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Sihanoukville Multipurpose Port Planned

Chea Vannak / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
When the new port is completed, larger ships will be able to dock. Supplied

The government plans to spend about $300 million to build a new multipurpose seaport in Preah Sihanouk province, which promises to receive larger cargo ships and reduce logistics costs.
The new port will increase the capacity of the Sihanoukville Autonomous Port (PAS) to handle cargo shipments, said Public Works and Transport Minister Sun Chanthol yesterday at the ministry’s annual meeting.
The government and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) are studying the project, he said, adding that the port would improve the cost efficiency of cargo shipments and be able to handle larger ships from all over the world.
“We are asking Japan for a loan to build another deep sea port because currently we have about 500,000 TEU that causes congestion in the port, so we have to build another one which will have a water depth of about 14.5 meters,” Mr. Chanthol said, using an acronym for twenty-foot equivalent unit, the industry standard reference for cargo capacity.
“With the new 14.5-meter deep port, about 93 percent of ships in the region will be able to dock at the Sihanoukville port,” Mr. Chanthol said, adding that cargo shipments from the kingdom will no longer need to dock in Singapore before being loaded on to larger ships.
The new port is estimated to be 350 meters in length, according to the minister.
PAS director-general Lou Kim Chhun said the new port – which is due to begin construction in late 2017 and be finished by 2022 – will bring cargo costs down.
“Currently, about 18 to 20 percent of cargo ships operating in the region can dock at our port, but once the new port is operational, an estimated 93 percent of cargo ships from ports in the region will be able to call on our port,” he said.
“It will pull marine cargo costs down because currently we see that about 60 to 70 percent of logistics costs go to transportation via sea and 20 to 30 percent via inland logistics,” Mr. Kim Chhun said, adding that logistics costs would be favorable compared with prices in neighboring countries.
PAS is also expanding port capacity. Its $74 million multipurpose terminal development project uses a soft loan from JICA and started construction in January 2015. It is 65 percent complete and is expected to be finished in 2018.
According to Mr. Kim Chhun, PAS is predicted to see cargo shipments increase to about 1,000,000 TEU per year from 2023.
As of December this year, PAS recorded a 1.86 percent increase in cargo shipments over 2015 to 399,192 TEU, while tonnage rose 4.45 percent to 3,930,787 tons.
The Phnom Penh Autonomous Port (PPAP) recorded a 3.58 percent increase in cargo shipments to 150,000 TEU and tonnage increased 8.41 percent to 2,434,200 tons.  The government earned about $53 million in revenue from PAS, a 3.38 percent increase over 2015, and about $17 million from PPAP, up 7.78 percent.

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