Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Rising local cement production chips away at imports




Rising local cement production chips away at imports

The newly opened Chip Mong Insee Cement factory in Kampot.
The newly opened Chip Mong Insee Cement factory in Kampot. Hin Pisei

Rising local cement production chips away at imports

Last week’s inauguration of a massive new cement plant in Kampot able to supply 5,000 tonnes of cement a day to the local market is expected to put a dent in imports, but even with more cement factories coming online this year demand will continue to outstrip local supply.

Chip Mong Insee Cement Corporation (CMIC), a joint venture between local conglomerate Chip Mong Group and Thailand’s Siam City Cement Corp (SCCC), officially opened its $262-million plant on February 8. The facility will use locally quarried limestone
to produce up to 1.7 million tonnes of cement a year, or about a quarter of the market’s current demand.

“This is the biggest factory in Cambodia that produces high-quality cement using the finest quality materials,” said Leang Khun, a director of CMIC.

Occupying 110 hectares, CMIC’s new plant is one of five licensed cement factories in Cambodia. Two other plants are in operation, Kampot Cement and Cambodia Cement Chakrey Ting, while another two – Thai Boon Rong Cement and Battambang Conch
Cement – are still under construction.

Yos Monyrath, a spokesman of the Ministry of Mines and Energy, said the three active cement factories are capable of supplying nearly 5 million tonnes to the market. Kampot Cement has an annual production capacity of 2 million tonnes, while Chakrey Ting can produce 1 million, and the new CMIC plant adds another 1.7 million tonnes.

Battambang Conch Cement, which is slated to launch production by the end of the semester, will add another 1.7 million tonnes.

“These four factories together can produce from 6 to 7 million tonnes per year, which I think is sufficient to supply the local market’s current needs,” said Monyrath. “However, our country is rapidly growing, therefore, imports will still be necessary.”

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Workers pour cement in Phnom Penh. Photo supplied

Ly Hour, president of the Housing Development Association of Cambodia, said until now local cement production cannot meet the high demand of the country’s construction boom. However, he said the addition of new local production lines should help to reduce reliance on imports.

“Although the supply is less than the demand, I think investing in cement factories will help reduce our need to import cement from overseas,” he said.

Seang Thai, a spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce, told The Post in December that Cambodia imported about 1.19 million tonnes of cement in 2016 at a cost equivalent of $85 million. He added that local production would have to compete on price and quality to gain market share.

“Cement imports are still highly important for construction, because our cement supply is not sufficient to meet construction growth,” he said. “We are part of a free market now, and we have to build up our capacity to compete in this market – we cannot ban imports.”

However, developers are increasingly using local cement in their projects. Meng Chamroeun, operations manager for OCIC’s Olympia City project, said the company’s engineers were impressed with the quality and durability of K Cement, a brand of Kampot Cement, and made a decision to use it for the mixed-use development’s tall buildings.

“From my experience, other cement products don’t seem as strong as K Cement,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • PM: West unfair to Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen released a message celebrating the International Day of Peace on Monday, saying that some major powers and western countries had been systemically cooperating to put political pressure on Cambodia as they did in the 1970s and 1980s. Hun Sen said pressuring

  • First ‘mobile kitchen’ in Cambodia enters service

    A catering company recently rolled out Cambodia’s first “mobile kitchen” – a $50,000 container capable of serving up to 200 people at a time. The kitchen is the brainchild of Seng Hok Heng Catering Services. At 4.4m-high, 6.8m-long and 2.4m-wide (expandable to 6.8m), the kitchen is equipped

  • Kingdom, China rebut basis for US sanctions

    The Council for the Development of Cambodia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Tianjin Union Investment Development Group Co Ltd (Tianjin) have responded to US sanctions on Union Development Group Co Ltd (UDG), a Chinese-owned company currently developing the sprawling $3.8 billion Dara

  • Influenza breaks out in eight provinces

    Nearly 600 people have been infected with influenza in eight provinces in the past month, Ministry of Health spokesperson Or Vandine said. The ministry is advising extreme caution. A report released by Vandine on Saturday said the Ministry of Health observed transmissions of influenza between August 15

  • CNRP activist freed; Sam Rainsy pledges return to Kingdom

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Monday released former CNRP activist Oeur Narith on bail after the court ended its questioning on suspicion of receiving money from abroad and plotting to overthrow the government, according to the authorities. National Police spokesman Chhay Kim Khoeun confirmed

  • Hun Sen says developing nations ‘targets of rivalry’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen spoke at the virtual UN General Assembly on Monday, saying that developing nations often become targets of punishment for their imperfections when they don’t rise to the standards of developed countries. He said rivalries between superpowers often hamper developing countries’