The Ministry of Public Works and Transport has said it will not release a certificate approving the work of the Chinese company building the 164km National Road 7 in Kratie and Tbong Khmum provinces if it does not change course and follow the proper building standards as outlined in its contract.

Its minister Sun Chanthol made the warning as he led a delegation of technical experts to inspect the road in Kratie on Wednesday and discovered technical problems.

Representatives of the construction firm and officials from the provincial public works departments also attended the inspection.

The plan for the road construction, which cost $36 million, was separated into three main worksites. The work was expected to take 18 months and the Chinese company would be responsible for its upkeep for three years while a Korean company inspected its quality.

Chanthol said 80 per cent of the construction is complete.

“The ministry will not release a certificate to the company because there are some technical problems related to the construction.”

He also advised the contractor, technical advisers and related parties to cooperate and enhance the technical specifications of the road. He said they must follow the contract and book of standards without exception.

“If the road does not have a standardised quality, the ministry will not accept it. The ministry will only accept a good quality road that lasts long. We will inspect all worksites under the control of the ministry,” he said.

He added that the Korean company in charge of inspecting the road construction quality, Korea Consultants International Co Ltd, has accepted that the road has problems and the firm has agreed to fix them.

“We could not accept how they laid the tarmac and they agreed to do it again,” he said.

He advised the company to bulldoze areas where they had laid 4cm of tarmac over old roads instead of completely replacing them.

He added that a construction plan for a bridge over the Mekong River in Kratie province had been studied and will be open for bidding soon.

He said the bridge will speed up travelling and the transportation of products from Kratie to Kampong Thom province as well as decrease traffic jams and accidents.