Brunei Oxygen Company’s (Brunox) new multi-million dollar air separation plant in Kuala Belait will be able to produce 40 tons of liquefied oxygen, nitrogen and argon, which is targeted to meet 60% of local demand with potential to be exported regionally.
Burnox, a joint partnership with QAF Brunei and French multinational industrial gas supplier Air Liquide, has previously been importing gases to be supplied locally for industrial use. These include oxygen for hospitals and construction, nitrogen for packing and freezing in manufacturing and argon for fire suppression systems.
“We were importing a few tons (of gasses) per day,” said Industrial Merchant Vice-President and CEO of SEA of Air Liquide Virginie Cavalli during an interview with the press after a ceremonial inauguration for the air separation plant last Friday, which they said is Brunei’s first.
“The decision to build the plant was made in 2015 (and was completed last April); we realised that we had a significant volume (of gas) to be imported and we needed to step up with our operation.”
She added that there was a “definite possibility” of the gases being supplied to Sabah and Sarawak next year.
Meanwhile General Manager of Brunox Stephen Supan said the plant has created an additional 12 jobs, bringing the company to 31 employees – 90% who are locals.
“With the new plant, Brunox is ready to support the Brunei market, with its production of liquid nitrogen, oxygen and argon designed to meet not just the current but also future demand,” said Supan.
The Minister of Energy, Manpower and Industry Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mat Suny Haji Mohd Hussein officiated the plant’s launch, witnessed by senior government officials, foreign dignitaries, industry leaders and members of both Air Liquide and Brunox.