A joint venture between South Korean and Cambodian investors is planning to establish an industrial park on approximately 100 hectares in Kampong Chhnang province with an on-site solar farm to provide cheap electricity for its tenants.
The special economic zone (SEZ) would be located adjacent to National Road 5 in Rolea Ba’ier district of Kampong Chhang province, about 70 kilometres north of Phnom Penh.
Chea Mong, CEO of Asia Sunrise Teuk Haut, the company behind the project, said that his firm was prepared to pump $200 million into to developing the 102-hectare site and has submitted its master plan to the Council for Development of Cambodia (CDC).
“We submitted documentation already and the CDC came to inspect the site in December, and we’ve already met with its SEZ board,” he said yesterday. “We’re now just waiting on government approval.”
Mong said he provided the land while the South Korean shareholder Power Engineering Co. Ltd. will provide the technical expertise to develop the site.
He said Power Engineering has extensive experience in solar energy applications and investments in 31 countries. The company will build a 100-megawatt photovoltaic solar farm inside the SEZ to power its factories and administrative buildings.
“Our partner has experience with solar energy and saw a good opportunity to invest in our SEZ because Cambodia still doesn’t use solar energy for its industrial sector,” he said. “All factories in the SEZ will be powered by solar energy, with any surplus going to the surrounding community.”
While no contracts have been signed, Mong said Power Engineering has lined up 20 companies in Hong Kong, Thailand and South Korea as potential tenants. He said if approved, construction could be completed within a year, providing jobs for up to 20,000 people.
A CDC official confirmed that the Council was reviewing Asia Sunrise Teuk Haut’s application.
Sam Serei Rath, undersecretary of state of the Ministry of Commerce, said government had given the SEZ project a nod, but final approval would hinge on its environment impact assessment (EIA), currently under review.
“We need to study the EIA first to determine whether the project will impact any villagers living on the land.”
Mong insisted the company held hard titles to the property, and that there was no conflict with any local residents. Furthermore, as the investment would be based on solar it would have minimal impact on the environment.