PHNOM PENH, June 25 (Xinhua) -- Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen inaugurated a multipurpose terminal in the state-run Sihanoukville Autonomous Port (PAS) on Monday after three-and-a-half years of construction.
The listed PAS is the kingdom's largest and only deep-sea port that handles more than 70 percent of goods entering and leaving the country, the prime minister said.
He said the 74-million-U.S.-dollar project included a 330-meter-long terminal with depth of 13.5 meters for bulk and general cargos, and a 200-meter-long terminal with depth of 7.5 meters for oil exploration logistic base.
"This is a new achievement for our country," Hun Sen said. "Before, our port could load shipments weighing only 10,000 tons, but now it is able to load shipments weighing up to 50,000 tons."
Cambodian Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol said the multipurpose terminal was a key economic path for good exchanges between Cambodia and other countries.
"With the new multipurpose terminal, the PAS will play more important role in shipping goods fast with a cheap fee," he said. "The new terminal will also increase Cambodia's competitive capacity with neighboring countries and countries in the region."
The minister said in the last five years, containers throughput the PAS rose an average of 12.6 percent per year.
He added that the containers throughput the port were 459,835 TEUs (standard-sized containers) in 2017, up 15 percent over 2016, and the first five months of 2018, the containers throughput the port were 207,047 TEUs, up nearly 20 percent compared to the same period last year.
Chanthol said that in the long-term, the PAS will construct another container terminal which will have a quay length of 350 meters with a water depth of 14.5 meters.
PAS is located in Preah Sihanouk province, some 230 km southwest of capital Phnom Penh.