Sihanoukville’s sea port expansion in pipeline to contribute to cost cuts in shipping and attract investments

From 2022, Cambodia will rollout the expansion of the sea port at Sihanoukville province to reduce sea transport cost and attract more foreign direct investments.

The plan was shared recently with the media by Lou Kimchhun, Director General of Sihanoukville Autonomous Port, adding that the sea port expansion will entail three main stages.

According to the director general, current sea port at Sihanoukville can attract about 18 to 19 percent of the container ships in the Asia-Pacific region.

The first-phase expansion of the sea port to 350 metres long and 14.5 metres deep that will begin in 2022 and complete in 2025 can allow around 93 percent of all cargo ship types in the region to dock.

The expanded port, he continued, has the capacity to host up to 400 containers and can reduce the transport cost at an average of $200 per container.

While the first phase expansion targets at cargo ships in the Asia-Pacific, the second and third ones until 2030 aim at the ship types from the United States and Europe.

“We are pushing ahead to ensure that the construction of the second and third port terminal projects are completed ahead of the scheduled 2027 and 2029 respectively,” he said.

The expansion (first and second phases) is estimated to cost over $400 million, of which more than $200 million is a loan from Japan.

“Once the terminal construction is completed, our port will be upgraded and will become one of the biggest ports in the region,” he said.

Lim Heng, vice president of the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce, applauded the move.

“It will make it easier to transport agricultural products and other goods without passing through other countries’ ports,” he said.

“This is what the private sector, traders, exporters and importers in Cambodia are waiting so we can export and import conveniently and speedily,” he said.

The expansion of the port will significantly reduce the sea transport cost and eventually attract more foreign investments to Cambodia, especially to Preah Sihanouk province which is being transformed into a multi-purpose special economic zone.

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