China to open Asia’s biggest sugar mill in Cambodia

World Today

China to open Asia's biggest sugar mill in Cambodia

In a major overseas investment, a Chinese company has opened Asia’s biggest sugar processing mill in Cambodia.

It will create thousands of jobs, boosting the country’s economy in the process. CCTV’s Martin Lowe reports.

China to open Asia's biggest sugar mill in Cambodia

In a major overseas investment, a Chinese company has opened Asia's biggest sugar processing mill in Cambodia. It will create thousands of jobs, boosting the country's economy in the process. CCTV's Martin Lowe reports.

 

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 in northern Cambodia by a Chinese company at a cost of $360 million.

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

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.

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 2500 tons 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.