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Port reports ‘solid’ 1st year in business

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Phnom Penh Autonomous Port (PPAP) located at Banteay Dek commune in Kandal province's Kien Svay district. Heng Chivoan

Port reports ‘solid’ 1st year in business

Public-listed state-owned enterprise Phnom Penh Autonomous Port (PPAP) reported sound business performance in the first half of the year, reflecting the recovery of regional and global business activity as the Covid-19 crisis eases.

In a filing to the Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX) last week, PPAP said the number of cargo vessels handled at the river port in the January-June period rocketed by 85.66 per cent to 2,124, as oil, gas and cargo throughput rose by 8.60 per cent to 2.10 million tonnes and container throughput surged by 42.02 per cent to 209,176 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units).

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.

Speaking to The Post, CSX director for market operations Kim Sophanita attributed PPAP’s results to the government’s “highly responsive and effective” anti-Covid measures that led to Cambodia’s promotion to the top ranking on the Nikkei Covid-19 Recovery Index.

She said the Kingdom’s “aggressive push towards vaccination allowed most businesses and companies operating in Cambodia to regain traction and their foothold.

“PPAP’s notable growth within the first two quarters has certainly sparked positive expectations toward company’s annual profits among investors. Additionally their terminal expansions will also enhance the company’s value [due to] the expected increase of operations in the future,” Sophanita added.

The port operator plans to expand the number of satellite river terminals under its purview to seven, to ensure greater accessibility for customers, and reduce costs and wasted time.

The TS11 multi-purpose port terminal on the Tonle Sap River in northern Phnom Penh is 85 per cent complete and is on track to be launched in July, with five more satellite terminals to be opened by November, Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol said in late April.

Chanthol listed these as Prek Anhchanh and Prek Kdam ports in Kandal province just north of the capital; Tonle Bet Port in Kampong Cham; Chhlong Port in Kratie; and Kampong Chhnang Port in the namesake province.

TS11 – also known as Kilometre 6 Terminal – is expected to significantly reduce the times and costs associated with shipping and receiving goods to and from Cambodia’s provinces.

In March, PPAP director-general Hei Bavy that high coronavirus vaccination rates in the region and further afield have developed a meaningful degree of herd immunity, easing the impact of Covid-19 and prompting countries to more widely resume economic activity. This, he claimed, would translate to increased container throughput at port terminals.

He said that annual container throughput at the terminals generally averages 15-18 per cent, recording 348,898 TEU last year, up by nearly 20.0 per cent from 290,857 TEUs in 2020, which followed a 3.49 increase over 2019.

Bavy added that PPAP has forecast a container throughput of 394,679 TEUs this year as Covid-19 tapers off, which would be a 13.12 per cent rise over 2021.


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