Japan provides $200m loan to Cambodia for new port
The Japanese government has approved a US$200 million loan to Cambodia to build a second deep-sea port in the southwestern coastal city of Sihanoukville, a Cambodian minister said on Saturday.
The offer was confirmed when Japanese Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Minister Keiichi Ishii met on Friday in Phnom Penh with Cambodian Minister for Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol, the latter told Kyodo News.
The new port, adjacent to an existing one, will be 350 metres long and 14.5 metres deep, and equipped with modern facilities allowing large vessels to dock, according to Sun Chanthol.
As planned, construction of the new port by a Japanese company will begin next year and be completed by 2023 at the latest.
“The port will be built in response to the increase of Cambodian trading and stable economic growth of 7% per annum,” the minister said.
During the five years through 2016, cargo throughput at the existing deep-sea port in Sihanoukville increased in volume by more than 10%, with cargo throughput in 2015 totaling 3.8 million tonnes excluding 391,000 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) of containers, according to government data.
The current deep-sea port is 400 metres long and 11 metres deep and can accommodate vessels with 20,000 DWT (deadweight tonnage) loading capacity or container vessels up to 1,500 TEUs.
“It is estimated that by 2023, the number of containers will be over 700,000 TEUs,” Sun Chanthol said.
To date, Japan has provided $178.6 million for developing the deep-sea port in Sihanoukville, 230 kilometres southwest of Phnom Penh.
During Friday’s meeting, Sun Chanthol also asked Japan to help computerise operations at the port, a transformation from the current reliance on hand-written records.
The Japanese and Cambodian ministers also discussed building an $800 million sky train, or automatic guided train, from the centre of the national capital to Phnom Penh international airport and a highway from Phnom Penh to Bavet city on the Vietnam border.