The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has acquired a 13.5% equity stake in the Port Authority of Sihanoukville (PAS), Cambodia.
The Japanese aid organisation, which has supported the country’s only deep-water seaport since 1999, bought the stake following the listing of PAS on the Cambodia Securities Exchange.
The funds obtained via the initial public offering will be used to increase the port’s current 500,000 teu capacity thanks to investments in new cranes and the construction of off-dock yard infrastructure.
According to the JICA, container throughput at the port is expected to reach approximately 680,000 teu by 2020 boosted by the Cambodia’s “firm economic growth”, making increasing the facilities’ handling capacity “a priority”.
The aid organisation started supporting the port with the 1999 Sihanoukville Port Urgent Rehabilitation Project, which was the first Official Development Assistance (ODA) loan to the country following the end of the civil strife.
Since then, the JICA has continued to provide the port with ODA loans, grant aid and technical cooperation for infrastructure and operations capacity building.
A company statement noted: “Using this equity participation as an opportunity, JICA will further strengthen support to PAS, and promote trade in Cambodia through further capacity building at PAS, including more efficient port operations, enhanced international competitiveness and improved administrative capacity.”
In May this year, local media reported that a US$200m container terminal is set to be built at the port as a part of an expansion project expected to be completed in 2022.