Thai-owned Siam Cement and local construction company Khaou Chuly Group MKK have submitted plans to the government to build an $80 million cement plant, officials said Thursday.
“The Cambodian Investment Board has seen the proposal of Siam Cement recently. We are considering the approval of this proposal,” said Youn Heng, deputy director of Evaluation and Incentives at the Cambodian Investment Board.
The proposal outlines two stages of development, Youn Heng said: One plans packaging cement at a port or border zone, the second involves a possible cement factory in Kampot province.
Thai media sources quoted a Siam Cement statement saying that the company plans to build a factory capable of producing 850,000 tons of cement.
Construction is expected to be completed by 2008, it said.
A customs official speaking on condition of anonymity said that Cambodia imports 1.2 million tons of cement annually. The government collects $10 million in tax on the cement and would continue to charge a $10.60 per ton excise on locally produced cement, he said.
Ith Praing, secretary of state for the Industry, Mines and Energy Ministry, said that four or five companies have approached Cambodia seeking to develop cement factories. But the plans have never worked out, he said.
“The right place for a factory is Kampot province, where some of the raw materials are available. Cambodia has the right stone but lacks the other plaster materials,” he said.
Commodities tycoon Mong Reththy, who runs the Pagoda Boy Construction Company, said from Beijing on Thursday that all cement in Cambodia comes from neighboring countries, mainly Thailand and Vietnam.
He said that Cambodia once had a cement factory called Chakry Ting in Kampot province but that it was put out of business by the Khmer Rouge.