New chapter in search for black gold

August 18th, 2014

As Chevron hands over its controlling stake in the Kingdom’s most developed oil field to a new player, industry experts say extraction may still take time

Industry insiders urged patience this week after news broke that energy giant Chevron had sold its controlling stake in the Kingdom’s most developed oil field to Singaporean firm KrisEnergy.

Hopes are now pegged on KrisEnergy to bring about a windfall it is hoped will reduce the nation’s dependency on energy imports and bring much-needed state revenues.

But there is still a long way to go, according to experts, who say that while long-awaited reforms to clean up the industry could yield progress, extraction may still be far off. …

Daniel de Carteret

Workers end Thai-Cambodia border protest

August 17th, 2014 , Bangkok Post

About 300 disgruntled Cambodian workers and used-garment merchants last night ended their blockade on the border with Thailand.

The workers had earlier parked their two-wheel carts in front of the Aranyaprathet-Poi Pet border checkpoint on the Poi Pet side of the Thai-Cambodian friendship bridge. They demanded the release of a group of Cambodian workers and vendors who were earlier arrested by customs officials. …

Bangkok Post Staff

Cambodia garment sector small fry for suppliers

August 16th, 2014 , The Cambodia Daily

In Cambodia, where the garment sector accounts for 80 percent of exports, hundreds of thousands of people depend on their slice of the $5 billion industry to survive.

But for suppliers currently exhibiting their wares at a trade show this weekend on Phnom Penh’s Koh Pich island, Cambodia’s garment industry represents a tiny fraction of their total sales, and is something of an afterthought for powerhouses such as Bangladesh, India and China. …

Holly Robertson and Kang Sothear

Risking it all for rosewood

August 16th, 2014

At dawn on the Dangrek Mountain range, 62-year-old logger Suon Song* uses an empty beer can to boil water for his morning coffee. He’ll need it to stay alert during the illegal and dangerous work ahead, after the first of several sleepless nights in the densely forested terrain that forms a natural border between Cambodia and Thailand. …

Since Song and his two companions began felling trees in the forest in 2001, they have faced countless encounters with the black-clad Thai soldiers that patrol the area, many of which have featured gunfire. One has been shot and survived.

The three neighbours, originally from Prey Veng province and now living in Oddar Meanchey, are among what they estimate to be 1,000 Cambodians who risk their lives each year crossing the border in search of endangered Siamese rosewood and other luxury wood. …

May Titthara

ANZ refuses to help evictees of senator’s sugarcane farm

August 15th, 2014 , The Cambodia Daily

About 100 villagers who lost land to a sugarcane plantation, which was until recently financed by ANZ Royal Bank, traveled to Phnom Penh to protest in front of the bank’s headquarters Thursday, but failed to convince the bank to help them.

Several hundred families in Kompong Speu province accuse a pair of plantations owned by CPP Senator Ly Yong Phat and his wife, Kim Heang, of stealing their farmland, often holding their livestock for ransom and driving them into debt. ANZ Royal was financing the senator’s Phnom Penh Sugar company but had its loan to the firm paid back in full by July. …

Aun Pheap and Zsombor Peter

6th Chinese-built hydropower dam in Cambodia starts operation

August 14th, 2014 , People's Daily Online

The sixth Chinese-built hydropower plant, located in the Koh Kong province of   southwestern Cambodia, has begun producing electricity after more than four years of construction, the China National Heavy Machinery Corporation (CHMC) said in a  statement  on Thursday.

CHMC started to develop the 246-megawatt Tatay River Hydropower Plant in 2010. The dam comprises three generators, each capable of producing 82 megawatts, the statement said. …

People's Daily Online News Staff

Roxy Casino made ‘modest profit’ since soft opening

August 12th, 2014 , GGRAsia

Roxy Casino in Cambodia has made a “modest profit” since its soft opening on May 26, parent company Cell Aquaculture Ltd said in a filing to the Australian Securities Exchange. It did not provide figures.

The profit was attributed to its sports betting activities during FIFA World Cup 2014 soccer matches, it added. The international tournament took place during June and early July. …

The operator has postponed the grand opening of the casino to Thursday, August 14, Cell Aquaculture said in the statement. The ceremony was originally scheduled for Tuesday. …

GGRAsia News Staff

Chinese firm to open 1st duty free store in Cambodia

August 12th, 2014 ,

China Duty Free Group (CDFG) announced Monday that it has invested in a downtown duty free store in Cambodia’s cultural Siem Reap City and the store will be launched in December.

“CDFG’s Cambodian subsidiary will firstly start its downtown duty free store of 4,500 square meters in Siem Reap, known as Angkor Duty Free Store, and it will open to the public in December 2014,” the company said in a press statement. “Additionally, CDFG-Cambodia’s second downtown duty free store will be opened continuously in Phnom Penh City in 2015.” … News Staff

Singapore’s KrisEnergy buys out Chevron in Cambodian oil block

August 11th, 2014 , Rigzone

Singapore-based upstream oil and gas firm KrisEnergy Ltd said on Monday it has agreed a $65 million deal to buy out Chevron Corp’s interest in an offshore oil block in Cambodia and take over as the block’s operator.

