The International Multi-Purpose Logistics and Port Centre, principally invested by Kampot Logistics and Port Co Ltd and projected to cost $1.5 billion, has officially broken ground in Bokor town, Kampot province.

The multi-purpose logistics and port centre, located in Prek Tnaot commune, will be built on a 600ha plot of seafront land with water depth of 15m, which will be able to accommodate ships weighing up to 100,000 tonnes.

Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol said at the groundbreaking ceremony for the facility on May 5 that it will contribute to Cambodia’s development and help achieve its vision of becoming a high-income country by 2050.

He noted that the facility will play an important role in helping to organise the logistics of special economic zones (SEZ) and the oil and gas sectors in Cambodia.

“This port will complement the work of the Preah Sihanouk and the Phnom Penh autonomous ports. Its location along the Bassac River means this port will play an important role in the transport of agricultural products across the country and to sell abroad,” he said.

The project will be implemented in three phases, the first of which is estimated to cost $200 million and set to begin operations in 2025. It will have the capacity to conduct Lift-On Lift-Off (LOLO) cargo handling operations of between 300,000-600,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) by 2030.

A TEU is an inexact unit of cargo capacity used in the shipping industry roughly equivalent to a container with internal dimensions measuring about 20 feet long, eight feet wide and 8.5 feet tall, or a volume roughly 38.5 cubic metres.

Minister of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction Chea Sophara said that the logistics centre and port would be able to handle the transfer of both dry and liquid goods, which will facilitate a wider variety of trade and reduce shipping costs.

“We are really excited to have a large port … The port is equipped with modern equipment that can facilitate the movement of small and large ships, as well as the distribution of goods to different parts of the country,” he said.

Cambodia Logistics Association (CLA) president Sin Chanthy, who attended the groundbreaking ceremony, observed that the project has a large scope and vision which is in line with the Kingdom’s economic needs and growth.

“When the Kampot port goes online, it will likely be more profitable than the port of Sihanoukville as Kampot is closer to Phnom Penh, and therefore more convenient for traders. The Sihanoukville port is also often congested, so hopefully the Kampot port will be a more convenient alternative,” he said.

Royal Academy of Cambodia economics researcher Ky Sereyvath said he believed that the construction of a port and logistics centre in Kampot province will provide a “one-stop service” location for transportation, which will reduce the cost of marine transportation to and from the Kingdom.

“The port will allow ships to dock, offload cargo and make payments, including for customs, the import-export inspection directorate-general [CamControl] and phytosanitary checks. In other words, it’s a one-stop service for delivery,” he said.