In March 2020, Brunei Darussalam inaugurated the cross-sea Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien (SHOAS) Bridge, linking the capital Bandar Seri Begawan to the Temburong District. The bridge is one of the key national balanced development projects promoted by the Brunei Government, and is also the largest bridge construction project ever built in the country.
The bridge facilitates inter-district communication, travel and movement of goods and has improved the quality of life in Brunei-Muara and Temburong districts. CCTV cameras have been set up as a security measure, with a team under the Ministry of Development working around the clock to man the CCTV operation.
The bridge has brought various developments to Temburong, in terms of infrastructure and the establishment of the Temburong District Development Authority, which plays a role in monitoring the district’s developments and progress. Several projects have taken place including infrastructure works at the foyer of Pekan Bangar’s Bumiputera Complex and Pekan Bangar Pier area.
The bridge facilitates inter-district communication, travel and movement of goods and has improved the quality of life in Brunei-Muara and Temburong districts.
With the increasing demand for refined petroleum products, Brunei embarked on a large-scale investment of downstream projects, creating opportunities for export markets and domestic industries. Large-scale foreign direct investment (FDI) projects, particularly the commencement of fertiliser production and the second phase construction of an oil refinery and petrochemical complex, are among the major projects in the country.
Construction of the ammonia and urea plant began in 2018, located on a 55-hectare site in Sungai Liang Industrial Park (SPARK). Operated by Brunei Fertilizer Industries Sdn Bhd (BFI), the plant was scheduled for its first urea production by the second quarter of 2021.
Urea, which has 46 per cent nitrogen content, has the highest nitrogen content of any solid nitrogen fertilisers and is the most used fertiliser in the world, with dominance in the Asian market.
The BFI plant is one of the two large downstream oil and gas projects in Brunei, alongside Hengyi Industries’ Refinery and Petrochemical Plant at Pulau Muara Besar. Once completed, the BFI plant will be among the largest fertiliser plants in Southeast Asia. The plant consists of three parts: offsite & utilities; ammonia; and urea plants.
With the capacity of producing 2,200 metric tonnes of ammonia and 3,900 metric tonnes of urea per day, it will be the world’s largest single train ever constructed. The products will be exported across the region for the agriculture industry.
Brunei’s economic growth in 2022 is projected to be 3.5 per cent, higher than the previous year according to the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in the Asian Development Outlook 2021. This is largely due to an expected rise in production and investment at Hengyi Industries’ refinery project and in state-owned BFI ammonia and urea production plan.
Increased production at the Hengyi plant and BFI, starting production by the third quarter of 2021, will boost exports. Private investment and the construction industry will be bolstered by the construction of a Halal meat processing and distribution centre and the Phase 2 expansion of the Hengyi plant.
Valued at about USD13 billion, the Phase 2 expansion is projected to increase oil refining capacity from the current eight million tonnes per year to 22 million tonnes per year once completed in 2024.
Rising production at Hengyi’s oil refinery and petrochemical plant, strong export growth, and expansion in household spending will offset weaknesses in other parts of the country’s economy.
The Muara Port Company Sdn Bhd (MPC) began its operations on February 21, 2017 as a joint venture between Darussalam Assets Sdn Bhd (DA) and Beibu Gulf Holding (HK) Co Ltd.
By diversifying the economy, increasing connectivity and sustainable development, and facilitating the growth of Brunei’s logistics and manufacturing industries, MPC has strived to contribute to the nation’s growth and unlock Brunei Darussalam’s principal port to become a world-class international hub.
Since its establishment, MPC took over the operations of the Muara Conventional Terminal (MCVT) together with its port assets, in 2018, shortly after taking over the Muara Container Terminal (MCT). MPC efficiently established a port IT system for the container terminal, quay machinery rehabilitation, and the deployment of modern port equipment.
MPC also offers storage facilities, such as refurbished warehouses and open storage areas, as well as stuffing and unstuffing services and other logistical solutions to ensure that company needs are met. MPC also provides freshwater supply to vessels, mooring and unmooring services, vessel berthing and cargo handling as well as a cruise ship centre.
In line with the country’s Dynamic and Sustainable Economy goals and keeping abreast with the Fourth Industrial Revolution, MPC realises the demands of digital transformation, particularly through the introduction of a terminal operating system called TOPS 5.0. The system was designed to facilitate container terminal operations, from vessel and terminal yard planning operations and meet real-time demand, in order to maximise service efficiency.
Real-time reports are able to be generated at a daily basis. The terminal’s cutting-edge peripherals and instrumentation, with its control centre and fleet, are among the best in the region, enabling smooth and uninterrupted operations.
To uphold its promise of modernisation and performance excellence, MPC embarked on the development of a Muara Port masterplan. The masterplan is a prudent and future-proof choice for MPC and Brunei Darussalam, and it is based on detailed commercial, operational, and technical diagnostic analyses and forecasting scenarios, including new business opportunities and anticipated trade facilitation initiatives namely Brunei Vision 2035, the Brunei-Guangxi Economic Corridor (BGEC) and the New Western Land-Sea Corridor.
In accordance with these goals, MPC plans to attract additional FDIs to develop a portindustry industrial park and improve logistics (shipping) connectivity.
MPC has begun project works for the expansion of the container terminal to accommodate increased future volume from local industries and international cargoes. This is consistent with MPC’s goal of becoming an international logistics hub.
MPC is working with the Brunei Fertilizer Industries Sdn Bhd (BFI) to provide an end-to-end logistics solution for the transportation of urea from Sungai Liang Industrial Park to Muara Port to accommodate export via larger bulk carrier vessels. Larger ships are to cater for overseas markets such as India, Australia, Latin America and the United States.
The project is expected to have a granular urea production capacity of 1.365 million tonnes per year. The BFI plant will be among the world’s largest single-train urea facilities. Urea has the largest nitrogen content of any solid nitrogen fertiliser, with 46 per cent nitrogen content, and is the most widely used fertiliser throughout the globe, with a stronghold in Asia.
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