New plant seeks to develop Brunei’s petrochemical industry

|    Danial Norjidi    |

A SIGNIFICANT new development recently took place in the country as a groundbreaking ceremony was held for the first fertiliser factory in Brunei Darussalam at the Sungai Liang Industrial Park (SPARK) in Kuala Belait.

As was reported following the ceremony, which took place on August 1, the fertiliser plant seeks to utilise Brunei’s abundance of natural gas to further develop the country’s downstream activities in petrochemical industry.

The plant is a collaborative effort by the Brunei Fertilizer Industries (BFI) and Thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions AG (tkIS), a Germany-based worldwide engineering and construction services provider, and is slated to be completed in 2021.

It is envisioned to be fully integrated with a state-of-the-art fertiliser complex capable of producing 2,200 tonnes of ammonia and 3,900 tonnes of urea per day. It will use part of Brunei’s large natural gas reserves as feedstock to produce high-quality nitrogen fertiliser mainly for the export market.

Thyssenkrupp will lend their expertise in engineering, equipment supply, construction, supervision of construction and commissioning as well as provide various off-site services to fully realise the project.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of tkIS Brunei Joerg Schiemann, in his speech at the ceremony, said that the groundbreaking marks a major milestone for both BFI and tkIS. “Thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions is honoured to have the opportunity to work and team up with the people of Brunei in this endeavour, and we look forward to working over the course of three years to fully realise this project and beyond and mark this occasion in both of our history books,” he said.

Meanwhile, CEO of the Fertilizer and Syngas Technologies Business Unit at tkIS Ralf Richmann said that tkIS is proud to work with BFI to realise the state-of-the-art fertiliser production facility which will help support the country’s transformation into a diversified industrial economy.

“This fertiliser project is the start of a new era of sustainable fertiliser production in Brunei which will further strengthen the country’s key industry – oil and gas,” he noted, adding that Brunei’s position as one of the largest producers and exporters of natural gas will help the facility operate efficiently.

He noted how Brunei is committed to innovation and how new technologies are being promoted, adopted and implemented.

“The Brunei government is hard at work to develop new economic opportunities and create better employment opportunities for its people,” he said. “As such, Thyssenkrupp is committed to partner with Brunei in the journey by bringing in more than 90 years of expertise and technologies to realise the visionary project and provide support in accelerating the nation’s economic growth in a sustainable way.”

“Brunei Fertilizer Industries and Thyssenkrupp will continue to work closely together to achieve our common goal that this plant starts in time, and BFI becomes an important high-quality nitrogen fertiliser exporter,” he added.

It was reported that the fertiliser plant will enable the country to create further value for 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. It was shared that these by-products also present potential for spin-off industries such as in the manufacturing of fibre board, wood furniture and tableware.