Countdown To New Expressway


The new road connecting the capital with Preah Sihanouk province on the coast is one step closer to becoming a reality, with the Minister of Transport announcing an agreement had been reached with the Chinese contractor selected for the project.

National Road 4 is now used to travel between Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville. KT/Valinda Aim

The next step before beginning construction of the expressway will be to sign an official contract, said Sun Chanthol, the Minister of Transport.

Negotiations between Cambodian officials and China Communications Construction Company have reached a favourable conclusion, with the latter agreeing to take on the expressway project for which it will be paid $2 billion.

“Negotiations have ended. We are now preparing to sign the agreement, which will probably happen in January,” Mr Chanthol announced.

It will be signed in Phnom Penh by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on the sidelines of the upcoming Lancang-Mekong Cooperation’s Leader Summit, according to Va Simsorya, a spokesman for the Ministry of Transport.

He added that construction work will begin immediately after the agreement is signed.

The 190-kilometre road will have four lanes and will be constructed on a build, operate and transfer basis.

During the 2017 Asean summit in Manila last month, Mr Li told Prime Minister Hun Sen that he will make sure the road gets done as it will boost economic development and enhance people’s livelihoods.

Mr Chanthol said the Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville expressway is a key project in the government’s plans to build up local infrastructure and enhance road connectivity with neighbouring nations.

Another expressway project, this time linking the capital with Bavet city in Svay Rieng province, on the border with Vietnam, is now under consideration, with preliminary studies being conducted by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (Jica), Mr Chanthol added.

This article was originally published in the Khmer Times.


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