Major boost for infrastructure, joint ventures

Azlan Othman

The acquisition of the Muara container terminal by Muara Port Company (MPC) Sdn Bhd, a joint venture company between Darussalam Assets Sdn Bhd and Beibu Gulf Holding (Hong Kong) Co Ltd on February 21, 2017 is one of the investment and infrastructure improvements made by the government.

This was stated by Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah during the budget deliberation for Financial Year 2020/2021 at the third day of the 16th Legislative Council session yesterday. The average container ship productivity has increased to 32 movements hourly compared to 20 movements before, and the average haulier had decreased to 21 minutes compared to over an hour before the acquisition.

MPC will soon start direct shuttle shipping from Muara Port to Tanjung Priok in North Jakarta. Since its inception, MPC has strived to make Muara Port a shipping, port and transit hub in the region. MPC also aims to boost economic activity and trade through the Strategic Business Plan restructuring and the provision of the Port Masterplan to make Muara Port competitive at international and sub-regional ports including BIMP-EAGA.

A Joint Working Group between Brunei Darussalam and Singapore at the ministerial level in the field of Agrifood has been established which will facilitate collaboration between the private sector to attract investment and create jobs.

It will facilitate public and private cooperation between Brunei Darussalam and Singapore, in investment facilitation, Research and Development cooperation, quality assurance and standards, and capacity building.

Meanwhile, Polygel Company is working to increase the product revenue of Organic Titanate by expanding its Antioxidant production capacity from 2,000 metric tonnes a year to 5,000 metric tonnes a year that is expected to be achieved within 18 months, the minister added.

In addition, Polygel Company is also considering a proposal to introduce the production of a new product, Catalyst. The company’s factory capacity is expected to reach 10,000 metric tonnes a year which will increase the number of exports for Brunei Darussalam and generate employment opportunities for locals.

The Ministry of Defence and Muara Company Maritime Services Sdn Bhd (MMS), a joint venture company established between Darussalam Assets and the Lürssen Internaval GmBh (Lürssen) from Germany, has signed an agreement to provide maintenance services and repair Royal Brunei Navy (RBN) vessels according to the specific needs and assets of the RBN dockyard.

The Syncrolift Alpha upgrading project and Bravo Shiplift improvements have begun to be implemented, to enhance the capabilities of the RBN in performing maintenance work on RBN vessels through in-house without the use of offshore drilling services. MMS Company has created employment for 168 locals.

Tavelmout Biofarm (B) Sdn Bhd, a company from Japan located in the BioInnovation Corridor (BIC) is the first Spirulina manufacturing company in Brunei Darussalam. The facility is capable of producing 900 tonnes of Spirulina a year. To date, Tavelmout’s company provides 12 jobs where 10 are locals.

Projects under planning are Nanyang Mariculture Company a joint venture with a local operator, Lautan Timor Product Sdn Bhd to breed oyster in the country with investment estimated at BND73.5 million.

These investments will involve seed hatching, growing process as well as the construction of a processing plant for oyster. The company is in the process of developing a Hatch Centre facility in Kampong Serdang and ‘grow out’ facilities in Pulau Kaingaran and is expected to generate over 500 jobs.

Pure Fresh Company (China) is setting up hatching and rostris prawn farming and breeding, a multi-purpose seafood processing centre for export and will generate 237 employment opportunities for locals.

Ruian Company will also be established to process spice and trading in China and further processing in Brunei Darussalam, and will generate as many as 80 job opportunities for locals.

Beijing Genomics Institute in collaboration with Pantai Jerudong Specialist Centre will develop genetic research and testing and will generate 66 job opportunities for locals.