Toll Royal Railways signed two freight logistics agreements with Siam Concrete Group and United Logistics and Distribution at their offices in Phnom Penh’s Central Railway Station yesterday.
SCG Cambodia contracted TRR for the transport and warehousing for bagged cement from Touk Meas in Kampot province to Phnom Penh, said David Kerr in a press conference yesterday.
Kerr believes January 2013 will bring an additional opportunity for TRR to transport SCG’s bagged cement to Sihanoukville.
“It’s been announced that the line will be open through to the port of Sihanoukville in January 2013,” he said. “This opens up further opportunities for us to work with SCG in the transport of domestic bagged cement to Sihanoukville and the import of up to 8,000 tonnes of coal per month.”
Beyond the line to Sihanoukville port, Kerr spoke of possibilities for transport to the north for mining products, oil and bitumen.
He also mentioned the transport of rice into Thailand when the rehabilitation of the “missing link” between Cambodia’s border crossing at Poipet and Thailand’s Aranyaprathet is completed. However, dates for when these lines will be in operation are not yet known.
Lia Giang, ULD’s general manager, expressed similar sentiments.
“ULD Cambodia looks forward to further development on the railway service, in particular the transport of salt and rice with the support of Toll Railway.”
The agreement with ULD is for the transport and warehousing of bagged salt from Kampot to Phnom Penh and of bagged rice from Battambang to Phnom Penh and Kampot. The first trainload of salt under this agreement was moved on September 24.
Kerr commented on the commitment from the government and the private sector to transporting goods via railways and roads.
“The interest in Cambodia has been strong with people being interested in signing 30-year contracts,” he said. “We have a 30-year concession with the government and people are that committed to the project that they’re looking at extended terms.”
Penny Richards, Ambassador of Australia to Cambodia, was in attendance yesterday due to Australia’s involvement in the railway rehabilitation project in Cambodia. Also in attendance were Chan Sothy, director of the Department of Investment and Cooperation in the Ministry of Economy and Finance.
Kerr mentioned the importance of railways to realising the government’s goal of exporting one million tonnes of rice by 2015. When asked about how railway transport will fit with waterways also being developed for the same goal through foreign investors, Kerr said he sees a lot of potential for cooperation.
“Where roads aren’t high developed, [the products] can come in through feeder vessels into the new river port and then they can be distributed either by waterways or by rail.”
To contact the reporter on this story: Erika Mudie at [email protected]om