Ministry prioritises Phnom Penh-Bavet expressway project

The Ministry of Public Works and Transport said it is prioritising a second expressway project linking the capital of Phnom Penh to Bavet city in Svay Rieng province at the border with Vietnam.

Minister of Public Works Sun Chanthol said that all infrastructure projects are proceeding as planned with no interruptions from the deadly Covid-19 pandemic during a meeting yesterday with American Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia (AmCham) led by its president Anthony Galliano.

He said the Phnom Penh-Bavet expressway is one project among many other infrastructure projects including the under-construction Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville expressway and infrastructure development of ring roads number three and number four.

The government allowed a Chinese firm to conduct the feasibility study on the Phnom Penh-Bavet expressway, but the study is reportedly unfinished, Vasim Sorya, the minister’s spokesman, said yesterday.

The firm has been asked to add more details to the study after the first report was reviewed by the ministry, he said.

“After conducting the study, the firm submitted the report to the ministry for review, but the firm has been asked to make another study with thorough details,” Sorya said.

Once the government approves the project, the Phnom Penh-Bavet expressway would be the second expressway in Cambodia after the under-construction Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway.

The study on the second expressway was once completed by Japan, but the cost of the project mentioned in its report was too high and over the available budget.

The first study estimated a more than $2 billion cost. The project would have had a total length of 135 kilometres crossing through Kandal, Prey Veng, and Svay Rieng provinces before reaching the Bavet checkpoint at the border with Vietnam.

The country’s first 190-km expressway, at a cost of $2 billion linking Phnom Penh to coastal Sihanoukville, is currently under construction with over 50 percent reportedly complete.

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