Chinese Firm Seeks Funding for Sihanoukville Expressway

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The freeway will make it easier to get to Sihanoukville. Happy Tellus

BEIJING (Khmer Times) – Officials from China’s Export-Import Bank are expected to visit Cambodia this week to study granting a loan to a Chinese construction firm to build a $1.6 billion, 190-kilometer long expressway from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville.
 
Liu Hong, the Vice-president of China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) which will build the expressway on National Road 4, told a visiting Cambodian business delegation in Beijing that the company wanted to clarify the issue of funding.
 
“We studied this project a few years ago and we already wrote a report about this study and sent it to the Cambodian government,” he said. “We asked to follow the principle of BOT [Build Operate and Transfer].
 
“However, the problem is what is the best way to make our money back after construction?”
 
He said waiting to earn a profit would take too long, so the government Export-Import Bank would investigate providing a loan. Construction is set to start this year and be completed by 2020.
 
In 2004 the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation signed a Memorandum of Understanding with China’s Henan Provincial Communication Planning, Survey and Design Institute for the construction of the expressway.
 
A master plan by the ministry estimates that Cambodia will need 850 km of expressways by 2020 and puts the cost of this at $9 billion. Cambodia will need 2,230 km of expressway by 2040 and this will cost about $26 billion, according to the master plan.  
 
In November, Cambodia’s Global CAM Project Development signed a MoU with Korea’s Green Eco Energy to build another expressway on National Road 3.
 
Construction on that project is also due to start this year and be completed within three years.

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