CONCH KT Cement (Phnom Penh) Co Ltd has completed a feasibility study on a more than $250 million Chinese-invested cement factory planned for northwestern Kampong Speu province, and is now working on the necessary legal procedures to break ground, according to the provincial governor.
The factory will be located in Monorom village, Horng Samnam commune in the southeastern corner of Kampong Speu’s Oral district. Conch KT Cement is a joint venture between China’s Conch International Holding (HK) Ltd and local firm Battambang KT Cement Co Ltd.
The joint venture currently manages another cement factory in Battambang province’s Ratanak Mondol district that started up on May 31, 2018. The plant has pumped out nearly two million tonnes of cement each year.
Provincial governor Vei Samnang told The Post on March 23 that, having completed a review of the mineral resource potential of the land, the company is now working with stakeholders to study how to deal with possible impacts, and prepare a masterplan.
He affirmed that the Kampong Speu Provincial Administration had yet to receive a tentative start date for the construction.
“The company is currently completing the legal procedures of the ministries and institutions, and the relevant legal standards. The firm has not built anything yet, save for clearing roads to access resources,” the provincial governor said.
Samnang went on to say that Kampong Speu attracts many investors from all over, due to a peaceful environment, political stability, a high level of security, “favourable geographical factors”, a diverse labour force, and a high degree of connectivity to other localities offered by national roads and other major thoroughfares.
The investment has led to poverty reduction and improvements in the people’s living standards, promoted social development, and brought a bevy of other benefits to the province, as well as stimulated national economic growth, he said.
Cambodia Constructors Association general manager Chiv Sivpheng said the new cement plant would greatly benefit the national economy, such as by creating jobs, reducing imports and possibly leading to exports in the future.
He said that economic development and growth of the construction industry will prompt higher demand for cement, especially when the Covid-19 pandemic is fully under control.
“Establishing a local factory will not only lower the price of cement, but it will also help improve the quality of the cement,” he said, contending that more local plants would instil confidence among prospective investors to enter the Cambodian market. He also pointed out that raw materials are widely available in the Kingdom.
Samnang had told The Post last year that the Kampong Speu cement plant would have an annual production capacity of nearly two million tonnes.
The Ministry of Commerce reported that in the first 10 months of 2021, Cambodia imported $40 million worth of cement, down by 33 per cent from $59 million in 2020.
To date, there are five cement factories operating in Cambodia – Chip Mong Insee Cement Corp, Kampot Cement Co Ltd, Cambodia Cement Chakrey Ting Factory Co Ltd, Battambang Conch Cement Co Ltd, Thai Boom Roong Cement Co Ltd – involving capital investments totalling more than $2 billion.