Alam Water is seeking to make its presence felt in Singapore and European markets, following a signing ceremony between Artesian Fresh Sdn Bhd and Kitani Market at the Radisson Hotel yesterday.
Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali bin Apong witnessed the signing.
Ambassador of the French Republic to Brunei Darussalam Christian Ramage and officials from government agencies also attended.
Artesian Fresh Sdn Bhd Director David Ling Ming Shon said, “The source of Alam Water is located on our family land in Bukit Guayan. Previously, the land was used as a coffee plantation operated by my late father, Ling Joon Yee.
“Some of you might have heard of the name Kopi Bukit Guayan Plantation. That was the coffee plantation operating on the land. The coffee was marketed under the brand name ‘kopi asli’.
“My late father also planted 1,000 durian trees on the land. We noticed that patches of the land were wet and some drainage was made to divert the water to a nearby stream to keep the land dry for the coffee trees to grow.
“During these attempts in the dry season, we realised that water was gushing from the ground. We hired soil engineers to dig holes in a few places to test the water and found it to be safe for drinking. That’s when we came up with the idea of producing artesian water.”
Alam Water Director Kelvin Lim said, “Alam Water is extracted from the ground through natural pressure from the land. No equipment or pump is used to extract the water at these sources. All that’s done is to bore a pipe into the ground to a 30-metre depth certain points of the land, and earth-filtered water oozes out of it.
“It passes directly through multiple advance filtration and carbon and micro filtration systems, before ozonation and finally, bottling. No chemicals or additives are ever added to achieve the high pH in the water. The refreshing texture is derived from its low total dissolved solids.
“The plant, built close to the water sources in Bukit Guayan, is capable of producing up to 30,000 bottles of high pH water a day.
“Looking ahead for Alam Water, in the immediate future we will collaborate with Universiti Teknologi Brunei (UTB) to set up a water testing laboratory. We hope the laboratory will set the standards for water testing and hopefully, the existence of such standards will facilitate the export of mineral water.”
He added, “We will also work closely with UTB to develop drinks with our mineral water as its base. We hope to bring natural nangka or manggis-flavoured drinks to the market.”
The company also plans to make its bottling plant carbon-neutral in the future. This involves studying the potential of converting the surrounding wild bamboo grove into biochar, for use as carbon filter.
Biochar can also be used to improve soil fertility, especially if it is slightly acidic.
Lim said they are in discussion with a UTB researcher to develop biodegradable bottles from vegetation such as sago or tapioca.