A locally-run aluminium recycler, the first in Cambodia to export pure aluminium to China, now plans to produce aluminium and products thereof for the domestic market as well.

Seng Casin Electronics will soon begin producing drink cans for local drinks manufacturers. Its CEO Sun Bunheng said the factory currently exports all of the aluminium it produces.

“We are gearing up to produce drink cans for local breweries and beverage companies, and also plan to manufacture aluminium power lines,” he revealed.

“There are Chinese and South Korean clients who are interested in power lines and cables, as well as several local electrical factories. The market for aluminium products is global, and we see no reason why Cambodia shouldn’t compete in it,” he added.

As an example, he noted that the Cambodian-Vietnamese border gate in Kratie province’s Snuol district alone saw about 20,000 tonnes of scrap aluminium pass to Vietnam each month.

“The Vietnamese process the scarp into cans or cables and then sell them to China, or even back to us. Once we saw this opportunity, we know we had to be involved. Of course, the fact that we are contributing to recycling and improving the environment is also a motivating factor,” he said.

The company’s factory, opened in Takeo province’s Tram Kak district last year, employs between 500 to 2,000 people, depending on its output.

The factory uses imported smelters from China, and received expert training from Chinese specialists in the field.

“Cambodia produces – and consumes – a lot of beer, juice and energy drinks, all of which are sold in aluminium cans, but we previously had no way of recycling those cans. All of our scrap was heading to neighbouring countries. Now, we expect to grow our exports of finished products to China, Singapore and Vietnam,” he said.

Cham Prasidh, Minister of Industry, Science, Technology and Innovation, addressed the first National Forum on “Science, Technology and Innovation” on March 26.

“Developing innovation throughout Cambodia is a key tenant of the ministry’s planning. Through the enhancement of science and technology, in conjunction with ongoing research and development, we believe Cambodian enterprises can become competitive, regionally as well as globally.

“Creating employment opportunities and adding value to products are our highest priorities. Seng Casin’s aluminium plant is an excellent example of these priorities,” he said.