Cambodia breaks ground on first oil refinery

Cambodia has held a groundbreaking ceremony for its first oil refinery, a $620 million project to reduce spending on imported fuel.

Minister of Mines and Energy Suy Sem said at Thursday's ceremony that the refinery, being built by an engineering unit of China National Petroleum Co., will be able to process 2 million tons of crude oil a year when it is completed in 2019. A second phase unit set for completion in 2022 will increase capacity to 5 million tons.

The refinery, in Cambodia's southwestern Preah Sihanouk province, will be a joint venture between Cambodia Petrochemical Co. and China's Sino Great Wall International Engineering Co. Ltd.

Suy Sem said most of the crude oil for the refinery would come from the Middle East.