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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Phnom Penh's port aims for 26pc revenue growth in 2010

Phnom Penh's port aims for 26pc revenue growth in 2010

Traffic increase that began in the second half of ’09 is set to accelerate: official

Many companies seem to be interested in using the port to ship their freight."

PHNOM Penh Autonomous Port will maintain a recovery into 2010 with projected 26 percent revenue growth, the facility's director general, Hei Bevy said Wednesday, as it continues to benefit from connections to Cai Mep deepwater port in Southern Vietnam.

It has signed up with international shipping line MAERSK in connecting to the new Vietnamese port, said Hei Bevy, and is now targeting $6.25 million in revenues for 2010, which would easily beat the 2007 record, $5.26 million.

The port suffered a 2 percent fall in revenues last year to US$4.93 million following an 8.8 percent drop in volumes, according to figures obtained by the Post on Wednesday.

That beat a January 3 projection by the Phnom Penh Autonomous Port’s Director General Eang Veng Sun who estimated that revenues had dropped 15 percent last year, without giving a revenue forecast.

Sihanoukville Autonomous Port suffered a 16 percent fall in revenues in 2009 to $24.19 million, according to official figures, which still made it by far the biggest port facility in the Kingdom.

The newly issued figure for Phnom Penh also beat the downturn in Cambodian trade as the capital’s port benefited from the July opening of the Cai Mep facility, which allows more convenient connections down the Mekong and cuts days off passage to North America by avoiding other, less convenient Asian hubs, particularly Singapore and Hong Kong.

MAERSK “will link their delivery from Hong Kong with the Phnom Penh Autonomous Port through Vietnam’s Cai Mep”, said Hei Bevy.

The fallout from the economic crisis which pushed Cambodian exports down 18.2 percent and imports down 17 percent therefore barely registered at the Phnom Penh port, even if it did post a second consecutive annualised drop in revenues.

In the first half of 2010 before Cai Mep opened, the capital’s port saw revenues slump 20 percent, its figures showed, a situation that immediately reversed with the opening of Cai Mep as Phnom Penh’s traffic grew 0.84 percent in July, 22.65 percent in August, 22.7 percent in September and 8.61 percent in October.

According to Hei Bevy, MAERSK will transfer 10 percent of its traffic from Sihanoukville to Phnom Penh.

“Many companies seem to be interested in using the port to ship their freight,” said Hin Theany, line division general manager at Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL), the first company to ship textile products through the Phnom Penh Autonomous Port. It “will get bigger revenue this year”.

According to projections, the port is expected to ship 585,600 tonnes of goods this year, 1.35 million tonnes of fuel and gas in 62,500 standard containers compared with 43,312 containers last year.

Last week Hei Bevy told the Post that Chinese company Shanghai would develop a $30 million upgrade on the port after it was granted permission by the government.

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