Bio-Energy from Cambodian Cashews: Korean investment spotlight

PHNOM PENH: 's cashew nuts industry, a major export earner, could be in for a transformative boost thanks to a novel environmentally friendly technology from Korea.

This technology, developed by the Korea Institute of Energy Research (KIER), extracts bio-energy from cashew nuts, presenting exciting opportunities for Korean-Cambodian joint investment.

Neak Lim Heng, Vice President of the Cambodian Chamber of Commerce, last week met with KIER representatives led by Dr. Chhay Yong Chan.

Their discussions centered on the promising results of KIER's pilot project utilizing Cambodian cashew nuts for bio-energy extraction. Dr. Chan emphasized the immense potential for business ventures in this field, urging Korean and Cambodian investors to explore joint investment avenues.

Duke Lim Heng expressed keen interest in Korean technology, proposing a feasibility study for a pilot project backed by the Korean government and relevant institutions. He envisions this initial project paving the way for larger investments as the technology's success attracts further interest. To deepen understanding and collaboration, Duke Lim Heng plans to visit KIER for further discussions.

This development comes at a crucial time for Cambodia's cashew industry. While exports remain significant, exceeding 610,000 tons in the first 10 months of 2023, they have dipped compared to 2022. Bio-energy extraction offers a promising avenue for diversification and value addition, potentially revitalizing the sector.

The prospect of Korean investment further sweetens the deal. Korean expertise and financial backing could be instrumental in bringing KIER's technology to fruition, creating a win-win situation for both nations. Cambodia can benefit from economic growth, job creation, and a cleaner energy source, while Korea gains access to a lucrative new market and strengthens its ties with a key Southeast Asian partner.

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