SGC digs ring road in Phnom Penh
The commencement of work on the third ring road in Phnom Penh begins a project that should act as a fillip to economic development, investment and tourism in Cambodia
22 Jan 2019 | Michael Marray

Shanghai Construction (Group) Corporation (SCG) has begun work on the third ring road in Phnom Penh.

On 14 January, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen operated a bulldozer at the groundbreaking ceremony, which was also attended by the Chinese ambassador to Cambodia, Wang Wentian.

The 47.6 kilometre road system includes four flyovers and eleven bridges. The four-lane road will connect National Road No. 4 in Chaom Chau 3 commune in southwestern Phnom Penh with National Road No. 1 in Kandal province's Kien Svay district in the eastern part of the city.

SCG said that construction work was expected to last 42 months and technical inspections by Guangzhou Wanan Construction Supervision Co. would assist the implementation of the project.

Total project cost is estimated at US$273 million, and the financing package includes concessional loans from China.

"The road is crucial to reduce the volume of traffic in the urban centre, and it is very useful for the people and will contribute to supporting Cambodia's economic growth," says Hun Sen.

He noted that most of the investment capital for infrastructure development projects in Cambodia was coming from China, a country involved in building thousands of kilometres of roads and bridges.

Ambassador Wang said that the ring road would not only boost economic development in the areas along its route, but would also promote investment and tourism.

Wang was only recently appointed ambassador to Cambodia, and after a December meeting with foreign minister Prak Sokhonn, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said that Wang had expressed China's strong support for Hun Sen's government, and had rejected US criticism that Belt & Road infrastructure projects were being used to increase China's influence.

China is also in the midst of constructing a new national stadium on the outskirts of Pnom Penh. The 55,000 seat stadium forms part of the Morodok Techo National Sports Complex, and will be the primary venue for the 2023 Southeast Asian Games.

In a recent progress report, Thong Khon, president of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia, said that about 40% of construction work was now complete. Thong Khon is also minister of tourism.

The main contractor for the stadium is China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC), and is being built by Sinomach unit China National Machinery Industry Co, with the help of a US$160 million aid package from China. Work on the project began in August 2017, and should be finished by the end of 2020, according to the local press.

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