At the official inauguration of the Hun Sen Boulevard on Monday, the prime minister proudly and publicly acknowledged the go-ahead for the Thai Boon Roong Twin Trade Center – the 133-storey twin skyscrapers that, when announced in February last year, was largely doubted by industry experts and the public alike.
“Before, Phnom Penh only had buildings of three to eight storeys, but now, there are 40 to 50-storey buildings. The next step is to build this skyscraper, possibly the tallest in Southeast Asia. It’s up to 550 metres tall, so we can all go and test the sky,” Hun Sen said.
Pinning the capital city’s rapid development success on “putting my best into leading the country”, the prime minister added that the city’s expansion from 300 square kilometres to its current 700 square kilometres “is a vital change in our city of Phnom Penh”.
According to a Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction (MLMUPC) report, the end of 2016 collated a total of 600 buildings ranging from five to 45 storeys high.
Tous Saphoeun, deputy secretary general of Board of Architects Cambodia (BAC) and also one of the architects involved in the twin towers’ design, said the project’s current situation is to concentrate on the redrafting of the design and structure. This comes on the heels of MLMUPC Minister Chea Sophara’s request for optimum safety on the site the skyscraper is to be built on.
Prior to this, the project had received confirmation from the previous MLMUPC minister Im Chhun Lim, but it hit a deadlock when he was replaced by Sophara, who requested for the developer to push the building further in so that it would not be too close to the main street along Samdech Techo Hun Sen park.
Saphoeun added that the construction is to leave a 25-metre space from the gate across the street from NagaWorld Hotel and Casino.
“If there’s no other obstacle, the construction of this cloud-high twin buildings will begin in August because the metal, materials, and technical work for this building have already been put into place,” he said. “The company also has money in hand, and the cooperative companies will continue to work with us to make this project happen.”
Spearheaded by the Thai Boon Roong Group in Phnom Penh, initial companies named as partners included Hong Kong-based Hsin Chong Construction Group Ltd., and Macau-based Sun Kian Ip Group, but these have since changed hands. In January, a consortium led by China’s Sino Great Wall International Engineering Co. Ltd. won the bid to build the twin towers, while Reuters reported that Wuhan-based Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry Co. Ltd. was part of the consortium.
Kim Heang, president of the CVEA, said if the prime minister has officially announced the project, then surely the ambitious building – whose current investment stands at $5.1 billion – would happen.
“The presence of this twin building will be the national pride, showcasing the economic strength of the Kingdom, political stability, and trust for investors, prompting them to lay down more investment in Cambodia,” Heang noted.
Lao Tip Seiha, under-secretary of state of the MLMUPC, declined to comment, referring Post Property to Seng Lot, the ministry’s spokesman, who could not be reached.