Company denies destroying hotel

Source : Khmer Times 

The damaged hotel in Koh Kong province. Supplied

Representatives of the Tatay Hydropower Company in Koh Kong province have stressed again that it was not the company’s fault that the 4 Rivers Floating Lodge hotel was severely damaged during floods last month.

The hotel owner had initially accused the Chinese-owned company of destroying its iconic floating lodge when the company failed to raise an alert about the opening of its flood gates, which he claimed led to the destruction due to flash floods.

Zhao Wenheng, deputy general manager of Tatay Hydropower, said during an interview that company representatives met with the owner for the 4 Rivers Floating Lodge. In the meeting, Tatay Hydropower explained that water levels were at 20 centimetres when discharged from its flood gates upstream.

By the time the water reached the proximity of the floating hotel on the Tatai river, it was only at about 10 centimetres, not enough to cause damages, according to their calculation.

“Since the time we started operating the dam, we continuously discharge water,” Mr Zhao said, noting that what happened to the hotel was an isolated incident. “It was caused by the effects of heavy rain during the monsoon season and was already damaged before the flood gates were even opened.”

Mr Zhao added that discharging water was done regularly in order to prepare for incoming floods.

“The purpose of the hydro dam is to control floods and provide benefit for people down below,” he said.

Last week, the Tatay Hyrdopower Company said in a statement that it had only discharged 461 m3/s of water, not enough to create a massive surge of water.

Valentin Pawlik, general manager of the hotel, said during the height of the accusations that the company failed to raise an alert about the opening of its flood gates.

However, he retracted the accusation that the company was responsible following an explanation by the Tatay Hydropower Company.

In a signed statement, Mr Pawlik withdrew his claims and said that management will instead focus on rebuilding the iconic hotel rather than fighting for compensation from the company.



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