RDB extends deadline for rice-storage bidding

The government-run Rural Development Bank (RDB) has extended the deadline to receive proposals from registered Cambodian agricultural firms to develop rice storage and drying facilities after receiving a tepid response to its finance offer, a bank official said yesterday.

Kao Thach, chief executive of RDB, said firms would be given until September 22 to submit their proposals, adding that only four companies had submitted bids by the initial September 8 deadline.

“We did not receive enough proposals for the bidding process so we need to extend the deadline . . . in order to give millers or investors more opportunities to submit their applications,” he said.

RDB announced last month that it would provide up to $15 million in low-interest loans for companies with strong track records in rice milling and storage to build and operate rice storage warehouses and rice-drying facilities.

The proposed facilities would be constructed in Kampong Thom, Prey Veng and Takeo provinces, each with the capacity to store 50,000 tonnes of paddy rice and dry approximately 1,500 tonnes of rice daily.

The project’s warehouses and drying facilities are intended to be operational in time for the next rice harvest in January.

RDB received proposals from four companies, it said in a press release. The bank indicated that two companies – Amru Rice and Anduriz Cambodge Seal & Monita Trading Import Export – applied to build and operate facilities in Kampong Thom province, while Khmer Food Group applied to develop facilities in Prey Veng province. No valid applications were received for Takeo province.

Earlier this year RDB awarded a $15 million low-interest loan to Thanakea Srov (Kampuchea) Plc, the operator of the Cambodian Rice Bank, to expand its rice storage warehouse in Battambang province and develop the first privately-owned centralised storage facility. The new facility will have capacity to store 200,000 tonnes of wet paddy rice and to process 3,000 tonnes of paddy rice daily.