Construction for Brunei’s first industrial fertilizer plant worth $1.8 billion is officially underway after a groundbreaking ceremony at its 55-hectare site at the Sungai Liang Industrial Park last Wednesday.
Brunei Shell Petroleum (BSP) has agreed to supply the state-owned Brunei Fertiliser Industries (BFI) with 500 billion cubic feet of natural gas over the next 20 years to produce fertiliser which is targeted to be exported to the agriculture industry in the region.
Once operational, BFI’s plant will have the capacity to produce 2,200 metric tons per day of ammonia, which can be used to make 3,900 metric tons of urea per day, making it one of Southeast Asia’s largest fertilizer plants if it runs at full production capacity.
The project is expected to create 200 direct employment opportunities for Bruneians once running, and another 1,000 during the construction phase.
German multinational conglomerate thyssenkrupp AG’s Industrial Solutions (tkIS) who’ve signed an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for BFI said the plant was one of the largest it has built in Asia.
“The 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,” said tkIS Brunei CEO Joerg Schiemann. “Both ammonia and urea are high quality nitrogen fertilisers; essential nutrients for plant growth and therefore key to sustainable agriculture.”
The BFI plant is one of the two largest downstream oil and gas projects currently in construction in Brunei, alongside Hengyi’s refinery and petrochemical plant at Pulau Muara Besar.
Both investments are part of wider efforts to diversify the economy by expanding the value that the oil and gas industry is able to create locally, by processing more raw materials and developing industrial by-products that can be exported. Aside from providing local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with direct access to industrial materials, both plants also have the potential to create spin-off opportunities for SMEs through the provision of services and will ultimately increase trade volume that will develop Brunei’s logistics sector.
Officiating the groundbreaking ceremony was the Minister of Finance II Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew Abdullah. Also attending the ceremony was the Deputy Minister of Finance, Dato Seri Paduka Awang Ahmaddin Haji Abd Rahman, Executive Director of BFI Haji Abu Bakar Hj Ibrahim and CEO of tkIS Fertiliser & Syngas Technologies Ralf Richmann.