CONSTRUCTION of the international port at the 1,000-hectare Kampot Special Economic Zone (KSEZ) is running six months behind schedule after a design change, said KSEZ President Vinh Huor. The port is now scheduled to open in the middle of 2011.
"The delay is because we redesigned the port's master plan to increase the depth from 9 metres to 19 metres," he said. "For the time being, despite the economic crisis, we have no problems with capital, but I am not sure about the future."
Vinh Huor said around one-quarter of the work at the SEZ development is finished.
"We are now constructing the embankment and building roads," he said.
"After the rainy season we will start work on the 19-metre-deep port, which will be the Kingdom's deepest."
He said the cost of the port is budgeted at US$18 million.
The entire KSEZ project is expected to cost $80 million.
The KSEZ is located in Koh Toch commune in Kampot, close to the Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville railway.
The location will prove cheaper and quicker for freight, said Vinh Huor, adding that he signed agreements with five factories earlier this year to set up in the zone.
He said the factories, which will start operating once the port is finished, are a shoe factory, a garment factory, a car tyre plant from China, a cassava factory from Hong Kong, and a car-assembly plant, which is a joint venture between a Chinese firm and an Indian company.
Kampot Governor Khoy Khun Hour said Tuesday the province will see a huge economic change in the coming years, as a number of projects are completed in a bid to develop the coastal province.
Other than the KSEZ and the port, he listed tycoon Sok Kong's $1 billion Bokor resort project, which is currently under construction and has been off-limits to tourists since work began last year; the redevelopment of National Highway 3, funded by $40 million in funding from South Korean; and the Kamchay hydropower dam.
"The province will be bustling when these mega-projects are simultaneously completed over the next two or three years," he said.