FTC to drive activities at PAS to 90%

FTC to drive activities at PAS to 90%

The soon-to-be-built Funan Techo Canal (FTC), a public-private partnership project, will push shipment activities of the state-owned Sihanoukville Autonomous Port (PAS) up to 90 percent, a report by the Council for Development of Cambodia (CDC) showed.

Currently, 67 percent of the country’s exported goods go via PAS and 33 percent via the Phnom Penh Autonomous Port (PPAP), passing through ports in Vietnam before reaching international markets, stated the CDC report.

Sun Chanthol, Deputy Prime Minister and the First Chairman of CDC presented the report of the latest study on the canal project at a press conference on Friday.

Once the canal becomes operational, shipment of all goods will be made via the canal to the deep seaport in Sihanoukville which will push shipment activities of PAS to increase from the current 67 percent to 90 percent, Chanthol, who is also chairman of the Inter-ministerial Commission to Study and Implement the Tonle Bassac Navigation and Logistic Project, said.

The shipment activities at PPAP will decrease from 33 percent to 10 percent and this 10 percent will be made via Vietnam’s port, giving options to exporting firms to choose, he added.

“This PPP project provides many benefits for Cambodia, especially lower costs and reduced transport time,” Chanthol said.

The state-owned PAS, Cambodia’s largest shipping facility handled 797,778 20-foot-equivalent units, or TEUs (standard-sized containers), last year, up 6.35 percent from 750,148 TEUs a year earlier, the report said.

The state-owned PPAP, the country’s second-largest container hub, reported a five percent drop in container throughput in 2023 to 396,225 TEUs from 417,696 TEUs the year before, according to its filing with the Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX).×280&!2&btvi=1&fsb=1&dtd=171

PPAP experienced a 36.3 percent decline in its net profit to $9.1 million from $14.3 million a year earlier, read the report.

The Funan Techo Canal Project aims to connect inland waterways to the sea of Cambodia, passing through Kandal, Takeo, Kampot and Kep provinces. It is about 180 kilometres long.

The project is expected to cost about $1.7 billion and has been studied in detail.

Partnership agreement of the Funan Techo Canal is expected to be signed in the coming months, Prime Minister Hun Manet said at a get-together with workers last week, citing that the construction will start by the end of this year or earlier next year under a BOT (Build-Operate-Transfer) basic.

From July to September, the government will proceed with further signings, aiming to commence the construction by 2024 or, at the latest, in 2025, he added.

The project has earned support from Cambodian people across the country and overseas. It aims to increase socio-economic activities in the Kingdom to a superior level and help tackle the challenges and obstacles facing the water transport sector.

The Funan Techo Canal aims to facilitate trade and boost commerce and is not meant for military purposes, the premier underlined. (khmertimeskh)

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