Strong Infrastructure Spending in Brunei Robust domestic demand continues to drive growth in the sub-region, with infrastructure spending remaining strong in Brunei Darussalam, the Asia Development Bank (ADB) said in a supplement to its Asian Development Outlook 2018 Update.
The Hengyi petrochemical plant on Pulau Muara Besar (PMB), scheduled for completion this year, is set to boost the country’s economic growth and provide more jobs for locals.
Work is also underway for the construction of the Temburong Bridge, which slated to be completed at the end of this year. Covering a total distance of 30 km and spanning the width of Brunei Bay, the Temburong Bridge Project will link Jalan Utama Mentiri in the Brunei-Muara District and Jalan Labu Estate in Temburong.
Once completed, the mammoth 30 km bridge will reduce travel time between the two districts to only 30 minutes, allowing commuters to bypass Limbang and the four immigration checkpoints along the current route.
Deputy Chief Minister of Sarawak Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan said that there are many areas for cooperation between Sarawak and Brunei once the bridge is completed. Joint activities such as cycling, powerboat racing and a marathon will create an economic spillover to Temburong and its neighbours, Limbang and Lawas.
The construction of the Temburong Bridge Project marked an important milestone on February 28, 2019 with the installation of the final girder box. The installation completed the construction of the 13.35-kilometre Marine Bridge, which is the biggest part of the Temburong Bridge Project.
Currently, Bruneians wishing to travel between these two districts have to spend more than an hour passing through Sarawak’s Limbang and similarly travellers from Sabah or Sarawak will have to drive past Temburong to reach either state.
Some who live in Temburong commute to Bandar daily for work. The bridge will make their journey shorter. In a medical emergency at the Temburong Hospital, patients can be transferred in an ambulance by road any time of the day quickly. It will also spur more cross-border movement between Brunei and Malaysia.
This mega project boosts the country’s construction industry and 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. The construction is being carried out in several phases or packages.
The construction takes place over five-contract package, or phases, to include work on a two 13.4km marine viaducts, a 1.1km cable-stay navigation bridge, the 11.8km Temburong viaduct, the installation of systems encompassing traffic control and surveillance, supervisory control and data acquisition and road lighting as well as the power supply system to provide high-voltage electricity to power the entire bridge.
In tune with Brunei’s Malay Islamic Monarchy philosophy, the bridge, which overlooks the Brunei Bay to one side and the water village 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.
One of the most significant foreign direct investment (FDIs) projects in Brunei is the ongoing construction of Hengyi Industries Sdn Bhd’s multi-billion dollar refinery and petrochemical plant at Pulau Muara Besar, which is slated to be completed by May 2019.
Once completed, the over USD15 billion project by the Chinese firm that is situated on a strategic 260 hectares plot of land overlooking the Brunei Bay is expected to produce eight million tonnes of by-products annually, including gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, LPG, paraxylene, benzene, propylene, sulphur, isopentane, chemical light oil and isobutene that is expected to meet the demands of regional markets and as well as to China as it begins operations in July 2019.
The project, a joint development between the Governments of Brunei and China will not only help Brunei achieve its economic diversification goals and boost the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), it is also set to generate economic spin-offs, employment opportunities and ensure local skill set development and place Brunei on the map as one of the key players in the petrochemical landscape in the region.
Chinese President Xi Jinping on the occasion of his State Visit to the Sultanate last year said that the project is one of the cornerstones of heightened economic cooperation and trade between the two countries that has seen rapid expansion, making China one of Brunei’s most important partners.
In tandem with Brunei’s industrial localisation initiatives, Hengyi Industries is committed to achieve more than 40 per cent of local content in the workforce during operations stage. Out of 1,665 positions, 666 jobs will be filled by local non-technical and technical staff. With two scholarship programmes that were rolled out; Hengyi- UBD-Zhejiang University Scholarship programme in 2014 and Hengyi-IBTE-Lanzhou Petrochemical College Scholarship programme in 2018, Hengyi Industries is committed and is working with the Ministry of Energy, Manpower and Industry (MEMI) to achieve a continuous growth of localisation rate.
Hengyi Industries’ local graduates will undergo on the job training for two years in Hengyi Industries’ refinery and integrated petrochemical plant alongside experienced operators via a “buddy system” or “shadowing system” to allow them to gain job knowledge and experience.
Butra HeidelbergCement (BHC) Sdn Bhd is the first and only cement producer in Brunei, serving the nation with a total production capacity of 500,000 metric tonne per year. It was first commissioned in 1993 and the first bag of cement was rolled out in 1996.
In addition to the 62.5 Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC), BHC launched the 52.5 Portland Composite Cement (PCC) in September 2017 under the umbrella of the Brunei Cement brand. Globally acknowledged as a strong and durable cement, the 52.5 PCC has greater protection of embedded steel and reduced environmental impact. The introduction of the 52.5 PCC to the Brunei market reinforces the company’s strong commitment to build an avenue for sustainable construction in Brunei.
BHC is proud to continuously accommodate Brunei’s demand for cement since its establishment, with four massive storage silos in its plant in the Serasa Industrial Area. Brunei Cement comes in 50kg bags and is available at all hardware stores across the country. BHC also offers Brunei Cement in the form of jumbo bags and bulk packaging to its distributors and direct clients.
BHC has been actively supporting the Government of Brunei directives by introducing its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative under the ‘Building a Nation’ banner. Under this CSR initiative, BHC focusses its CSR programmes under the three pillars of sustainability — economic, environment and social development.
The company practices a ‘Bruneianisation Policy’ in its staff recruitment, and to date over 70 per cent of the staff employed are local. BHC also consistently develops the staff to undergo training and development programmes to ensure that quality and efficiency of its workforce are always evolving according to the global HeidelbergCement Group standards.
BHC actively offers internships for students from local and overseas higher institutions. The programme is designed to develop the skills and capacity of the local youth, to prepare them in their future endeavours. BHC continues to mentor students from Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD), Universiti Teknologi Brunei (UTB) and Politeknik Brunei (PB) through internships. In average, the company has 10 to 15 interns being attached at various departments at one time. In addition to the internship programmes, BHC awards top students and academic projects to UBD, UTB and PB respectively as a form of motivation and incentive for academic achievements.
To further the company’s commitment to build platforms for the future generation, through its magazine ‘Butra
Home Concept’, BHC introduced the ‘Future Designs’ column to showcase the exceptional talent and capabilities of the local youth. The column has been featuring the works of students from the School of Architecture and Interior Design, Politeknik Brunei since 2017.
Since 1996, BHC has been committed towards building the nation by producing cement of the highest quality to build strong and sustainable infrastructures. In the coming years, BHC aspires to ensure that the quality continues to deliver, and users will be able to reap benefits from the quality that the company offers. BHC also intends to continue to play a major role in sustaining the construction industry in the current economic climate.
In addition, BHC also aims to expand the ‘Building a Nation’ CSR initiatives by providing more support on local community development through youth mentorship programmes; skill development projects; Health, Safety, and Environment (HSE) campaigns; as well as donations to build community capacity.
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