Construction of an oil refinery straddling two provinces in the South is going ahead slower than expected, with the project now scheduled for completion in 2022, the Ministry of Mines and Energy said.
The first phase of the oil refinery, located on 365 square metres in Preah Sihanouk and Kampot provinces, will be completed next year, missing the original deadline in mid-2019, said Kos Sila, deputy director of the department of petroleum technology.
The plant broke ground in 2017 and progress has been “slow”, said Mr Sila, who was speaking at a conference on the oil and gas sectors held in Phnom Penh on Tuesday.
The plant will cost $620 million and will be able to process 3 million tonnes of crude a year, which will be used to supply the local market.
The facility, which is being developed by the Cambodian Petrochemical Company, will likely process oil drawn from the Apsara oilfield, identified as the country’s first productive oil reserve.
If the refinery is not completed by the time the Apsara oilfield becomes productive – which is expected to happen this year – the crude will be sold abroad, Mr Sila said.
There are no plans yet to build the infrastructure needed to connect the Apsara oilfield and the refinery, Mr Sila told the conference.
Figures from the Ministry of Mines and Energy show that Cambodia consumed 2.5 million tonnes of petroleum products last year, a 10 percent increase compared to 2017. Cambodia imported from Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.