P RINCE Norodom Ranariddh presided over a ceremony to mark the building of the ground-breaking Ex-Odem Road Construction Center on Sept 9.
The $20 million facility, funded by Japanese grant aid and located 5 km west of Pochentong Airport on Route 4, is designed to provide Cambodians with the equipment to rebuild the country's devastated road infrastructure.
The 10-month first phase of the project will see Obayashi Corporation build an administration office, a generator house, an elevated water tank, and power, water and sewage facilities.
Equipment such as a bulldozer, a dump truck, and a concrete mixer will also be supplied to the Center; Itochu and Marubeni Corporations are the suppliers for Phase 1 of the project, according to documents obtained by the Post.
The 12-month phase two of the project, which will be tendered out by the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, will see further equipment supplied to the Center; workshops, a warehouse, a garage and other ancillary facilities will also be built on the site, according to a source close to the Japanese.
But the source was unable to tell the Post if any training would be provided by the Japanese to the Cambodians to teach them how to use the equipment to rebuild roads.
Ambassador Yukio Imagawa who participated in the ceremony said: "I think the roads mainly should be repaired directly by Cambodian hands. In this sense the project is most useful and also helps create employment opportunities.
"It is indispensable for the Cambodian government to appropriate the national budget for procuring the materials like asphalt and gravel as well as for maintaining the Center and equipment .... the success of the project entirely depends on Cambodia."