Brunei also understands this concept well as it strives to implement a number of major bridge construction projects with the help of foreign direct investments (FDIs). For the Bruneian gov- ernment, mega bridges are major investment projects capable of giving the economy a boost.
Currently, Brunei is pinning hopes on three major bridge construction projects, namely Pulau Muara Besar Bridge, the Temburong Bridge and the new- ly-opened Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha Bridge.
The mega Temburong Bridge linking Bandar Seri Begawan and Pekan Bangar is fast taking shape with work on the BND1.6-billion engineering mar- vel expected to be finished by November 2019.
The bridge, which will link Jalan Utama Mentiri in Brunei-Muara District and Jalan Labu Estate in Temburong District traversing the Brunei Bay, is one of the largest public infrastructure projects ever carried out in the country.
The construction of the bridge reflects His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam’s concern for the welfare of the citizens and residents of the country and will allow commuters to travel with ease avoiding four frequently congested border immigration checkpoints and shorten the travel time considerably.
The bridge is also expected to strengthen the country’s economic diversification efforts by giv- ing a fresh impetus to Brunei’s tourism sector.
The construction involves a number of contract packages, or phases, including two 13.4-kilo- metre marine viaducts, a 1.1-kilometre cable-stay navigation bridge, the 11.8-kilometre Temburong viaduct, installation of systems encompassing traffic control and surveillance, supervisory control, data acquisition, road lighting as well as supply network to provide high-voltage electricity to power the entire bridge.
The first package was awarded to Brunei-Korean joint venture Daelim Swee, while the CC4 (Temburong viaduct) was given to a joint venture between China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) Ltd and Ocean Quarry and Construction Sdn Bhd.
In tune with Brunei’s Malay Islamic Monarchy philosophy, the bridge, which overlooks the Brunei Bay on one side and the Kampong Ayer on the other, will also feature several stars placed within crescent moons set atop towers, or pylons, that will also carry the three ‘Kalimah’ of ‘Subhanallah’, ‘Alhamdulillah’, and ‘Allahu Akbar’, with each signature tower dedicated to the country’s four districts.
The recently-opened Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha Bridge that links the capital to Kampong Sungai Kebun is expected to generate significant spinoffs to boost businesses in Brunei besides easing commute to the capital from Mukim Lumapas.
Prior to the bridge’s completion, commuters had to travel at least 30 kilometres either via Jalan Bengkurong-Masin to Jalan Tutong – or take alternative routes to reach their workplaces or send their children to school. During peak hours, it used to take 40 minutes to one hour to reach the capital.
The 750-metre long cable-stayed bridge constructed at a cost of BND139 million has reduced travelling time and is expected to offer vast socio-economic development in the surrounding areas with better transportation and accessibility.
The bridge, which spans the iconic Kampong Ayer, linking Jalan Residency in the capital to Kampong Sungai Kebun in Mukim Lumapas, was built under the 10th National Development Plan (RKN10) and has become a major land- mark in the capital.
The bridge is adorned with a 157-metre tower in the centre that is topped with a 8.7-metre diametre dome that anchors the bridge to the Brunei River.
One of the significant impacts of the opening of the Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha Bridge is on real estate development.
Already, land prices have increased three- fold. Many businesses have shown interest in further developing the land in Mukim Lumapas and establishing industries, warehouses, housing settlements, supermar- kets, hardware companies, restaurants and workshops there.
The construction works for the Pulau Muara Besar Bridge started following the signing of a deal between the Brunei Economic Development Board (BEDB) and China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd (CHEC).
Once the bridge is completed, it will link the main- land in Kampong Serasa to the Pulau Muara Besar industrial area. The project consists of construction of a 2.7-kilometre long four-lane sea-crossing bridge, a 2.925-kilometre four-lane road and associated utilities including power, water and telecommunica- tions. With a total contract value of BND260 million, the bridge will be Brunei’s first cross-sea bridge.
Once completed, the project is expected to attract more FDIs, particularly into petrochemical and related downstream oil and gas industries.
The bridge, scheduled to be completed this year, is another strategic infrastructure project undertaken by the BEDB to transform Pulau Muara Besar (PMB) into a world-class industrial park.
Hengyi Industries Sdn Bhd’s multi-billion dollar refinery and petrochemical plant project at PMB is progressing on schedule, with site construction set to be completed by the end of 2018.
Hengyi Industries is a partnership project between Hengyi and Damai Holdings Ltd. The mega project involves the construction of six jetties and reclama- tion round the island as well. The Chinese compa- ny’s project at PMB was initiated by the BEDB and is worth more than USD4 billion.
It has a site area of 260 hectares and is expected to produce eight million tonnes of by-products per year including aromatics, gasoline and diesel, providing enough fuel to meet local demand when it begins operations in the first half of 2019.
According to the company, the local content of employment after eight years of operation is expected to reach 60 per cent.
Since Butra HeidelbergCement (BHC) Sdn Bhd first turned on its grinders for production in 1996, over $100 million has been invested, representing the largest investment in the private sector for a non-oil and gas company in Brunei Darussalam.
BHC’s industrial plant is about 3.5 hectares with a production capacity of 500,000 tonnes per year, with all of its product used locally. Brunei Cement is read- ily available in more than 90% of the hardware retail outlets nationwide.
The company has been an essential part of numerous keystone projects in Brunei, such as the refurbished Brunei International Airport, the new International School Brunei campus, the Berakas Health Centre, the new housing scheme in Kampong Ayer, and most recently the Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha Bridge.
BHC also employs a ‘Bruneianisation’ policy in line with Wawasan Brunei (Brunei Vision) 2035, reach- ing a 70% local employment rate in 2009. They also offer annual sponsorships and awards to graduates who have excelled individually or as a group, and accept interns from local and foreign institutions for a three to six month work placement.
Since the company first established itself in Brunei in 1993, it has taken the necessary steps and gained the relevant accreditations to ensure product con- sistency and consumer expectations are met.
BHC acquired accreditation for the laboratory to GD Issue 2: 1994 and ISO IEC Guide 25: 1994, as well as the Certification of Quality Assurance (PDB/ISO 9002: 1994). They also achieved compliance to the International Ship and Port Security (ISPS) Code in 2004.
BHC has also actively looked to reduce its carbon footprint where possible, winning the Energy Saving Award from the Energy Division of the Prime Minister’s Office in 2007 as well as being heavily involved in the establishment of the Brunei Green Building council in 2013.
Their new 52.5 Brunei Cement, launched in September 2017, was a reflection of that commitment, as it would reduce CO2 generation by reduc- ing the amount of clinker incorporation.
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