Russian Firm Inks $300 Million Sihanoukville Deal

A Russian firm will spend $300 million on Sihanoukville’s Hawai Beach and Koh Pos island, as part of massive new development that will include a five-star hotel, business cen­ter and a bridge connecting the island to the mainland, officials said Wed­nesday.

Under the deal inked Monday, the government granted newly created Koh Pos Development Co, Ltd a 99-year lease on Koh Pos island and Hawai beach on the Si­ha­nouk­ville mainland, said Youn Heng, an in­vestment official for the Council for the Development of Cambodia.

“It is a huge investment plan,” Youn Heng said.

The Russian developer—who’s parent company officials declined to name—will shell out $300 million to de­velop the two properties for tour­ism, and pay an annual rent tied to re­venue, with at least $80,000 going to the state each year, Youn Heng said.

“If we keep the island forever, we won’t gain any profit,” Youn Heng said.

He added that the company plans to construct a five-star hotel and bus­i­ness center on Koh Pos, as well as a 900-meter-long, 50-meter-high bridge from Hawai beach to the island. All other infrastructure im­prove­ments and utilities will be handled by the developer.

Sok Kong, president of petroleum giant Sokimex, who recently struck a 99-year lease deal of his own for land on Sihanoukville’s O’Chateal beach, said he welcomed the Russian investment in the tourism sector.

“I am not worried about competition in Sihanoukville,” Sok Kong said. “The more investment plans here, the better off I am.”

Municipal Governor Say Hak said that he hopes that success on Koh Pos could spur development on Sihanoukville’s remaining 22 islands and seven beaches.

Say Hak said that Sihanoukville cur­rently draws about 60,000 foreign tourists a year, but he hopes that the development of Koh Pos, Sok Kong’s O’Chateal beach and the opening next January of the municipality’s Kang Keng Airport will attract another 90,000 visitors.

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