Chinese-owned Hong De Sheng (Cambodia) Steel Co Ltd has announced that its $16.7 million steelworks in Kampong Speu province’s northeastern Oudong district will start operations this month.
At a November 27 meeting with Keo Rottanak, the managing director of state-owned energy utility Electricite du Cambodge (EdC), Hong De Sheng Group chairman Lin Xiangrong said his company had begun comprehensive equipment testing and debugging.
After a year of construction, Lin said the factory will be online before year’s end and capable of churning out 500,000 tonnes of different kinds of steel products per annum in its first phase.
He noted that the company’s electrical department has completed installation of the power supply for the plant and is currently in the final commissioning stage to ensure that production can flow smoothly, allowing for nationwide distribution and sales.
“We are very grateful to the EdC for its strong long-term support for our company,” Lin said.
In September, the EdC’s Rottanak visited Hong De Sheng and promised to supply as much electrical power as needed, according to the company.
During the meeting, Rottanak said the commencement of the company’s operations will promote economic and trade cooperation between China and Cambodia.
He said: “I hope that we can attract more Chinese investment and build a better future for Cambodia. The joint efforts of the two countries will surely bring a better tomorrow for the Chinese and Cambodian people.”
Yos Monirath, director-general of the Ministry of Mines and Energy’s General Department of Mineral Resources, told The Post in September that the plant would reduce the need for steel imports.
“We welcome and support the establishment of a steelworks to process scrap metal for domestic consumption,” he said.
The company mainly produces various specifications of straight and coiled reinforcing bar and wire rod, and it aims to serve the Cambodian construction market with superior quality products and support services.
Cambodia imported $565.9 million worth of building materials in the first half of this year, a slower pace than in 2019 when full-year imports totalled $1.51 billion, data from the Ministry of Economy and Finance’s General Department of Customs and Excise show.
Broken down by category, the Kingdom imported 217,151 tonnes of steel worth $140.8 million, 681,817 tonnes of cement worth $43.27 million and 672,785 tonnes of “construction equipment” worth $381.84 million in the first two quarters of this year.
For the whole year of 2019, steel imports weighed in at 722,621 tonnes worth $477.19 million, cement imports reached 1.97 million tonnes worth $128.85 million, while imports of “construction equipment” clocked in at 1.7 million tonnes worth $900.51 million.