PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — Cambodia held a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday for its first oil refinery, a $620 million project to reduce spending on imported fuel.
Minister of Mines and Energy Suy Sem said at the ceremony that the refinery, being built by an engineering unit of China National Petroleum Co., will be able to process 2 million tons of crude oil a year when it is completed in 2019. A second phase unit set for completion in 2022 will increase capacity to 5 million tons.
The refinery, in Cambodia's southwestern Preah Sihanouk province, will be a joint venture between Cambodia Petrochemical Co. and China's Sino Great Wall International Engineering Co. Ltd. Suy Sem said most of the crude oil for the refinery would come from the Middle East, with some coming from Cambodia in the future.
He said domestic demand for fuel is steadily increasing, with the country importing 1.8 million tons of fuel in 2015, a 6.7 percent increase over 2014.
There are 14 local and international companies that currently import fuel oil, Suy Sem said.