More than one half of Cambodia's 1.5 million tons of cement imported through the
Thai border annually will be produced on home soil by early 2008, said Khaou Phallaboth,
the local investor for the future Kampot cement plant.
Phallaboth, the president of Khaou Chuly Group (KCG), together with principal investor
Siam Cement from Thailand, plan to manufacture at least 850,000 tons per year at
the new factory.
"It's a completely new cement plant out of the soil - and of that size it is
a milestone in Cambodia's history," Phallaboth said.
"We have a license from the Ministry already, we have bought the land, we have
the design already, and we have the blessing from the Prime Minister - from everyone."
He said it was dangerous for the country to rely 100 percent on imports as it does
presently with cement. Adding that every other country in the region has their own
"It's a basic industry for an Asian economy," Phallaboth said. "We
have the resources, so why should we rely on the imports, we must have the minimum
industries we can rely on ourselves."
Cambodia has not produced cement since the late 1960s, when civil unrest forced the
closure of a 50,000-ton capacity Chinese cement plant also in Kampot.
Phallaboth said it would be the largest single investment in the country once the
two phases - totaling $200 million - of the project are completed. Siam Cement will
invest 80 percent, and KCG 20 percent.
Siam Cement is the largest conglomerate in Thailand with a turnover of more than
$5 billion last year. He said it was a milestone for the government and Cambodian
people to have them operating here.
"We are very proud to have such people as the Thais [as partners], because they
have corporate culture and governance - we are talking about people who have serious
strength in the market," he said. "And that's good for us. We are learning."