| Lyna Mohamad |
THE Brunei Fertilizer Industries Sdn Bhd (BFI) yesterday signed an agreement with Germany-based worldwide engineering and construction services provider ThyssenKrupp Industrial Solutions AG (tkIS) to set up an ammonia and urea plant.
Located on a 55-hectare site in Sungai Liang Industrial Park, the BFI plant will produce 2,200 metric tonnes per day (mtpd) of ammonia that will be converted into 3,900 mtpd of quality granulated fertilizer (urea).
The plant is expected to start commercial production by the first quarter of 2021.
The signing of the Engineering, Procure-ment and Construction (EPC) Agreement took place at The Empire Hotel & Country Club in the presence of the Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance II and Chairman of the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and Downstream Industry Steering Committee, Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdul Rahman bin Haji Ibrahim.
The signing ceremony began with the recitation of Surah Al-Fatihah followed by the opening remarks by the Minister of Development and Chairman of BFI, Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Bahrin bin Abdullah.
He noted that the signing will open up many economic opportunities for the country and people, both directly and also through the spin-offs that will be created, as the country presses ahead with its hydrocarbon-related activities, not only to further diversify the country’s hydrocarbon downstreaming strategy but also, and more importantly, to enhance the strategic developmental benefits to the local economy.
The BFI chairman further noted that as urea application is mainly as fertilizers, BFI will leverage on the country’s central geographical location to supply the surrounding agriculturally rich countries to fulfil their fertilizer demand and the export of high-quality urea produced by BFI will have the potential to commercially benefit the country’s export logistic sector.
“Hence, BFI is also expected to catalyse spin-off opportunities for micro, small and medium enterprises such as the area of provision of logistic services or specialised services for plant.”
The coming-on-stream of the project, added the chairman, will also open up further downstreaming activities of exploration such as the potential production of melamine resins that has applications in many industries hence creating further business opportunities for local companies and foreign direct investment.
“All in all, BFI is excited to be signing the EPC agreement with tkIS today, to pave the way for the construction of our own world-class fertilizer plant which will place Brunei Darussalam in the world map as a new and serious player in fertilizer production,” he added.
Additionally, in support of the natural gas requirement of the project, a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) has also been signed with Brunei Shell Petroleum Co Sdn Bhd (BSP) in commitment to continuously supply a total of 0.5 trillion cubic feet gas over the next 20 years.
With the total investment value of B$1.8 billion, BFI will enable the country to create further value to its natural gas resources by developing downstream industries in the oil and gas sector beyond the existing production of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and methanol while the ammonia and urea produced from BFI will also be able to create further downstream opportunities, including the production of urea formaldehyde and melamine.
These by-products also present potential for spin-off industries, such as in the manufacturing of fibre board, wood furniture, and tableware while further investments in the downstream industry can potentially create a further estimated US$11 billion value.
The further growth of the downstream oil and gas industry is in line with the economic diversification agenda of the country, alongside the development of other priority investment clusters in the Halal industry, technology and creative industries, business services, and tourism.
Meanwhile, Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdul Rahman in his keynote address said this investment is expected to generate employment for the local Bruneians, where on top of the 1,200 job opportunities during construction and operational stage, there will be a further 600 indirect job opportunities in the service sectors.
Also in attendance were the Minister of Energy and Industry at the Prime Minister’s Office and Deputy Chairman of FDI and Downstream Industry Steering Committee, Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Awang Haji Mohammad Yasmin bin Haji Umar; the Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism, Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali bin Haji Apong; and the Deputy Minister of Finance, Dato Seri Paduka Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah.