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Secretary of State for the Ministry of Environment Leads Journalist Visit to Sihanoukville Autonomous Port

Sihanoukville: The Secretary of State and Spokesman for the Ministry of Environment, Neth Pheaktra, along with 16 journalists, visited the Sihanoukville Autonomous Port (PAS) on Tuesday. During the visit, the Director General of the PAS, Lou Kim Chhun, informed the delegation that the first phase of the port’s expansion is expected to be completed in 2025, the second phase in 2028 and the third phase in 2030.

By the third phase, the Director General said that the port will be able to dock ships with a capacity of more than 4,000 containers, which is about 93% of ships in Asia, and will also be able to allow ships from the US and Europe to directly dock in Cambodia without having to go through the port of Singapore. He further noted that docking in Cambodia will help lower shipping costs, as the estimated cost per container is expected to be less than 200 dollars.

He further added that they are pushing for these phases to be completed quicker (the second phase in 2027, and third phase in 2029), as the sooner these phases are completed, the greater the number of containers the PAS can accept. Currently, he said that the PAS only allows 18% of ships in the Asia-Pacific region to enter, and the port is only able to allow ships with a maximum capacity of 1,500 containers to dock.

The Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce, Lim Heng, said on Wednesday that the completion of the deep-sea port expansion will make the transport of agricultural products and other goods much easier since it will reduce the number of blockages ships face after no longer needing to cross through ports of other countries. He hopes that the deep-sea port will divert investors to Cambodia as well as transform Sihanoukville into a multi-purpose city that serves trade and boosts economic growth.

The first phase of the PAS expansion will begin construction in 2022 with a loan of more than 200 million dollars from Japan. At completion, the port is expected to have a length of 350 meters and a water depth of 14.5 meters.

According to the latest report on the PAS in 2021, the volume of goods passing through the port increased by 13%, and the number of containers increased by 17.45%, compared to 2020. Additionally, the PAS received more than 62 million dollars in revenue in the first nine months of 2021 from shipbuilding, port services, container storage, SEZ rentals and other port-related activities. This is a promising increase of nearly 30 million dollars compared to the same period in 2020.

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