Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Tycoon looks to expand and deepen private Sihanoukville seaport

Tycoon looks to expand and deepen private Sihanoukville seaport

Tycoon Mong Reththy shows off a rubber plantation at his Sihanoukville ELC in 2011.
Tycoon Mong Reththy shows off a rubber plantation at his Sihanoukville ELC in 2011. Heng Chivoan

Tycoon looks to expand and deepen private Sihanoukville seaport

Agro-industrial tycoon Mong Reththy plans to expand his private port to handle bigger ships and containerised cargoes, increasing potential competition with the country’s principal port in Sihanoukville.

“We got approval from the government already to expand the port and now we are studying the location,” Reththy said yesterday. “We want to upgrade it to handle container shipments.”

Oknha Mong Port, also known as Keo Phos Port, is located in Koh Kong province about 45 kilometres north of Sihanoukville. The 27-hectare port became Cambodia’s first privately owned seaport when it began operations in 2004, and is now operated as part of a joint venture with Thai conglomerate TCC Group.

Oknha Mong Port’s 1-kilometre-long concrete berth currently serves mostly break-bulk vessels under 5,000 tonnes on account of its shallow 5-metre draft. However, Reththy plans to expand the port while deepening the navigation channel to allow the passage of much larger container vessels.

“In order to handle container ships, the port must be renovated and the channel deepened to eight metres, which will allow it to handle container vessels up to 10,000 tonnes,” he said, while declining to disclose investment cost estimates.

A Ministry of Transport official confirmed the government approved the port’s proposed expansion in August 2015, but has yet to see a master plan.

Meanwhile, officials at nearby Sihanoukville Autonomous Port (SAP), which handled over 390,000 TEUs last year, shrugged off the threat of competition.

SAP director Lou Kim Chhun said the private port’s addition of container-handling facilities would give shipping firms more options, which is good for the economy as a whole.

“Once we have a new container port it will create a rival to our port [in Sihanoukville,]” he said.“Then we will compete on price, service and quality.”

SAP, however, is currently in the midst of its own expansion. Construction will increase the port’s draft from the existing 8.5 metres to 13.5 metres, and expand its handling capacity to 700,000 TEUs by 2020.

Nhiev Kol, general manager of container shipping company CMA-CGM (Cambodia) Co Ltd, said the company currently utilises Sihanoukville Port but might consider Oknha Mong Port for some shipments after its expansion.

“We need to consider the capacity of the port and its standard for handling our ships,” Kol said. “If the tariff, service and quality are good, we would welcome using the [private] port.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Seven positive for Covid-19, Hun Sen confirms local transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen announced that there has been local community transmission of Covid-19. However, he urged the people not to panic even though the Ministry of Health announced the discovery of seven new cases on Sunday. Among the victims are Chhem Savuth, the director-general

  • Cambodia at ‘most critical moment’, Hun Sen warns

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the first community transmission of Covid-19 in Cambodia has led the country to the “most critical moment” that warranted urgent, large-scale operations to contain the pandemic. Hun Sen, who confirmed the first local transmission on November 28, said the source of

  • PM confirms community transmission, calls for unity

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has called on the public to stay calm, unite and follow the Ministry of Health guidelines after the wife of a senior official tested positive for Covid-19 in the Kingdom’s first case of community transmission. The case has drawn criticism

  • Over 110 garment factories close

    A government official said on November 22 that at least 110 garment factories had closed in the first nine months of the year and left more than 55,000 workers without jobs – but union leaders worry those numbers could be much higher. Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training undersecretary

  • Singapore group seeks $14M in damages from PPSP over ‘breach of contract’

    Singapore-based Asiatic Group (Holdings) Ltd is seeking a minimum of $14.4 million relief from Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX)-listed Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone Plc (PPSP) for allegedly breaching a power plant joint venture (JV) agreement. Asiatic Group’s wholly-owned Colben System Pte Ltd and 95 per

  • PM vows to protect Hun family

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has vowed to continue his fight against opposition politicians who he said intend to smash the Hun family. Without naming the politicians but apparently referring to former leaders of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), Hun Sen said there