Cambodia's Kampot Cement factory, the largest cement producer in the country, started construction on Thursday.
Prime Minister Hun Sen presided over the grand breaking ceremony at Banteay Meas District, Kampot Province, about 143 km southwest of capital Phnom Penh.
High standard cement production will be started when its factory construction finished by end of next year. The Annual production capacity of cement is estimated at 900,000 tons to serve domestic demand and lower dependence on importation.
A 300 million U.S. dollar joint venture between Thailand's Siem Cement and the local company Khaou Chully MKK Co., the factory will employ up to 400 workers.
Cambodia currently needs 1.5 million tons of cement annually and the figure is expected to grow to 2 million tons this year, said Khaou Phallaboth, vice chairman of Khaou Chully.
The country spent around 105 million U.S. dollars to import cement in 2004 and 140 million dollars in 2005, he said.
"By 2008, locally produced cement will be sold to the market instead of imported cement," he said.