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Chinese sugar mill opens in Cambodia

Reporter: Liu Kai 丨 CCTV.com

10-13-2016 01:01 BJT

A Chinese company has opened one of Asia’s biggest sugar processing mills in Cambodia. The mill will create thousands of new jobs in Cambodia and boost the country’s economy as well.

The blades of a cutting machine slice through rows of sugar cane. Standing four meters high, the cane stretches into the distance in every direction. Field after field, acre after acre.

It’s being grown to supply one of the biggest sugar mills in Asia, built here in northern Cambodia by a Chinese company … at a cost of 360 million US dollars.

The Rui Feng Mill will devour 20,000 tonnes of sugar cane daily. It’ll provide jobs for a thousand Cambodian workers – a number that’ll grow fourfold as production increases.

Many more will work in the surrounding fields - like Yem, a farmer who’s now switched from growing rice to sugar.

"Now my life is much better and I earn more money. My whole family is working here." The farmer Yem Samol said.

"Before I earned 250 dollars a year, now I can earn 250 dollars a month. I can buy a motorbike and a TV." The farmer Raeng Bopha said.

Cambodia has welcomed the multi-million dollar investment; the country’s Prime Minister Hun Sen performed the opening ceremony.But there are advantages too for Rui Feng. Cambodia has attractive trade concessions around the world, including duty-free exports to the European Union.

"We should say that duty is one thing, but another thing which is important is the cost of production which is competitive here, competitive enough for the international market." The director Simon Pan said.
Before, all of this land was unproductive forest. Now it’s been cleared and cultivated, attracting many people to the region. It’s providing opportunities for Cambodian workers, who might otherwise have had to go to other countries as migrant labor.

The mill is already bringing new prosperity to this area. Many farmers are moving here to grow sugar cane. The mill provides a guaranteed market for their crops.

At first, the mill will produce two-and-a-half thousand tonnes of refined sugar a day, to be exported to China, Europe and India. By-products will be used to generate electricity at an adjoining power plant, as part of measures to reduce the factory’s environmental impact.

In the future, capacity will increase … when a second production line is added.

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