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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Vietnam steel plant set for construction: reports

Vietnam steel plant set for construction: reports

081216_14_1.jpg
081216_14_1.jpg

Local media say a Vietnamese company is planning a $70 million steel plant in Cambodia capable of producing 5,000 tonnes per month

Photo by: Tracey Shelton

Steel beams in Phnom Penh. Media reports say a Vietnamese company is set to build a steel plant in Cambodia.

A STEEL manufacturer based in Ho Chi Minh City is set to invest US$70 million in a steel plant in Cambodia, local media have reported.

"We want the steel factory to begin production in two or three years," Tran Totu, chairman of the Thep Viet Steel Corp, told Kampuchea Thmey last week, adding that the investment would help fill a vital need for the Kingdom's rapidly developing infrastructure.

Thep Viet Steel exports 5,000 tonnes of steel per month to Cambodia, Kampuchea Thmey reported.

Cambodia is reported to have large iron deposits, and Vietnamese companies have been granted concessions to explore for the mineral - a major feedstock for steel production.

Trinh Ba Cam, spokesman for the Vietnamese embassy in Phnom Penh, said Vietnamese companies could play a major role in future development in Cambodia.

"Vietnamese investment will help fill a need in Cambodian markets because the country is badly in need of steel," he said.

Tann Kin Vin, secretary of state for the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy, said he had no information about the plant.

"We know nothing about the plan, but we think it could not be implemented that quickly because no evaluation study on the availability of iron ore has been conducted," he told the Post on Tuesday.

"If they do their research, they will be able obtain ore and earn a lot of profit," he said.

He said that Japan is providing technical training on ore extraction.

"Iron ore will be a big source of income if the country is able to utilise this natural resource," Tann Kin Vin said.

 Prime Minister Hun Sen last year called on foreign investment to take advantage of Cambodia's iron resources.

"I think Cambodia may have enough iron ore to sustain operations in a number of provinces in the centre and in the north of the country," said Mom Sambath, executive director of Development and Parntership in Action, an organisation that conducts research on mining operations in Ratanakkiri and Mondulkiri provinces.

He added that Cambodia could also support large-scale bauxite production.

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