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Fertilizer Factory Planned

Chea Vannak / Khmer Times Share:

A massive capacity fertilizer factory has been planned for Preah Sihanouk province, as demand for chemical fertilizers in the agricultural sectors is high.
The factory, a joint venture between China Huaqiu Contracting and Engineer Corp and Cambodian Petrochemical, will have the capacity to produce up to 800,000 tons of chemical fertilizer per year, according to officials at the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the two companies yesterday.
The huge amount of fertilizer the factory will produce will help Cambodia reduce imports of fertilizer, a  company representative said.
The two companies did not reveal the amount or timeframe of investment in the factory, but Mao Chettravuth, a personal assistant to the director of Cambodian Petrochemical, said the two companies are at the stage of conducting a feasibility study of the market and a potential location.
With a capacity to produce 800,000 tons a year, the chemical fertilizer factory will use waste from oil refineries as the raw material, Mr. Chettravuth said.
The factory will help Cambodian farmers who have high demands for fertilizer, most of which is now imported, Mr. Chettravuth added.
“When we have this factory, we will be able to reduce imports of fertilizer from foreign countries,” he said.
“The factory will help cut expenses for farmers and the prices will be competitive.”
The government has not stopped imports of chemical fertilizers, even though Cambodia has domestic plants. In 2012 the prime minister asked for plants to produce cheap, good-quality products to compete with imported products.
Ieng Sophalet, a spokesman at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, welcomed the plan to build the chemical fertilizer plant, which he said can help farmers by offering competitive prices.
The number of agricultural products being harvested will increase if farmers have enough affordable chemical fertilizers for use for their farms, Mr. Sophalet said.
“The more chemical fertilizer plants built the better off the sector will be,” he said. But he added that he hoped to see the plants produce products in line with domestic and international standards.
Mr. Sophalet said when more plants are built in the country it will help reduce imports. He added that according to reports, the amount of chemical fertilizer imports has dropped, although he did not reveal specific figures.
In 2003, only 43,620 tons were imported, but the amount reached 512,900 tons in 2011 and 556,400 tons this year, according to data from the Ministry of Agriculture.   
In December 2012, a $65 million joint venture by the Five Star International group of Vietnam and the Investment and Development Company of Cambodia, a subsidiary of the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam in Cambodia, set up a fertilizer factory in Kandal province. The factory can produce about 350,000 tons a year.

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