Fri. Jul 19th, 2024

Funan Techo – Cambodia’s ambitious $1.7 billion canal project

Funan Techo - Cambodia's ambitious $1.7 billion canal project 3
Funan Techo - Cambodia's ambitious $1.7 billion canal project 3

The Cambodian Council of Ministers on May 19, 2023 approved the Tonle Bassac Navigation and Logistics System project, also known as the Funan Techo canal, after completing 26 months of research with the participation of environmental experts.

The Cambodian government hopes that the project will help maximize the potential of waterway transport by connecting the Mekong River to the Gulf of Thailand, thereby enhancing the country’s socio-economic activities.

In July 2023, Cambodia established an inter-ministerial committee to implement the project.

Perspective of a section of the Funan Techo canal project.

Cambodia believes that the Funan Techo canal will help reduce the time and cost of transporting goods, establish logistics and trade gateways, create more jobs, promote planning, urbanization and develop the real estate market.

`Economic poles` are geographical areas where economic activity is concentrated.

Cambodian government officials and analysts believe the project will facilitate the flow of goods from the Phnom Penh autonomous port to the deep-water port in Sihanoukville province, helping to reduce transportation costs by about 16%.

According to Khmer Times, the Funan Techo canal is expected to be 180 km long, connecting from Prek Takeo on the Mekong River to Prek Ta Ek and Prek Ta Hing on the Bassac River, then emptying into the Gulf of Thailand in southwestern Cambodia.

Funan Techo is expected to have a width of 100 m upstream, 80 m downstream, 5.4 m deep, including a navigation depth of 4.7 m and a safety margin of 0.7 m, allowing ships to

The project has an estimated cost of 1.7 billion USD, including three waterway dams, 11 bridges and 208 km of roads on both sides, expected to be implemented by Chinese company CRBC in the form of build – operate – transfer.

The canal construction period is expected to last about 4 years.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Manet, who succeeded Hun Sen in August 2023, affirmed that the country `does not borrow money from China to implement the project`, emphasizing that the Chinese company is the party bearing the financial risk.

Funan Techo - Cambodia's ambitious $1.7 billion canal project

Funan Techo Canal.

However, Funan Techo also raises some environmental and economic concerns, with some even saying that the canal could facilitate Chinese warships from the Gulf of Thailand to go deep into Cambodia’s interior.

The main concern of this project is the risk of changing the flow of the Mekong River.

Diverting flow from the Mekong River into the Funan Techo Canal could create a flooded area in the north of the canal and a dry area in the south.

The construction process also requires the relocation of a large number of the 1.6 million people currently living along both sides of the proposed canal.

Cambodia has spoken out a number of times to deny these concerns.

The environmental impact assessment submitted by Cambodia to the Mekong River Commission said that the arrangement of three waterway dams along the canal would help ensure `effective control` of water discharge, preventing changes in the flow of the Mekong River.

Mr. Hun Sen on April 9 also denied information that the Funan Techo canal project could create conditions for Chinese warships to enter the Mekong River.

`What is the reason for Cambodia to let Chinese troops into its country and violate the constitution? Why did China send troops to Cambodia, a move that violates the principle of respecting Cambodia’s independence?`, he wrote on social networks.

There is currently not much public information about how Cambodia plans to minimize the impact of the Funan Techo canal project on the lives of people in areas related to the Mekong River flow.

`I don’t understand how China benefits from the project. I can’t imagine China wanting to spend $1.7 billion on this project and build it over the next 4 years,` said Murray Hiebert, analyst at

In a press conference on April 11, Deputy Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Doan Khac Viet said that Vietnam is very interested in the Funan Techo canal project and has asked the Cambodian side to coordinate closely with Vietnam, the Mekong River Commission and

`The effective and sustainable use of Mekong River water resources will serve the sustainable development of the basin, the benefits of communities along the basin, the future of future generations and the solidarity that binds the Mekong River.

Related Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *