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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Water bottler sets sights on growing Cambodian market

Water bottler sets sights on growing Cambodian market

A $2 million company hopes to cash in on the growing local bottled market by using modern technology and local natural resources

A NEW player in Cambodia's purified drinking water market has seen early signs of success with a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant and production facility in Kampot province, and expects to distribute nationwide in 2009, the company said.

TADA Bokor Natural Spring Drinking Water began operations in early November with a US$2 million capital investment from the T-DA Import Export Co Ltd, which distributes the brand in Kampot province, Sihanoukville and Phnom Penh.

Company owner and first deputy president of Cambodia's National Committee for Disaster Management, Nhim Vanda, said TADA Bokor was licensed by the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy in 2006 following a study conducted with foreign partners to determine the suitability of mineral water from Kampot province's Bokor mountain.

A bottling factory was built at the base of the mountain in Makprang district, Nhim Vanda said.

"Our factory was built to rigid technical standards and equipped with the latest technology imported from abroad to meet all hygiene requirements," he said.

"We have been evaluated by our national laboratory at the Ministry of Industry and the Pasteur Institute of Cambodia at the Ministry of Water Management, as well as by consultants from South Korea."

Nhim Vanda said the company also manufactures its own plastic bottles and has taken steps not to adversely affect the province's natural environment, which has become the focus of nascent efforts to create an ecotourism industry in the Kingdom.

OUR FACTORY WAS BUILT TO RIGID TECHNICAL STANDARDS ... [WITH] THE LATEST TECHNOLOGY.

TADA Bokor employs 35 workers and produces an estimated 1,200 to 1,500 cases of water each day.

"We purify the natural spring drinking water through reverse  osmosis and ozone processes, as well as ultraviolet purification technology, to make it better than other brands," he said.

"I will enlarge our distribution to other provinces nationwide next year," he said.

Chheng Uddra, bureau chief of the Product Licensing Department at the Ministry of Industry, said TADA Bokor has complied with all ministry regulations and requirements.

"I have sent my experts last month to check the quality of the water, the bottling and the factory to ensure it was built to proper standards," he said.

There are more than 130 pure drinking water companies operating in Cambodia, but only 20-including TADA Bokor-operate within health parameters set by the government, Chheng Uddra said.

He added that because the ministry has not always implemented existing laws, it imposes three-month evaluations on companies to test the quality of the water.

If standards are not being met, then companies risk losing their license, Chheng Uddra said.

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