Paul Cham Co., Phi Group venture to make cement

Phnom Penh-based Paul Cham is 51%-owned by the Viet Nam-headquartered T&T Company. Paul Cham director Nguyen Thi Cham said the feasibility study for the cement project had been completed and construction of the plant would start in July.

The cement factory and limestone quarry in Stung Treng Province’s Thala Barivath District will turn out its first products early next year, she added.

Strong demand

"We are most interested in the export market. Cambodia has a lot of minerals, and there is a strong demand for cement," Cham said in the Phnom Penh Post.

The joint venture company, Phi Cham Mining Corporation, is 60 per cent owned by Phi Mining and 40 per cent by Paul Cham.

The joint venture will invest $28.7 million in infrastructure development for the project, including $625,000 to build 50km of roads and $600,000 for a power transmission line linking the factory with Laos.

The plant can produce 1 million tonnes of cement per year and the joint venture’s products will be transported to Phnom Penh for export.

Cambodia’s construction sector has been heavily dependent on imports, and analysts say the Cambodian Government has given priority to promoting local production of construction materials, especially cement.

According to a report released by the United Nations Development Programme last month, Cambodia imported construction materials worth $120 million in 2007, compared with half that amount in 2002. Cement and steel accounted for a significant proportion of imports it said.

Cham said her company was also exploring for other minerals and stones, including sapphires and rubies, but it was not seeking partners for those ventures.