Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Lack of funds delays railway

Lack of funds delays railway

Liu Ziming (left), chairman of China Railway Major Bridge Engineering Group Co Ltd, and Zhang Chuan You, general manager of Cambodia Iron & Steel Mining Industry Group.
Liu Ziming (left), chairman of China Railway Major Bridge Engineering Group Co Ltd, and Zhang Chuan You, general manager of Cambodia Iron & Steel Mining Industry Group, shake hands following a signing ceremony in Phnom Penhin 2012. Heng Chivoan

Lack of funds delays railway

The China Railway Group’s planned $7.5 billion Cambodian north-south railway line has been delayed due to funding shortages, according to the company’s top official.

Originally slated to begin construction last year, China Railway’s chairman, Li Changjin, told the South China Morning Post that work on the 400-kilometre railway line was on hold due to funding problems.

The April 9 the Morning Post’s report did not say when construction would begin.

Part of a larger $9.6 billion agreement signed between China Railway and the Chinese-owned Cambodia Iron and Steel Mining Industry Group, the railway is to connect a steel factory to be built in Preah Vihear province in the north to a new port in Koh Kong province on the gulf of Thailand in the south.

Construction has yet to begin on any part of what would be Cambodia’s largest-ever infrastructure project and little information has been made available from either of the companies involved or the government since the project was announced on December 31, 2012.

From the iron-ore mining area of Preah Vihear, the railway is to pass through the provinces of Kampong Thom, Kampong Chhnang and Kampong Speu before reaching the proposed port in Koh Kong.

Chinese company Union Development Group holds 45,000 hectares of land concessions in Koh Kong. It would be difficult for the railway to avoid passing through their holding, which includes a golf course and luxury resort.

But they say they have not been told of any plans to lay tracks on their turf.

“I don’t think they will build the railway through our concession because until today no one has come to contact us,” the company’s representative Ngou Tieng Lung told the Phnom Penh Post in an interview last month.

Union Development has not been informed of any progress on the railway by the government, nor have they inquired, Ngou added.

The ministry of public works and transport could not be reached for comment yesterday, but Sokhom Pheakavanmony, secretary of state at the ministry, told the Post in March that they too have not received word on the project.

“I think the company is still in the feasibility study phase because so far I have not received any news from them. If they have any update on the project they have to inform us,” he said.

Pheakavanmony attributed the lack of information to delays in China Railway’s feasibility study brought on by political instability from last year’s national election.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY MAY KUNMAKARA AND DAVID BOYLE

MOST VIEWED

  • All foreigners' accommodations to be inspected: Sar Kheng

    The Ministry of Interior is undertaking a serious effort to inspect all the accommodations of foreigners in Cambodia – except diplomats – in order to find and identify human traffickers. Minister Sar Kheng said this would include inspections on the homes of foreigners employed by businesses, private

  • Ice cream, noodles flagged over carcinogen

    The General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia (GDCE) has identified three types of instant noodles and ice cream trademarks originating from Thailand, Vietnam and France that are suspected to contain ethylene oxide, which poses a cancer risk to consumers. The general department has

  • Exclusive interview with Josep Borrell Fontelles, High Representative of the EU

    CAMBODIA is hosting the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and Related Meetings this week with top officials from the US, China, and Russia and other countries in the region slated to attend and to meet with face-to-face with their counterparts on the sidelines. In

  • Rise in Thai air routes to Siem Reap fuels travel hopes

    Local tourism industry players are eager for regional airline Bangkok Airways Pcl’s resumption of direct flight services between the Thai capital and Siem Reap town on August 1 – home of Cambodia’s awe-inspiring Angkor Archaeological Park – which is expected to boost the growth rate of

  • ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ meet commences, Taiwan issue possibly on table

    The 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and related meetings hosted by Cambodia kicks off in Phnom Penh on August 3, with progress, challenges, and the way forward for the ASEAN Community-building on the table. Issues on Taiwan, sparked by the visit of US House Speaker

  • NBC eyes KHQR payments in Laos, Vietnam

    The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) is working with Lao and Vietnamese authorities to expand the use of KHQR code cross-border payment systems to promote trade and investment as well as increase the scope of regional economic linkages, and in particular, facilitate remittances from overseas