The Ministry of Public Works and Transport of Cambodia has announced the construction of a direct US$1.5 billion waterway from Phnom Penh's Bassac river to the coastal port of Kep.
The International Multi-Purpose Logistics and Port Centre broke ground in May on a 600-ha plot of seafront land with a water depth of 15m, in Prek Tnaot commune, Bokor town, Kampot. The canal would provide a capacity boost for the local logistics sector and improve the Kingdom’s international trade potential, especially on the export front. Delivery costs after the project implementation can be reduced to US$700-800 per container. A possible starting point for the waterway is southeastern Kandal's Prek Ambel village, where there is a branch at GPS coordinates (11.243N, 105.026E) that flows southwest. The port will receive ships with a displacement of up to 100,000 tons.
Once the waterway is completed, Cambodia can ship goods overseas without relying entirely on a port in Vietnam. The project will be a strategy to stimulate international trade and the economy of Cambodia as the waterway infrastructure connection will become a shortcut to Cambodia's deep-sea port — Ream in Sihanoukville — and a port in the Darasakor area of Koh Kong province.
Investments in the project come from Kampot Logistics and Port Co Ltd and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp (SMBC). China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and CCCC Water Transportation Consultants Co Ltd are likely to work on the project.