Brunei’s economic growth in 2023 will be supported by the construction of the second phase of Hengyi Industries Sdn Bhd’s oil refinery and petrochemical project, said Asian Development Bank in its economic outlook on Brunei.
The country’s downstream sector has been growing quite steadily with Hengyi Industries Sdn Bhd, a joint venture company between Zhejiang Hengyi Group (China) and Strategic Development Capital Fund (SDC) (Brunei Darussalam). In 2019, Hengyi Industries commenced the operations of the Integrated Petrochemical Complex, producing a variety of petroleum and petrochemical products.
As reported in July 2022, the production since then has recorded an approximately USD7.4 billion in export value and provided an estimated 650 jobs to locals.
In 2019, Hengyi Industries commenced the operations of the Integrated Petrochemical Complex, producing a variety of petroleum and petrochemical products.
After some operational delay, Brunei Fertilizer Industries Sdn Bhd (BFI) began production of ammonia and urea in January 2022. The following month, BFI exported its fertiliser products to Thailand and South Korea, exporting a total of BND44.0 million of granular urea to various countries in April 2022.
Owned by the Government of 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, the BFI project will embark as Brunei’s new initiative to sustainably grow the country’s downstream oil and gas industry and it will be the largest single train fertiliser plant in Southeast Asia. In October 2022, it was reported that a fertiliser production facility built by thyssenkrupp in the Sungai Liang Industrial Park had reached the final stage and would soon be handed over to its owner BFI.
Brunei Fertilizer Industries Sdn Bhd (BFI) began production of ammonia and urea in January 2022. The following month, BFI exported its fertiliser products to Thailand and South Korea.
The downstream sector is expected to become the main driver of growth going forward, and with both Hengyi and BFI in place, Brunei Darussalam is poised to position itself as a chemical hub in the region. The Sultanate welcomes investment interest in all sectors, particularly within the downstream, food, tourism, services and ICT.
Muara Port Company Sdn Bhd (MPC) is situated on the northern coast of Brunei and serves as the primary gateway for the country’s international trade. Since its establishment on February 21, 2017, the port has undergone significant changes, transforming into a modern and efficient centre for maritime trade. With ambitious plans, it is expected to play an even more crucial role in the growth of Brunei’s economy and its surrounding areas.
In recent years, 80 per cent of worldwide supply chains have relied heavily on ports as key nodes, and most traded goods are carried over the waves. This has become vital as Muara Port is the sole port operator and provides a wide range of services to support maritime commerce including berthing, cargo handling services for vessels of all sizes and types, and storage services for a wide range of goods including perishable goods, hazardous materials and oversized cargo that can be stored at Muara Port warehouse facilities and open storage areas in the Container Terminal Yard. In addition, MPC provides logistics and transportation services to ensure cargo is transported to and from the port efficiently and effectively.
To build the future of Muara Port, several key initiatives must be undertaken. Since MPC’s establishment, significant investments have been made to modernise the port’s facilities and infrastructure. This includes port upgrades on the system and advanced technologies. One of the key initiatives is the implementation of an integrated port management system called TOPS 5. The terminal operating system will oversee all facets of port operations in a streamlined and effective manner. It provides real-time information on vessel movements, cargo handling and other key operational parameters, enhancing the port’s efficiency and productivity.
In addition to the digitalisation of port operation management, MPC has also invested in innovative technology from Guangxi, the Mobile Intelligent Nitrogen Filling Control Management System which maintains the quality and freshness of food products as well as adds resistance to insects. By adopting these technologies, Muara Port can enhance its operational competency, reduce costs and improve its sustainability.
Ports now play various functions as supply chains have become increasingly fast and responsive for today’s industries. Muara Port has developed a new logistics service to meet the end goal of shippers and carriers. MPC’s latest project for an end-to-end logistics solution is between Brunei Fertilizer Industries Sdn Bhd (BFI) and MPC for the transportation of urea from Sungai Liang Industrial Park to Muara Port to accommodate urea export via bulk vessels. This project between BFI will oversee 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 quality of the urea exported from the BFI 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. By developing these logistics capabilities, Muara Port becomes a more attractive and competitive destination for global trade, facilitating the movement of goods between Brunei and other countries.
With a focus on building for the future, Muara Port plans to expand the development of a new container terminal and upgrade existing facilities. This project includes the construction of new warehouses, the expansion of berths, upgrades of port equipment and others. These upgrades will enable the port to handle a wider range of cargo and increase its capacity to accommodate larger vessels, enhancing its competitiveness in the global trade industry. Another key aspect of the expansion plan is the development of a free trade zone (FTZ) within the port area. The FTZ will provide a range of incentives and benefits to businesses operating within the port, such as exemptions from import duties and taxes, streamlined customs procedures, and access to advanced logistics services. Having a FTZ will create a more attractive environment for businesses to operate and invest in, driving economic growth and development in the surrounding areas. Hence, Muara Port’s expansion plan represents a significant step towards building the future of the port and positioning it as a regional hub for trade and logistics.
Overall, the Muara Port Company’s future plans and aspirations demonstrate a strong commitment to continue the growth and development of Muara Port as a key hub for trade and logistics in the Southeast Asia region. By focussing on the expansion and modernisation of port facilities, supporting infrastructure and logistics services, as well as the implementation of advanced technologies, MPC aims to position Muara Port as a leading regional port in the years ahead.
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