A long-abandoned Pepsi bottling factory that became a part of the tourist trail in Battambang province has been razed to make way for a water-treatment facility, according to officials.
Ek Sonn Chan, secretary of state at the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Industry, said the Japanese International Cooperation Agency is funding the project.
“We got the grant from the Japanese government via JICA here to build the water treatment facility because we want to have a clean-water system in Battambang province,” he said.
Mak Sinnara, deputy director of Battambang’s provincial tourism department, confirmed plans for the demolition, which seems to have started earlier this month.
On June 19, JICA signed off on a $33.5 million water-supply-system project in Kampong Cham and Battambang provinces, where the agency says about 30 per cent of residents have access to clean drinking water due to insufficient production capacities in existing facilities, among other factors.
The 1960s-era Pepsi plant on the edge of Battambang town was in operation during the Sangkum Reastr Niyum administration of then-Prince Norodom Sihanouk. Bottling continued after Sihanouk was overthrown in 1970 and is thought to have ceased only when the Khmer Rouge came to power in 1975. The building remained long after the regime fell and became a tourist draw.
In Cambodia, Pepsi is now produced by Cambrew, maker of Angkor beer.