The canal project was first mentioned at the recent Transport & Logistics Forum 2023 and now has received Cambodian cabinet approval for the construction of the first waterway connecting the Bassac River in Phnom Penh to the sea in the southwest Kep province.
Government chief spokesman Phay Siphan confirmed the news after the most recent Council of Ministers meeting.
What Is The Funan Techo Canal?
The man-made canal will be 180 kilometres long and will connect Prek Takeo of the Mekong River System to the Prek Ta Ek and Prek Ta Hing of the Bassac River System and onto Kep province, passing through Kandal, Takeo, and Kampot – a total population of 1.6 million currently live on both sides of the waterway.
The development will see the installation of three watergates, 11 bridges and 208km of roads on either side of the waterway.
The Funan Techo Canal will be 100 metres wide upstream and 80m at downstream with a depth of 5.4 metres offering two shipping lanes, enabling vessels to safely travel in opposite directions.
The estimated cost for the development project is expected to be USD $1.7 billion and it will take approximately four years to complete.
What Are The Economic Benefits Of The Canal?
The Funan Techo Canal project will reduce the travel time and the distances for ships which will reduce transportation costs, and importantly create new trading hubs.
The addition of new subordinate ports is expected to expand agriculture and aquaculture development by providing improved irrigation, while the project will add jobs at the Sihanoukville and Phnom Penh autonomous ports.
There is also expected to be a positive spin-off for real estate development and an increase in land values along the project.
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