Rice-milling factory Penh Chet, located in Cheung Prey district in Kampong Cham province, burned to the ground after a fire broke out on Friday night and continued into early Saturday morning.
Team Sok, Cheung Prey vice district governor, said damages totalled at least $1 million.
“The owner [of the factory] is [now] calculating the exact losses of money,” Sok told the Post yesterday. “Anyway, at the moment, we can say that the losses include machinery, the rice storehouse, and [the owner’s] house, which totals to not less that $1 million.”
Penh Chet milling factory purchases paddy rice from local farmers in the district and then sells the milled product to rice exporters.
According to factory owner Seang Leng, Penh Chet buys about 100 tonnes of paddy rice from farmers each day during the harvesting season.
“We have been expanding our investment annually, but now the new store and the old one were damaged,” she said.
“Our house is cracked everywhere, so we cannot live in it anymore. We just hope the insurance pay claim can help us to some extent.”
Phat Bunna, vice president of CAMINCO Insurance Company, Leng’s insurer, told the Post yesterday that the factory owner can claim up to $300,000 from CAMINCO and that his team is currently looking into the claim.
“Our staff is studying the exact amount of losses and finding the possible factors that caused the fire,” Bunna said.
Local authorities have not yet been able to establish how the fire started.
“We are studying this issue,” Heng Vuthy, police chief of Cheung Prey district, said.