Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Timeline for container port expansion pushed forward

Timeline for container port expansion pushed forward

Shipping containers sit at Phnom Penh Autonomous Port’s TS3 terminal on the banks of the Tonle Sap in 2010.
Shipping containers sit at Phnom Penh Autonomous Port’s TS3 terminal on the banks of the Tonle Sap in 2010. Pha Lina

Timeline for container port expansion pushed forward

With container ship traffic increasing rapidly, the capital’s port operator has moved forward its expansion plans to ensure it has the yard space and equipment to handle the growing volume of containers arriving daily at its flagship cargo port near Phnom Penh.

Hei Bavy, director general of Phnom Penh Autonomous Port (PPAP), said yesterday the state-run port operator had already commenced with the second phase of its container port expansion months ahead of schedule.

The $12-million development plan aims to double the annual throughput capacity of the company’s LM17 container port, located 30 kilometres south of Phnom Penh in Kandal province.

“The project already started in 2015 because we were afraid that we wouldn’t have enough capacity to receive more containers this year,” Bavy said.

He said the container port received 145,000 TEUs last year, and current models project more than 160,000 TEUs arriving in 2016 – exceeding the container port’s capacity of 150,000 TEUs per year.

“We worry that in 2016 we will reach 160,000 TEUs, exceeding capacity we have,” he added.

Bavy said PPAP will self-finance the second phase of the container port’s expansion, which is scheduled for completion in 2017.

The company successfully raised $5.2 million in an initial public offering on the Cambodian Securities Exchange (CSX) last December, and will funnel a portion of its estimated $15-million 2015 earnings into the project.

“We will use our revenue from 2015 and proceeds from the IPO to fund the project,” he said. “We don’t need any other funding sources, we already have enough.”

With container traffic growing at 10 to 20 per cent a year, the port operator is already looking ahead to a third phase of expansion, which is set to increase LM17’s annual throughput capacity to 500,000 TEUs by 2028.

The project envisions a new jetty and container yard on 10 hectares of PPAP-owned land west of the existing terminal.

Bavy said PPAP was weighing its options to finance the $30-million expansion project, and could combine soft loans and a follow-on offering.

“The first option is to list around 10 to 20 per cent of our shares [on the CSX] and seek more capital, but we will first see how the business grows and the demand for expansion,” he said.

He added that the proposed follow-on offering was still several years off, perhaps in 2020 “when we see that the demand is growing.”

PPAP, the country’s second-largest port operator, was the third company to list on the CSX, floating a 20 per cent stake.

The company’s shares were trading at 5,460 riel yesterday, with a market capitalisation of approximately $28 million.

MOST VIEWED

  • Kingdom's Covid cluster cases jump to 194

    The Ministry of Health on February 25 confirmed 65 new cases of Covid-19, with 58 linked to the February 20 community transmission. The latest cluster cases include nine Vietnamese nationals, five Cambodians, one each from Korea, Singapore and Japan, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total number

  • Locations shut, dozens more Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health has closed 23 locations in connection with the February 20 community transmission of Covid-19 and summoned for testing anyone who had direct contact with affected people and places. The number of discovered related infections has risen to 76, including 39 women. In a press release,

  • Preah Sihanouk hit with travel ban

    Preah Sihanouk Provincial Administration has announced a temporary travel ban to and from the province, except for ambulances and trucks transporting goods. The announcement came after prime minister Hun Sen called on people in the province to travel only if necessary, and that people not

  • Cambodia's Covid cluster cases rise to 137

    The Ministry of Health on February 24 recorded 40 more cases of Covid-19, with 38 linked to the February 20 community transmission. Of the 40, two are imported cases involving Chinese passengers. The 38 include two Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total cases

  • AstraZeneca jabs touch down in Phnom Penh airport

    The first shipment of 324,000 doses of the AstraZeneca/SII vaccine which was provided through the Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) Facility was delivered to Phnom Penh International Airport on March 2. The rest of the COVAX provided vaccines will arrive in Cambodia at a later date.

  • Covid cluster raises alarm, health bodies urge vigilance

    The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia have expressed great concern over the February 20 cluster transmission of Covid-19 in the community. Both entities appealed for vigilance and cooperation in curbing further spread of the virus. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said