Cambodia’s smallest province sees two new port projects completed and started within this year, contributing to the well-being of local fisherfolk and enhancing their capacity for tourism services.
Already finished is a crab-shaped port that will service Koh Tonsay or “Rabbit Island,” a small island 20 minutes from the Kep beach. It extends over 300 meters into the sea from the mainland, and spans 68 meters in widtch. Total area is 4,000 square meters.
Meanwhile, a larger-scale project named the She Sar or “White Horse” port breaks ground this month at the Seh Sar Roundabout in Kep City.
It will also serve as the connector to a new beach extension project along two communes: Prey Thom and O’Krosar.
Aside from aiding tourism infrastructure, the port project will bring along many benefits and job opportunities for local livelihoods. These will contribute to poverty reduction, as most locals in the province depend on fishing and tourism.
The White Horse Port will be built under a build-operate-transfer (BOT) agreement with a 15-year concession period. It is a type of project financing granting concessions to a private investor for the construction and operation of a project, after which ownership is transferred to the state.
“This port will facilitate the transportation of goods… between Kep and Kampot provinces, especially when transporting raw materials to supply factories,” said Voa Sokha, director of the Kep Provincial Department of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction.
Som Chenda, provincial tourism director, added that the project would ultimately increase tourism activity and making the docking process easier for fishing communities.
Such insights indicate a well-rounded turnover of benefits that the public can anticipate from these seaport projects.
In terms of capacity, the Koh Tonsay Tourist Port is capable of accommodating ships holding less than 300 passengers, and other cargo of about 15 tons. As for the White Horse Island port, it is projected to accommodate cargo ships carrying up to 1,000 tons.
The Koh Tonsay port was recently finished, while the White Horse seaport is scheduled for completion within 24 months.
In addition to these two ports, the Kep Provincial Administration also has plans to build another one on Rabbit Island itself for full-scale expansion of tourism to Kep’s 12 islands.