Hanshin Engineering and Construction Co Ltd, a Korean firm building National Roads 2 and 22 from Phnom Penh to Takeo province, has been given one month to resolve its delays or have its contract cancelled.
The warning came on Sunday from Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol while examining the quality of National Road 3 from Phnom Penh to Kampot province. He had previously issued a warning letter to the company on May 5.
“On Tuesday my technical officials along with officials of the [South] Korean embassy and the Korean bank which provides loans to build the roads went down to check together and they saw the lack of progress as I did.
“The company had no machinery to build the roads. So, we called Hanshin for a discussion. We will give the company a month to solve the problem. If it cannot solve it, we can cancel the contract and choose a new company to build the roads.
“We won’t allow construction to be behind and there are no proper machinery [and] materials. We cannot accept it,” he said.
Chanthol said the ministry would continue monitoring activities related to the construction of national roads. He said the ministry will inspect technical standards and not allow any companies to exploit road building.
The company has promised to follow what was contracted and the technical standards set by the ministry.
“Time keeps passing by. If the company has no proper machinery, we will examine it as agreed-upon. We gave the company a month to bring machinery.
“The company said the machinery is stuck in Vietnam because of Covid-19 and cannot be transported into Cambodia.
But companies sell and hire machinery in Cambodia. Why doesn’t the company hire them?” Chanthol asked.
The May 5 warning letter was sent by the minister after he discovered that the company had no experience to build the road and made technical mistakes.
Ministry spokesman Heang Sotheayuth said on Thursday that National Roads 2 and 22 improvement projects will cost more than $56 million – paid for by grants from the Republic of Korea and the Cambodian government.
The groundbreaking ceremony for road building was held on February 11 and presided over by Prime Minister Hun Sen. The road-building projects are scheduled to take 30 months from October last year to April 2022.
“The minister gave the ultimatum to the company. He also advised it to speed up construction efforts,” Sotheayuth said.