| Danial Norjidi |
BRUNEI Gas Carriers (BGC) welcomed the arrival of the newest addition to its fleet – the AMANI, with a thanksgiving prayer ceremony yesterday.
The AMANI is the fourth LNG carrier in the BGC fleet and was built by Hyundai Heavy Industries in Korea over a period of 19 months. Measuring in at a size of 154,800 m3, with a length of 288.33 metres, it is the BGC’s largest ship.
Getting onto the ship requires taking a cable train ride from the Brunei LNG plant, which yesterday carried a delegation of BGC and Brunei LNG staff there above the sea.
The delegation, led by BGC’s Managing Director Haji Shabudin bin Haji Musa, was welcomed upon arrival by the AMANI’s Captain, Abdul Mateen Abdurrahman Liew @ Martin, before heading up to the ship’s bridge, where the ceremony took place.
During the proceedings, Captain Mateen said, “We are very delighted as Bruneians to have been significantly involved in building the vessel from start to finish, with the eventual delivery of the ship to the owners BGC and the charterers Brunei LNG. This is the culmination of the hard work and dedication of everyone involved.”
The ship’s maiden journey from South Korea to Brunei was under the command of Captain Mateen.
“We hope that the AMANI will be a very reliable and dependable LNG carrier along with her brothers and sisters, ABADI, ARKAT and AMALI as well as the H2607 in delivering cargo to the nation’s customers as their predecessors in the BST LNG Fleet did for close to 50 years,” said the captain.
As he explained, the ship’s 36-man crew comprises of 100 per cent Bruneian officers, engineers and crewmen in every rank, supported by a small team of Shell International Trading and Shipping Company (STASCo) personnel, and we have successfully taken delivery of the vessel from the builders Hyundai heavy Industries Korea.”
“It has been a very enjoyable and rewarding experience, to which all of us are extremely appreciative, none of which would be possible without the relentless support of BGC, BLNG and STASCo.”
One of the ship’s key features, the Captain highlighted, is its “technologically advanced Gas Transport and Technigaz Mark 3 system”, which he said is “very fuel efficient”.
The ship’s Dual Fuel Diesel Electric engine can burn both gas oil and methane, and provides for a more fuel efficient, reliable, cost effective and environmentally shipping solution.
The ship is designed to keep its crew comfortable, with features such as a fully-functional gym, a swimming pool and recreational rooms as well as a very well equipped kitchen manned by genuinely talented local chefs.
When asked for his thoughts on being the captain of the AMANI, Captain Mateen told the Bulletin, “It has been a fantastic job. Personally, I’m quite proud to have sailed the ship from the shipyard in South Korea and to have delivered it to Brunei with a Bruneian team behind me.”
“It’s the first to be filled with Bruneians at every single rank. I’m proud to be part of it,” he added.
The Bulletin also spoke with the BGC Managing Director yesterday, who said, “This ship is part of the whole renewal programme of the Brunei LNG ships. We have what we call the B Class ships, which are smaller. The AMANI, an A Class ship, is better designed with more up-to-date technology and from an operating efficiency point of view, it is among the top. It can carry more at lower per-unit cost.
“It gives off fewer emissions, and from that aspect it is more environmentally friendly, whereas with the older ships, by design, there are more boil-off losses, for example, and it is a loss both in value and to the environment.
“So, from a performance perspective, technically and in terms of engineering, it is more efficient,” continued Hj Shabudin. “In line with good efficient practice you always want to upgrade your capabilities with the latest and most efficient designs, so it’s with that principle.”
Speaking on Captain Mateen and his crew, Hj Shabudin said, “They are a very good team, they work together well. They are very clear about what we are doing as a company, and as a country.”
Touching on the fact that the ship was delivered from Korea to Brunei by a Bruneian team, he said, “They had to take the delivery of the ship, and whatever processes are involved, in terms of making sure the operating instructions are there, the system works, right from the dockyard and sailing the ship here without any problems, and they have demonstrated that they are capable.
“I think it’s a proud moment for them, for the company and for the country because it is a first,” he said. “It is a demonstration that with dedication and focus, Bruneians can do it. I stress to them that it’s down to overall teamwork.
“The spirit is good, and I’ve heard from the captain is that the crew is happy to be on the ship,” he added. “The test of a good ship is a good atmosphere. The crew is happy to stay longer on the ship. Morale is good, meaning the ship’s leadership is good.”
On future plans, he said, “We now we have four ships, but the fifth one is on the way. It’s about 70 per cent in progress. It’s being built in the same shipyard under the same contract, and will be ready next year.”
“Exactly the same, though of course, it will include any improvements we feel will help based on experience that is gained with the AMANI.”
Asked if the ship will it be captained by a Bruneian, he said, “That is the aim. We’ve done it with one, and we should continue.”
The AMANI will be delivering her first cargo to Tongyeong, South Korea from Brunei LNG on December 13.