KrisEnergy said in a statement it plans to acquire the entire issued share capital of Chevron Overseas Petroleum (Cambodia) Ltd, a subsidiary of the global oil company. …

Rigzone News Staff

Cambodian insurance industry has ‘Substantial potential for growth’

August 7th, 2014 , The Cambodia Herald

Nascent insurance markets in Cambodia, Cuba and Myanmar offer “significant opportunities” to foreign insurers, according to a US market research company.

In a statement released Wednesday, Dallas-based Market Reports Store praised Cambodia’s “bold economic reforms and economic liberalisation” since 2000. …

The Cambodia Herald News Staff

Croc release at dam site planned

August 4th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

A conservation group may release 20 baby Siamese crocodiles into the Areng Valley amid an ongoing stand-off between villagers and a Chinese firm over the construction of a controversial hydropower dam in Koh Kong province.

Tuy Serey Vathana, country directory at Fauna and Flora International, said yesterday that the group was prepared to release the endangered crocodiles despite previously saying that it would not do so unless it had assurances that the Stung Cheay Areng dam would not be built. …

Daniel Pye

Vendors see justice in arrest

August 4th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

The Friday arrest of a local businesswoman who holds the municipal contract to collect parking and stall fees from markets citywide on breach of trust charges came as no surprise to many vendors, aggrieved by what they say are her unfair business practices.

Cheav Vibol, deputy director of the minor crimes department of the Phnom Penh Municipal Police Station, said yesterday that Roth Sopheap’s arrest was ordered by municipal court judge Pich Maren for alleged breaches of trust committed between 2009 and 2013. …

Khouth Sophak Chakrya

Assessing the welfare value of Cambodia’s fisheries

August 1st, 2014 , The Cambodia Herald

Fish and rice are staple foods for all Cambodians. Historical records show that Cambodia’s fisheries have been of major importance for centuries. Fish is a major source of nutritious food in the daily diet, a primary source of employment and income and has strong cultural and religious significance.

 Cambodian fisheries are a major source of nutritious food in the daily diet by providing about 82% of total animal protein intake. In addition, fish also provides important micronutrients, particularly Vitamin A, calcium, iron and zinc, which are crucial for human health. Cambodians are considered one of the highest per capita consumers of fish in the world. …

The Cambodia Herald News Staff

Maiden landing at beachside airport

July 31st, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

Sihanouk Ville International Airport received its first international flight this week, a landing the industry hopes will open up the coastal resort destination to more foreign tourists.

A flight by South Korea-based Skywings Asia Airlines, an international charter carrier, arrived from Seoul on Tuesday. One hundred and forty-two passengers were aboard the 180-seat Airbus 320, according to a statement from Cambodia Airports released yesterday. …

Post Staff

Cashew nut export numbers aren’t adding up: producers

July 31st, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

Cambodian cashew nut exports are on the rise, yet export figures are still well below production numbers, with thousands of tonnes unaccounted for.

Unshelled cashew nut exports totalled close to $2.5 million in the first six months of the year, with 2,800 tonnes exported, a rise of 200 per cent over the same period last year, a report from the Ministry of Commerce shows. …

In Kampong Thom, the largest cashew-growing province in the country with more than 23,680 hectares under cultivation, Siv Ngy, president of Kampong Thom Cashew Nut Association, told the Post yesterday that he was sceptical of the official export figures, as average cashew nut production stands at about 70,000 tonnes per year. …

Chan Muyhong

Cambodia’s hydroelectric question: China power and the environment

July 30th, 2014 , The Diplomat

Discussion about hydroelectric power plants in Cambodia tends to focus on two aspects, both negative. One is an overdependence on Chinese investment, and the other is a relatively disproportionate focus on the environmental impacts of hydroelectric power.

Chinese Influence

Most hydroelectric power plants in Cambodia are associated in some way with China. According to the Ministry of Mines and Energy, Chinese companies have invested more than $1.6 billion in the construction of six dams with a total supply of 928 megawatts. Although the data might suggest the theory that Cambodia is giving preference to China in this particular field, one should also consider why other countries don’t, or don’t want to, invest. …

Sim Vireak

Bilateral investment treaties offer investment protection through arbitration

July 29th, 2014 , The Cambodia Herald

Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) are intra-state legal mechanisms which encourage foreign investment.

This is particularly so as they provide foreign investors with Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanisms to enforce investment protections through international arbitration against the host state before a neutral tribunal.

Cambodia has signed over 20 BITs with other states thereby extending investment protection with reciprocity to Cambodian companies and individual investors with the signatory countries. …

The Cambodia Herald News Staff