment industry, which is vulnerable to sharp economic shocks such as the recent financial crisis. The report, released last week, focuses on Cambodia's challenges; the country has been among those in Asia hit hardest by the collapse in global exports.

It says the poor, especially those in debt, have felt the pain the most. The garment sector accounts for about 70 percent of Cambodia's export income. The United States is the leading market but exports there fell by over 22 percent in the past year because of the recession.

Nearly all of the workers in Cambodia's garment factories are women, mostly from rural areas. At least 50 factories have closed in the past year, and more than 60,000 workers lost their jobs. Chan Sophal, lead research consultant on the report, said Tuesday the lack of alternatives means more Cambodian women must work in the entertainment industry. The United Nations Inter-Agency Project on human trafficking sees more young women entering the industry.

Mr. CHAN SOPHAL said "Karaoke parlor, the massage places and the beer promotion industry, and all of those have women at risk in terms of being a disguised sex worker and at the exposure of diseases." The global downturn also hit Cambodia's construction industry, tourism businesses and migrant workers. But the UNDP report says the crisis should be seen as an opportunity that spurs efforts to address structural weaknesses in the economy. Chan Sophal says the report calls for institutional reforms, and more equity in public spending to lift the economy and reduce the effects of external shocks. Mr.

CHAN SOPHAL added "This crisis may represent an opportunity for the government to speed up the structural reforms which takes time - but now we have no time. The quicker we can do to improve competitiveness, the economic diversification the better chance we will recover from the economic downturn."

Recently, the International Monetary Fund said garment exports from Cambodia would fall by as much as 15 percent this year. However, the Asian Development Bank forecasts that the economy will grow just over three percent next year, as the global recovery takes hold and increases clothing exports and tourism arrivals.

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Cambodian kids painting with hope


CAMDEN Civic Centre will be filled with the colours of hope next week as the artwork of Cambodia's poorest children goes on sale.

The artwork, painted by underprivileged street children, will be sold to raise money for the Cambodian Children's Painting Project, which helps the poorest children in the village of Sihanoukville.

Project director Felix Brooks-Church said residents of the coastal village lacked regular access to food, clean drinking water and medical care.

``We are trying to change that by providing a supportive and safe place to come and play and express themselves in a positive way. And it's art that is our major focus,'' he said.

Mr Brooks-Church has been travelling around Australia since August holding fund-raising art exhibitions.

Camden Council's Family Day Care coordinator Debbie Tuckey is custodian of the unsold paintings, which will be exhibited at Camden Civic Centre.

They will be available for purchase for one week only from Saturday at 1pm.

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