Prime Minister Hun Sen visited Preah Sihanouk province on April 30 to inspect the construction of its third wastewater treatment plant, which is nearly 90 per cent complete and scheduled to come on stream in late June.

During the inspection tour, governor Kuoch Chamroeun said the provincial administration has been working with the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Economy and Finance and Anco Water Supply Co Ltd, to look into the possibility of issuing water and wastewater bills, as is done in Phnom Penh. The administration plans to make the bills payable at One Window Service offices.

“The third wastewater treatment plant is equipped with the latest MABR [membrane aerated biofilm reactor] technology, an innovative Israeli technology. The plant is expected to cost more than $20 million, and will play an important part in transforming Sihanoukville into a ‘smart city’,” he added.

Chamroeun explained that people are required to connect sewage systems to the sewage treatment system, but they do not have to connect the rainwater drains as this could overwhelm the system and lead to wastewater being released into the ocean.

“The construction of the plant is funded by the government through the National Committee for Coastal Management and Development. The construction tender was awarded to X-Water Technology Co Ltd,” he said.

“The plant will purify wastewater in line with international environmental standards before it is released back into the sea. It will keep the ocean clean, green and beautiful, meaning we will continue to attract domestic and international tourists,” he said.

Ly Rith, chairman of the board of directors and CEO of X-Water Technology, confirmed that the third wastewater treatment plant was built using the latest MABR.

“The technology is capable of removing pollutants in just 20 hours. Previous technologies required up to 20 days to accomplish the same result,” he said.

“MABR technology operates more efficiently, and is noiseless and odourless so it does not disturb those around it. It is stable and saves energy. The third wastewater plant will be capable of treating 20,000 cubic metres of water per day, enough to service around 2,690ha of Commune IV,” he noted.

Construction of the 1ha plant began in October 2020.

The province’s first wastewater treatment plant can treat 5,200 cubic metres a day, and supports 364ha of Commune III. The second treatment plant treats 7,200 cubic metres day, from 486ha of the same commune.