Thailand’s Siam Cement and local company Khaou Chully MKK Co are scheduled to officially open Kampot Cement today, a $300-million joint investment that expects to produce 1 million tons of cement by 2008, company officials said.
Khaou Phallaboth, vice chairman of Khaou Chully, said his company holds a 20-percent stake in the plant, while the remaining 80 percent is owned by construction materials giant Siam Cement.
Cambodia’s market demand for cement is currently at 1.5 million tons per year and that figure is expect to grow to 2 million tons this year, Khaou Phallaboth said, adding that Cambodia spent around $105 million on imported cement in 2004 and $140 million in 2005.
“By 2008, locally produced cement will be sold to the market instead of imported cement,” he said.
Prime Minister Hun Sen is scheduled to preside at today’s opening ceremony, he added.
Minister of Industry, Mines and Energy Suy Sem said the new Kampot Cement company would also provide up to 400 jobs for skilled and unskilled laborers at its plant in Kampot province’s Touk Meas district.
The mountain that will be quarried by Kampot Cement has enough raw materials to produce 2 million tons of cement each year for the next 100 years, he said.
Local firms AZ Company and Thai Boon Roong Investment are also investing $200 million to take over operations at the formerly state-owned Chakrey Ting Cement factory in nearby Kampot district, Suy Sem added.
Kampot Governor Puth Chandarith said he hoped the province would become the second most important foreign trade area on the coast, after Sihanoukville.
Ving Hour, a local company, is investing in a new seaport for Kampot, which will be located on 100 hectares of land and is scheduled for completion by 2007, he said.
“We have a port and factories. So it will help boost the economy,” Puth Chandarith added.