Phnom Penh (FN), Jan. 11 - Lu Chhujang, CEO of Think Bio-Tech (Cambodia) Co. Ltd, said on Jan 9, 2020 that “in the next three years from 2020 to 2022, the company plans to plant 30 million timbers in response to the high demands of wood processing industry to supply the Cambodia’s promising construction sector, which is especially blossoming in Phnom Penh, Preah Sihanouk and other provinces.” The CEO stressed that the company has obtained legal license from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery to clear a certain amount area of decayed forest and to plant timbers for industrial sector, and the company has paid the fees and tariffs in compliance with its contract’s term and condition.

Since November 2019, Think Bio-Tech has begun to clear 5,000 hectares of land, and in May 2020 planned to plant around 7 million trees, including 1) 62,500 of timbers over 50 hectares of land, 2) 62,500 of first grade trees over 50 hectares of land, 3) 375,000 of second grade trees over 300 hectares of land, 4) 750,000 of other unclassified trees (such as Cotton trees, False Hemp trees, Wodier trees and Kapok trees) over 600 hectares of land, and 5) 5 million sandalwood trees over 4,000 hectares of land. From 2021 to 2022, the company plans to clear 10,000 hectares of land each year and plants a total of over 25 million trees. The products from the forest would be used as a raw material for processing.

CEO Lu Chhujang continued that the firm has signed a contract to buy 10 million of young trees a year from Angkor Plywood to comply with its business plan as the latter firm has established a tree breeding institute. He added that the Angkor Plywood was not involved in a wood processing as accused by some people. He said Think Bio-Tech (Cambodia) Co. Ltd obtained a legal license to plant industry wood over state’s forest under the cooperation with MAFF’s Forestry Administration as prescribed in the Councils of Ministers’ letter #999 s.c.n dated 12 August 2011, which allows the firm to plant trees over 34,007 hectares of land in Beung Char Forest Extension and Restoration Station in Kratie and Steung Treng provinces. He added that to date, the company has completed planting 1.1 million young Kapok trees on 937 hectares of land, which was expected to yield in the next five years.

He also said that the company would accomplish the demarcation of the firm’s licensed land to better manage and reduce the chance some so-called environment activists accused the company of illegal intruding of state’s forest or conservation area. He added that the political-motivated accusation aimed to spoil the name of the company, which has obtained legal license to run the business, and to stagnate the development of the community and the nation, as well as to discourage the investors. Lu Chhujang said that the company only cleared the logs inside the licensed area – and did not buy logs from outside the firm’s licensed land – and has paid the fees and tariffs as stated in the agreement’s terms and conditions.

The CEO added that the firm has always complied with the contract’s terms and conditions over the prescribed land licensed by the government. Moreover, he also stressed the firm’s effort to develop a Dam Tree Plantation for the Cambodia’s wood processing industry and to negotiate with the nearby local residents and communities with plenty of arable land to enter partnership the company – a good way to create jobs and raise their living conditions. He was also looking for other partners to invest in the plantation.