Cambodia opened its first cement plant on Monday in a multimillion-dollar joint venture with Thailand’s Siam Cement to back the booming domestic construction industry.
Siam Cement and Cambodia’s top building firm Khaou Chuly Group spent $93m to build the plant, known as Kampot Cement Co, Prime Minister Hun Sen said at the opening ceremony.
The factory, located in the quiet coastal backwater of Kampot province, can produce 960,000t of cement per year, the premier said in a speech broadcast by state-run radio.
"Twenty-nine years after the genocidal regime of Pol Pot was toppled, Cambodia for the first time has the opportunity to produce cement by itself," he said.
Hun Sen said the factory could meet 40% of Cambodia’s current demand for cement.
Kampot Cement already plans a $100m expansion that would boost the factory’s capacity to 2Mt of cement a year, he said.
"We will have huge demand for cement in the coming years," Hun Sen said.
Cambodia imported some 2.2Mt of cement to meet soaring demand in 2007.
Construction is booming with billions of dollars of foreign investment, while South Korean companies are planning to build satellite cities and skyscrapers in Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh.