Work on PP-Bavet Expressway to Start in 2023

An agreement has been signed to start construction on Cambodia’s second expressway between Phnom Penh and Bavet, providing a speedy connection with Vietnam and other parts of the region
Sun Chanthol, (right), Minister of Public Works and Transport, at a signing ceremony at Peace Palace, November 9, 2022. Kiripost via MPWT
Sun Chanthol, (right), Minister of Public Works and Transport, at a signing ceremony at Peace Palace, November 9, 2022. Kiripost via MPWT

Cambodia’s second expressway will connect Phnom Penh and Bavet, at the Vietnamese border, stretching 138 km and costing $1,638 million.

At a signing ceremony on Thursday, Sun Chanthol, Minister of Public Works and Transport, said work on the Phnom Penh-Bavet Expressway is scheduled to start in 2023 and is slated for completion by the end of 2026 or early-2027. This coincides with the competition of the Ho Chi Minh-Moc Bai Expressway – the two highways will connect.

The agreement for the second expressway, headed by China Bridge and Road Corporation, comes weeks after the Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway opened to traffic, cutting down travel time between the two destinations from five to six hours to two.

Chanthol added, “Their expressway [HCMC-Moc Bai] will run along national road number 22 and connect with our expressway [PP-Bavet] at kilometer 64 mark. They will let us know so we can prepare a plan or buy the right land to the location where we plan to connect the expressways together.”

The 53.3km HCMC-Moc Bai expressway connects Moc Bai District in Tay Ninh Province with Ho Chi Minh City. It will have at least four lanes allowing maximum speeds of 120kph, according to September’s pre-feasibility report.

It will be constructed as a build-operate-transfer (BOT) project, with the investor recouping investment within 18 years and one month. Site clearance is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2023 and construction in 2024. It is expected to open in 2027.

“Today's signing will lead to negotiations to finalize the concession agreement, which we are working on and is near completion. There are one or two points left that we need to address. We hope to reach an agreement when Prime Minister Hun Sen pays an official visit to China next year to build the Phnom Penh-Bavet Expressway,” Chanthol said during the signing ceremony.

Bavet is the largest city in Svay Rieng Province. It is an international border gate between Cambodia and Vietnam. Its counterpart across the border is Moc Bai.

“This expressway has a significant role to connect China to Myanmar​ and Thailand and Cambodia to Vietnam. It is the ASEAN road number one that we are expanding from two to four lanes from Poipet​ to Phnom Penh, and connect from Phnom Penh to Bavet using this expressway to transport goods and travelers from China to Vietnam,” the minister said.

The new Phnom Penh-Bavet Expressway will be divided into two lanes. One for general driving and another for transporting products and goods. The road will also include a 5-km bridge crossing the Mekong River.