The construction of the $1.9 billion Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway, which broke ground at the end of March, is on track to be completed by early 2023, Ministry of Public Works and Transport spokesman Vasim Sorya said on Monday.
The 190km high-speed highway linking the capital to the coastal Preah Sihanouk province is being invested in by the China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) through Cambodian PPSHV Expressway Co Ltd.
Malaysian engineering consultancy Minconsult Sdn Bhd is providing technical construction consultancy and advisory services on the project.
It is being constructed under the build-operate-transfer model, which is a form of project financing where the public sector grants concessions to a private entity to build and operate projects.
Sorya told The Post that progress on the project has been steady since it broke ground, with it currently five per cent complete.
He said that with the road set to be an important economic corridor, its scheduled completion was constantly being urged by top ministry officials.
Prime Minister Hun Sen, who presided over the project’s groundbreaking ceremony, said the Kingdom required further financial support to build infrastructure to accommodate its growing economy.
With its continued financial assistance, he said, China is one of the Kingdom’s main development partners, contributing greatly to economic growth and poverty reduction.
“I would like to stress to other foreign development partners that I won’t turn down other partners. Please invest in Cambodia and continue to provide further loans because we need them,” Hun Sen said.
Kampong Speu provincial governor Vei Samnang said construction on the project was constant, with work carried out day and night.
The expressway will provide great potential for the Cambodian economy and be key in boosting Kampong Speu province’s investment attractiveness, he said.
“I have often visited [the site], but I have not met with the company to enquire about the progress of construction. But it seems to be going well,” Samnang said.
He said that with a recent rise in the number of vehicles leading to daily congestion on National Road 4, the expressway would play a vital role in easing the transport of goods and tourists from Phnom Penh to Preah Sihanouk province.
Meanwhile, he said, land impact assessments and compensation were nearly complete.
The expressway – a 190.3km long, 24.5m wide dual carriageway – would have a garden median and barriers on either side for the safety of pedestrians.
The new highway will be around 50km shorter than the 240km National Road 4.