China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) Northeast Refining & Chemical Engineering Company on Wednesday secured an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract from a Cambodian conglomerate to construct a 620 million-U.S.-dollar oil refinery in its first phase.The EPC contract was inked here between Li Limin, chairman of CNPC Northeast Refining & Chemical Engineering Company, and Hann Khieng, managing director of Cambodian Petrochemical Company, under the presence of Cambodian Minister of Mines and Energy Suy Sem.Under the contract, the Chinese firm will carry out detailed engineering design of the project, procure all the equipment and materials necessary, and then construct an oil refinery for the Cambodian Petrochemical Company.Li said the construction of the oil refinery in the first phase will be completed at the end of 2018 with the oil production capacity of 2 million tons per year."The oil refinery will reduce the country's import of petroleum," he said."This project will greatly contribute to developing the economy of Cambodia."According to Li, CNPC Northeast Refining & Chemical Engineering Company is one of the three top refining and chemical engineering firms in China.Hann Khieng said the plant, which will be built with the latest equipment and technologies, is located in Cambodia's southwestern Preah Sihanouk province."It will be the first oil refinery in Cambodia," he said, adding that the company will increase its investment in the project to 3 billion U.S. dollars with the increased capacity of 5 million tons per year in the next phases."Now, it should be the time for Cambodia to build its reputation as an oil producer for domestic use and export," he said.Minister of Mines and Energy Suy Sem welcomed the project, saying that the investment clearly demonstrated the confidence of investors in Cambodia's political stability and favourable business atmosphere."This project will not only provide huge advantages to Cambodia, but also contribute further to enhancing friendly relations and good cooperation between Cambodia and China," he said, expressing his sincere thanks to the Chinese government for encouraging investors to Cambodia.Currently, Cambodia totally imports petroleum from Vietnam, Singapore and Thailand as its seabed's oil and gas have not yet been exploited.According to government figures, the Southeast Asian country spent nearly 1 billion U.S. dollars to buy 2.55 million tons of oil last year.