Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - EU firm sets plan for local rubber factory

EU firm sets plan for local rubber factory

Workers at Socfin Cambodia rubber plantation in Mondulkiri.
Workers at Socfin Cambodia rubber plantation in Mondulkiri. Photo supplied

EU firm sets plan for local rubber factory

Socfin Cambodia, the local branch of a Europe-based international rubber producing company that currently operates a 7,500-hectare rubber plantation in Mondulkiri, has announced plans to open the doors to its first rubber factory next April, with an initial investment of $5.7 million, a company executive said last week.

Jef Boedt, general manager of Socfin Cambodia, said that since the company launched its rubber plantation in 2009, approximately 2,000 hectares of rubber have become harvestable, making it economically reasonable for Socfin to open its own processing factory.

“When we open our own local factory, we will save costs and become more profitable,” he said, adding that this latest project is in keeping with the company’s plan to foster long-term investment in the Kingdom. “Our goal from the start was always to open a factory eventually, and we have now reached that goal and continue to improve our operations here in Cambodia.”

Socfin Cambodia currently employs 630 people and has invested $88 million in its Cambodian operations over the past decade.

According to Boedt, once the factory is operational it will have the capacity to produce 25 tonnes of dry rubber per day, or approximately 8,000 tonnes per year. He added that the company has not yet decided whether it will sell the rubber it produces directly to the international market or if it will continue selling through local traders.

International rubber prices have risen year-on-year, and Boedt said that he believes that trend will continue in 2018. “The probability that the price will go up is higher than the probability that the price will go down,” he said.

Lim Heng, deputy director of rubber exporter An Mady Group, said plantations with more than 1,000 hectares of rubber available for harvest are likely to invest in opening their own factory to process their product.

He added that such investments in factories demonstrate a long-term commitment to the sector that would hopefully benefit family farmers, but he also lamented the limited processing capacity of most Cambodian rubber factories.

“I wish Cambodia had a factory to process rubber into final products, like tyres for vehicles,” he said. “China is the world’s biggest producer of rubber in the world, and I hope that a Chinese company that knows how to create final product like a car tyre will set up a factory in our country soon.”

According to data from the Ministry of Agriculture, Cambodia exported over 150,000 tonnes of rubber in the first 11 months of the year, amounting to total revenue of $249 million.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia unveils new quarantine regulations

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Cambodia sets new Covid-19 quarantine rules

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Hun Sen: Cambodia set to fully reopen

    Prime Minister Hun Sen concludes that the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, during which many people either flocked to their hometowns for family reunion or gathered at tourist attractions across the country, has not caused an outbreak of Covid-19. In a special address to

  • Will Evergrande change the way Chinese developers do business in Cambodia?

    China’s property sector policy has exposed the grim financial condition of real estate developers including those operating in Cambodia, which raises questions over the viability of their projects and business going forward The dark blue netting draping over one of Yuetai Group Co Ltd’

  • Cambodia voted ‘world’s friendliest country’ in Rough Guides reader poll

    Cambodia ranked number one among the “World’s Friendliest Countries”, according to a reader poll conducted by London-based international website “Rough Guides”. Taking submissions through Twitter and Facebook, “Rough Guides”, a well-known travel agency and publisher of guidebooks, said the Kingdom “was by far the

  • S’ville set to turn into ‘second Shenzhen’

    The Ministry of Economy and Finance has awarded a master plan consultancy contract to top Chinese institute for the development and transformation of Preah Sihanouk province into a “Model Multi-Purpose Special Economic Zone”, Southeast Asia’s next logistics and resort hub and innovation centre. The