PHNOM PENH: The Inter-Ministerial Commission for the Study and Implementation of the Tonle Bassac Navigation and Logistics System Project has estimated that the ambitious project will cost approximately $1.7 billion and will require four years to complete, according to a meeting report.
This will be Cambodia’s first-ever historic project in the water transport sector, connecting the Mekong River system and the sea route. The two-part feasibility study for the Tonle Bassac Navigation and Logistics System Project will take 26 months to complete: 14 months for the preliminary study (Phase 1) and 12 months for the feasibility study (Phase 2).
The proposed waterway stretches 180 kilometers, from Takeo Canal on the Mekong River, passing through Ta Ek Canal and Ta Hing Canal of the Bassac River, Koh Thom district, and reaching Kep province, where it will connect to the sea. The waterway passes through four provinces, namely Kandal, Takeo, Kampot, and Kep, and has a total population of 1.6 million living alongside it.
The project has numerous benefits beyond shortening current transit times and distances. It will establish trade zones and logistics centers, develop new satellite ports, expand agricultural production, support the development of Cambodia’s fourth economic pole, and create jobs.
The project will also promote urbanization, encourage real estate growth, and bolster ports such as Sihanoukville Autonomous Port and Phnom Penh Autonomous Port.