Brunei LNG awards lucrative contract to SPHI Marine

Aziz Idris

Brunei LNG Sdn Bhd recently awarded a 10-year contract to SPHI Marine Sdn Bhd, making it the largest and longest contract ever awarded to a local contractor.

To mark the occasion, a contract signing ceremony was held at Lumut Liang Recreational Club between the two companies yesterday.

Signing on behalf of Brunei LNG was its General Manager of Marketing and Shipping Mohd Suwarso Mudjono while SPHI Marine was represented by its Executive Director Mohammed Dzairenny Muslim.

With the new deal, SPHI Marine will supply maintenance for three terminal tugboats and one anchor handling tug (AHTS) in support of Brunei LNG’s export and shipping operations.

Built to meet Brunei LNG’s requirements, the rotor tugs are considered leaders in the world of towing and ship handling due to its high manoeuvrability.

It will be the first time in the country when a local company owns and operates rotor tugs. The four new vessels, to be built under a financial arrangement with a Bruneian bank, will be Bruneian owned and flagged, replacing foreign tugboats currently servicing Brunei LNG operations.

The signing of the contract between Brunei LNG Sdn Bhd and SPHI Marine Sdn Bhd. PHOTOS: BRUNEI LNG

Brunei LNG Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Patrice Girard, in his speech at the signing ceremony, said, “Today, we witness a first for Brunei LNG as well as a first for SPHI Marine. It marks an important milestone for not only Brunei LNG and its commitment to local business and entrepreneurship development but also for SPHI Marine, the first Bruneian company to be awarded this type of contract in the history of Brunei LNG.”

He added, “As we celebrate our 50th anniversary, we remain committed to contributing to the growth and development of Brunei Darussalam and its people for decades to come.

“Awarding of the Brunei LNG tugs and AHTS contract to a local company demonstrates Brunei LNG’s commitment to Bruneianisation initiative, developing the capacity and capability of local talent and Bruneian businesses in line with the country’s Vision 2035.”

Meanwhile, SPHI Marine Operations Director Haji Mohd Hairul Azmi bin Haji Sulaiman said, “We are delighted to be in a long-term partnership with Brunei LNG, and to be given the opportunity to introduce for the first time Bruneian owned and managed tugs to the Lumut Terminal operations.

“We share the same vision as the Brunei Government and Brunei LNG in setting the long-term target for all the vessels to be fully manned by Bruneian crew.

“This is a significant milestone in our company’s development and we appreciate the trust and confidence shown by all stakeholders in our ability to deliver this key contract for Brunei Darussalam’s In-Country Value strategy.”

The Brunei LNG contract has a 10-year primary period with a five-year extension option.

The SPHI Marine project team will manage the construction of the vessels and upon completion, deliver to Brunei LNG for operations by 2022.

In addition to being Brunei owned and financed by a Bruneian bank, SPHI Marine has plans to achieve 100 per cent Bruneianisation in its workforce during the contract period.

To realise the localisation objective, SPHI Marine will recruit potential Bruneian seafarers, nurturing them with time and resources to ensure they will be the future drivers for the maritime industry in Brunei and in the region.