Slated to become the longest bridge in Southeast Asia, the construction of the BND1.6 billion Temburong Bridge began in 2014 to connect the relatively isolated Temburong district to the other three districts in the country.
The bridge also aims to reduce the travel time from Temburong to the capital, Bandar Seri Begawan. In order to get from Temburong to the capital, travellers currently need to drive through Limbang, Sarawak and pass through several immigration check points.
Upon the bridge’s completion, land commuters can travel between Temburong and Brunei-Muara without passing through Limbang. The bridge bypasses the four immigration checkpoints along the current route, which is frequently congested.
The Temburong Bridge project marked several significant milestones in 2019, one of which is the final concrete casting of Eastern Channel Bridge held on June 28. This marked the completion of the 14.5km bridge deck superstructure spanning over the Brunei Bay under Contract Package CC3, a joint venture between Daelim Industrial Limited from the Republic of Korea and local contractor Swee Sdn Bhd.
On October 11, 2019, the Temburong Bridge project marked another milestone with the installation of the first tower’s top feature, made up of a crescent and a star. It is one of the bridge’s Islamic features, in addition to the three Islamic scripts: Subhanallah, Alhamdulillah and Allahu Akbar.
In a statement published on November 19, 2019 regarding the Temburong Bridge project, the Ministry of Development informed the public that the progress of the project had reached 97 per cent.
Following the contract packages completion, joint inspections with various government authorities will be carried out to ensure the work done is fully completed in compliance to specifications and later to be certified as satisfactory, before the bridge is allowed to be fully operational.
The opening of the bridge is currently under planning. Once a suitable date is decided, the Ministry of Development will announce it officially to the public. The completion of the bridge is much anticipated by residents of the district and is hoped to facilitate the growth of the eco-tourism industry in Brunei Darussalam.
Formed on February 21, 2017, Muara Port Company Sdn Bhd (MPC) is a joint venture company formed by Darussalam Assets Sdn Bhd and Beibu Gulf Holding (HK) Co Ltd.
The establishment marks the significant contribution towards the nation’s economy by promoting shipping connectivity, facilitating the growth in the logistics and manufacturing industries and unlocking the potential of Muara Port to become a world-class international hub.
As part of the supply chain in this industrial era, MPC connects Brunei to the rest of the world via the import and export of cargo with efficient container handling. Industrial players such as importers and exporters can enjoy transactions in a timely manner the moment the vessel arrives at the port.
MPC also provides facilities such as warehouses and open areas for storage, stuffing and unstuffing services and other logistics solutions to ensure these industrial players meet their respective performances and efficiencies.
All this would allow them to be more competitive in their fields which in the end would benefit the consumers in the long run.
Other facilities and services at the terminal include freshwater supply, mooring and unmooring services, berth space for vessels and conducive areas for cargo handling and transfer.
MPC intends to develop the port further and render more services in its support for the industry and its development. It is hoped that a well-integrated and comprehensive logistics network would entice more foreign direct investors (FDIs) to set up businesses in Brunei to diversify its economy, in line with Brunei Vision 2035.
In line with the country’s Smart Nation goals and keeping abreast with the Fourth Industrial Revolution, MPC is committed to serving the demands of digital transformation, particularly through the introduction of a terminal operating system called TOPS 5.
Launched in 2018 and stabilised soon after its rollout, the system is designed to assist in managing the container terminal operations from vessel and terminal yard planning to the monitoring of on-site operations at real time to ensure efficiency and productivity.
Operational reports are generated to allow further enhancements through evaluation and analysis. This ensures quality service provisions are rendered at all times. Peripherals and instrumentations used at the terminal, control centre and the fleet are among the latest and the best in the region, allowing seamless and uninterrupted operations at the terminal.
Since the system’s introduction and based on a report shared with MPC by its clients, Muara Port excels in terms of speed, efficiency and performance among the region. MPC strives to maintain its high quality service provision by constantly evolving with technology and its revolution.
The establishment of MPC is the outcome of the Brunei-Guangxi Economic Corridor (BGEC) to boost bilateral trade and investment, in line with the Belt and Road initiative.
Developing Muara Port is important for the BGEC, and the establishment of MPC marks the beginning of flagship projects to be continuously developed between Brunei and China. Formerly known as the Agro-Technology Park, Brunei’s Bio-Innovation Corridor was launched as the core special economic zone to nurture BGEC’s value-added strategy.
Through BGEC, third-party countries can utilise Brunei as a launch pad to access the China market, positioning Brunei as a gateway in the region in the pursuit to capitalise the Belt and Road initiative.
The Department of Civil Aviation, Ministry of Transport and Infocommunications has implemented several projects to expand the connectivity and infrastructure of its air transportation system, in compliance with the international standards and best practices.
One of the department’s projects involved the expansion of Brunei International Airport Terminal. As part of the project, the number of check-in and immigration counters was doubled. The airport’s handling capacity increased from 1.5 million to three million passengers annually.
Another project included the airfield pavement rehabilitation works at Brunei International Airport. Completed in 2017, the project aimed to improve the strength of the runway pavement and cater for larger aircraft.
The completion of these projects will contribute in realising the department’s visions that include being at the forefront of aviation safety and meeting the challenges of managing the increasing number of flights, passengers and cargo.
Brunei International Airport currently serves six airlines with 31 city pairs (scheduled flights). Previously in 2018, the airport linked only 22 cities. The volume of air traffic for the country is expected to grow with the increasing number of destinations. In the third quarter of 2019, 1.6 million passengers were recorded, a 16 per cent increase over the same period in 2018.
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