The construction of the Kingdom’s first oil refinery is proceeding on schedule, with a permit to import machinery having been applied for, a senior official at the General Department of Petroleum told The Post on Monday.
The refinery, a joint-venture between the locally owned Cambodian Petrochemical Company (CPC) and China’s Sinomach China Perfect Machinery Industry Corp, is expected to produce five million tonnes of oil per year.
Construction had been delayed many times due to internal issues, with ground eventually breaking on the facility, which sits on land across Kampot and Preah Sihanouk provinces, in mid-2017.
In the first of two phases, the company said it will spend some $620 million, which will allow for the production of around two million tonnes per year for the local market.
General Department of Petroleum director-general Cheap Sour told The Post that construction has been proceeding as planned, with the project at the stage of submitting a request for a permit to import equipment and machinery for installation.
“If nothing changes regarding the construction of the oil refinery, the first phase will be completed by early next year.
“This will result in positive impacts such as the creation of jobs, because when Block A begins producing oil, it will go to the facility for refining. Also, the government will receive more revenue from taxation,” Sour said.
CPC chairman Hann Khieng on Monday said construction of the refinery is on schedule, with all other operations making good progress.
Mao Chetravuth, personal assistant to the president of CPC, previously said the plant is to be equipped with cutting-edge technology that meets the latest Euro 5 standard, something other countries in the region lacked.
According to information the company submitted to the Ministry of Mines and Energy, construction will begin on stage two of the project in 2022, which will have a further capacity of three million tonnes per year.
Prime Minister Hun Sen reiterated last month that Cambodia will extract the first drop of oil from the Apsara oilfield’s Block A by the middle of next year.
KrisEnergy last week started cutting the first steel for the minimum facilities wellhead “mini-platform” for the Apsara oilfield – Cambodia’s maiden oil development – as the company moved towards its target of extracting oil by mid-2020.
Apsara oil is scheduled to flow next year, with the field expected to reach a peak rate of 7,500 barrels of oil per day, KrisEnergy said.