PAILIN authorities are seeking $500 million in foreign loans for comprehensive infrastructure
projects, and are asking the Government's assistance to secure the money.
Documents obtained by the Post show the money is to be used for extensive roading,
electricity, irrigation and other public works.
It was signed by Pailin Governor Y Chhean, General Ros Routha and Brigardier General
A government source said that the Pailin Authorities have asked Prime Minister Hun
Sen to order the National Bank of Cambodia to sign guarantees for their loan applications.
However the source said this is likely to be complicated because the amount of the
loan exceeds the NBC's capitalization by $150 million.
Hun Sen is understood to have pulled up short of exposing the country to a $.5 billion
liability without some investigation into its viability, but is generally in favor
of the concept.
He has forwarded the proposal to the Cambodian Development Council (CDC) for their
Government spokesman Khieu Kannarith said he heard of the proposal. He said it would
need to go to the Council of Ministers for the final go-ahead.
A source at the CDC said they had been aware for some time that Pailin was planning
massive infrastructure projects, but that they had not yet seen the details.
But he said he thought it stood a good chance of being approved because it was in
line with the Government policy to rebuild the country.
He added that the Agriculture Ministry was looking at what land could be provided
for the project.
He said the project and its loans have been kept very secret, adding there were other
even more massive investment plans in the pipeline.
One diplomat spoken to by the Post said that he had heard of Y Chhean's plans to
build a $400m hydro electric plant several months ago.
He said he believed it to be viable, and if Hun Sen provided assistance it might
bring the semi-autonomous region closer to the Government.
It is unknown who is being approached to lend the money.
The World Bank said that it had not been approached to fund the projects.
However, a spokesman commented that the public works looked like good ideas that
"would provide employment."
The spokesman added that the most likely source would be the banks that Pailin already
deals with such as the those based in Thailand.
Meanwhile, the prospect of the country being landed with such a huge liability has
shocked opposition leader Sam Rainsy. He said that such projects and their funding
needed to be transparent and discussed openly.
The full proposal is outlined below:
Communication System. Rebuilding the following road links:
- National Route 10 from Battambang to Khmer-Thai borders 118 km long by 8m wide.
- The streets in the city (642 km)
- The streets around the city (53 km)
- The road from Pailin to Samlot district (58 km)
- The road from Pailin to Malai district (110 km)
- The road from Pailin to Koh Kong port (205 km)
- Bridges crossing the Route 10 (25)
- Bridges in Pailin (19)
- Drainage culverts under the road (242)
Water Supply System and Drainage:
- Build a 2,000,000 m3 water reservoir
- Build a 5,000,000 m3 dam and sluice gate for farm land irrigation.
- Rehabilitate a 36 kilometer irrigation canal
- Drainage system in the city (667km)
- The drainage pipes for waste (1,334 km)
Electricity and other projects
- Hydroelectric dam
- Generator (50 MKW)
- Electric Wire Post 32,201
- International standard Airport.
- International Market and five star hotel
- Radio Station (short wave) and TV station with 20 K.H.A
- Hospital (500 rooms)
- One Bank Building
- Kindergarten School (40 rooms)
- Junior High School (20 rooms)
- Secondary School (10 rooms)
- Tourism Areas (9 sites)n- Vocational Training School (50 rooms)
- Sugar refinery
- Land for planting sugar cane (50,000 hectares)
- Land for building factory (1000m and 1000m)