Kampot province has becomes the home of a new $9 million brickworks that was officially inaugurated on November 22.

Equipped with state-of-the-art technology and an automated production line, the factory will be able to turn out 800,000 bricks per day in its initial phase, Kampot provincial governor Cheav Tay said during the inauguration ceremony.

The facility is a joint venture between local and Chinese investors and covers 40ha in Trapaing Run village, Tani commune in the province’s eastern Angkor Chey district, he said.

Congratulatory banners hanging over the event named the joint venture as “Phnom Meas” in Khmer and as “Jinshan” in Chinese, both of which translate as “golden mountain”. Its owner Ly Kimvun told The Post on Monday that the venture does have a name registered in Roman script.

Tay lauded the brickworks as another big feat for his province that would contribute to the promotion of local products, employ 170 locals in its current phase, and help cut down on brick imports.

He said: “This is a huge private sector contribution to Cambodia’s economic development that will, most notably, drive steady growth in the province’s construction sector, provide job opportunities for locals and increase their income, providing a significant impetus to boosting their capacity to uplift their livelihoods.”

He advised the owners of the joint venture to adhere to high quality standards, establish a brand name and attach an easy-to-identify logo to their products.

Kimvun, the owner of the brickworks, boasted that the factory was the first in the province to use such top-of-the-line technology, which he said would be instrumental in creating jobs, helping meet domestic demand and generally doing its part for the national economy.

With an abundance of local raw materials, he said the facility’s production, quality monitoring and distribution networks will likely have to be more wide-reaching, especially in Kampot and neighbouring provinces.

“Currently, the factory can produce 800,000 bricks a day, but if demand is high, we will increase production,” he said.

While the coastal province has attracted a slew of new investment projects, the demand for construction in the Kingdom has also registered a considerable upsurge in the last two-to-three years.

Huy Vanna, secretary-general of advisory firm Housing Development Association of Cambodia, pointed out that the booming construction industry had buoyed imports of building materials, such as bricks from Vietnam.

Pushing for more local brickworks to be set up in step with the boom – which he said will only intensify for the time being – will greatly contribute to national economic growth.

“Cambodia currently ships in large quantities of bricks from abroad to meet domestic demand, thus a local factory with a large production capacity would prove to be a major boon.

“On the other hand, local production will not merely provide the people with new jobs, but it will bring a cheaper price tag to the table,” he said.

According to Kampot Provincial Administration director Veth Vathana, the province mainly sources its bricks from kilns in Kandal province and in Vietnam.

He also voiced his optimism that the new brickworks, with its hefty production capacity, would not only supply Kampot, but neighbouring provinces as well.

Capital investment in the construction sector clocked in at 5.868 billion in the first nine months of this year, dipping 9.6 per cent from $6.494 billion on a yearly basis, the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction reported.