Listed publicly-owned port operator Sihanoukville Autonomous Port (PAS) imported four empty container reach-stackers from Chinese State-owned multinational engineering company Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Co Ltd (ZPMC), ZPMC said on Monday.
A reach-stacker is a power-driven mobile truck used for handling intermodal shipping containers at airports, sea-ports and railway yards.
ZPMC said the reach-stacker arrived at the Kingdom’s sole deep-sea port on July 21.
“The four empty container reach-stackers were successfully delivered to Sihanoukville Port of Cambodia on July 21, indicating the debut of ZPMC’s mobile machinery on the Cambodian market.
“The port is the largest along the southwest coastline and the only modern commercial free zone port,” it said.
A free zone refers to an area in which companies are either untaxed or taxed at a marginal rate to stimulate economic activity.
Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol told a press conference in February that, with the financial assistance of the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (Jica), the government is planning to build a new 14.5m-deep container terminal for the port.
“The container terminal will service about 93 per cent of all large vessels travelling in the Asia-Pacific region.
“We will be able to ship directly without having to stop at Singapore or Hong Kong,” he said.
PAS director-general Lou Khim Chhun could not be reached for comment over the import of the reach-stackers.
But he previously told an interview that the new terminal is expected to cost around $203 million.
A ministry report the number of containers handled at the port increased by 17 per cent, reaching a total of 633,099 twenty-foot equivalent units by the end of last year.
Total tonnage handled by the port increased by 22.6 per cent, reaching more than 6.5 million tonnes, while the total number of vessels passing through rose by 15.5 per cent to 1,661.
PAS recorded $83.48 million in revenue last year, up 21.17 per cent year-on-year, and $20.34 million in operating profit, up 27 per cent, according to its filing to the Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX).