The Transport Minister said on Monday that Sihanoukville will be transformed into a regional and international port hub, pledging three new container ports of $973 million where people can exchange goods and attract investors.
Speaking at the opening of a new container terminal on Monday, Minister of Public Works and Transportation (MPWT), Sun Chanthol, said the new development will expand the capacity of Sihanoukville Autonomous Port (SAP) and respond to the increase in the volume of containers passing through the port now and in the future.
The projects will cost about $973 million, with $760 million in loans from the Japanese government, $192 million from the Cambodian government, and another $21 million from SAP, Chanthol said.
He added that SAP will play an important role in water transportation between locations as well as internationally. After construction is complete by about 2029 to 2030, Cambodia will have the capacity to contain large terminal ships to exchange goods and conduct other commerce.
“Without a sea port, we don’t know where we can transport so we could only transport by air but we cannot do that because it is so expensive. Around the world, they use water transportation. So, the seaport is a breath of economic activity where goods go from one country to another,” Chanthol said.
He added that besides commerce, the Cambodian government will prepare a master plan to transform the area into an economic zone to attract tourism and foreign investors. Besides that, the seaport will look to reduce shipping costs to comparable prices with neighboring countries.
As part of the first phase, the new container terminal will be 350 meters, with the depth of water 14.5 meters. It will be completed by 2026.
The second phase will introduce a new deep water container terminal of 400 meters and a depth of water of 16.4 meters. It will be finished by 2028.
The third phase will be a new deep water container terminal of 430 meters. The depth of water will be 17.5 meters and it will be finished by 2029.
The minister added that the new three-phase container port project will transform SAP from a small international port (Feeder Port) into a large international port (Hub Port) that allows large container vessels.
These projects will provide economic benefits of about 23.3 percent and financial benefits of about 7.7 percent.