Construction on Cambodia’s $2.3 billion oil refinery has been set back again, this time due to planning delays, the project’s local partner, Cambodia Petrochemical Company (CPC), confirmed yesterday.
The landmark oil refinery was slated to begin construction in December 2013 following a $1.67 billion loan from the Export-Import Bank of China (Exim Bank), but Hann Khieng, CPC co-owner, said yesterday that more detailed planning was required before the project could begin.
“I believe we will be able to start groundbreaking soon, maybe in mid-November this year since the weather in the next few months will make it difficult for construction to start,” he said.
The plant, which will be built on 80 hectares between Preah Sihanouk and Kampot, is now expected to be finished in late 2016.
Khieng said the company will import crude oil from the Middle East, which will then be processed at the plant. He expects the plant to produce five million tonnes of oil per year for both domestic and off-shore markets.
Cambodia imports more than a million tonnes of oil a year from abroad to supply local demand.
Kim Natacha, executive director of Cambodia for Resource Revenue Transparency said the plant would help prepare Cambodia for its future plans for offshore oil extraction but warned that its environmental impact would need to be fully understood.
“An environmental impact evaluation should be done thoroughly for the oil refinery construction plan to ensure it doesn’t negatively impact the community area near the plant,” she said.