Public-listed Sihanoukville Autonomous Port (PAS) reported solid growth and improved business performance in the first quarter of this year, reflecting a marked recovery in regional and global economic activity.
In a May 27 filing to the Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX), PAS said that in January-March, amid a major overhaul to more effectively run business operations, revenues totalled 90.38 billion riel ($22.3 million), up by 9.09 billion riel or 11.18 per cent year-on-year.
Net profit after tax, however, was down 3.76 billion riel or 10.23 per cent year-on-year to 33.04 billion riel.
Lou Kim Chhun, director-general of the state-run deep-sea port operator, attributed the dip in net profit to a decline in unrealised foreign exchange gain in Japanese yen, but noted that an uptrend in general cargo and container throughput had kept revenues buoyant.
Earnings per share stood at 385.23 riel for the quarter, as container throughput reached 198,182 TEUs, up by 16.32 per cent year-on-year from 170,370 TEUs.
A TEU is an inexact unit of cargo capacity used in the shipping industry roughly equivalent to a container with internal dimensions measuring about 20 feet long, eight feet wide and 8.5 feet tall, or a volume roughly 38.5 cubic metres.
Kim Chhun went on to say that PAS would “continue its efforts for the betterment of business and service operation and to achieve the highest benefits for its shareholders.
“PAS has strengthened the work efficiency and built additional infrastructure to meet the increasing demand of customers and the growing economy,” he added.
He explained that rising cargo and container throughput had prompted PAS to renovate an old 350m-long wharf built in 1969 into an additional 243m-long container terminal.
In an earlier CSX filing, Kim Chhun had said that yet another container terminal is planned to be built in three phases, with each set to be ready for operation in 2025, 2028 and 2030, respectively.
After each phase is completed, the port will respectively have a length of 350m, 400m, and 430m; depth of 14.50m, 16.50m, and 17.50m; and the capacity to handle vessels up to 4,000 TEUs or 60,000 DWT (deadweight-tonnage), 10,000 TEUs or 120,000 DWT, and 15,000 TEUs or 160,000 DWT, he said.
In the May 27 filing, Kim Chhun affirmed that Phase I, due to be completed in mid-2025 and launched before the end of the year, would boost the port’s annual container handling capacity to 1.15 million TEUs – up roughly 53 per cent from the reported container throughput of 0.75 million TEUs for 2021.
“This new container terminal will allow larger container vessels in the region calling to PAS, [and] will address the water depth constraints for the port as well as ocean freight cost that will [be] similar to neighbouring countries and [those in] the region, and contribute to trade facilitation and” socio-economic development in Cambodia, he said.
He said Phase I includes the installation of three quay cranes (QC), nine rubber-tyred gantry cranes (RTG), two empty container handling reach stackers, 16 container lorries and a virtual container terminal management system.