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No end date in sight for oil plant completion

No end date in sight for oil plant completion

Cambodia Petroleum Company says its $2.3 billion oil refinery is still in the early stages of construction, after being delayed twice since it announcement in 2013.

The landmark oil refinery, to be built on 365 hectares across Kampot and Sihanoukville provinces, was first expected to be completed in 2014, after receiving $1.67 billion in funding from the Export-Import Bank of China in December 2013.

Hann Khieng, a CPC representative, said the plant’s foundation has been partially built, however, he could not confirm a completion date for the project.

“The principle plan is completed. Now we are working on the construction design. Some basic infrastructure for the plant has already been built, but I cannot tell for now when exactly the plant will be completed,” he said.

The foundation needs to be set out first before construction of the refinery plant can happen, said Khieng. He had told the Post last April, that the project couldn’t be completed by 2014 because of the lack of detailed planning.

“First, we need water reservoir to protect us from flooding or tsunami, which can cause damage to our plant. We need to build road that could stand with 300 tonnes weigh. We also need to build a port for bigger vessel to enter. We are working on these infrastructures at the moment,” he added.

The plant is a joint venture between domestically owned Cambodian Petrochemical Company, China National Automation Control System Corporation and Sino March Company of China. The refinery is expected to process five million tonnes of crude oil, partly sourced from the Middle East.

“Oil demand in Cambodia stands at around two million tonnes per year. With five million tonnes capacity at the plant, the remaining oil will be exported to countries in ASEAN. At that time, oil price will become cheaper,” he said.

Meng Saktheara, a secretary of state at the Ministry of Mines and Energy, said the refinery plant will process local crude oil when extraction from Cambodia’s oil fields begin. The government is expecting extraction to start in 2018, he added.

“Having this plant will allow us to refine crude oil locally, but the price would not be cheaper as the contract between the company and the government is set according to the international market price and also the government does not have a price subsidiary policy for oil.”

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