Brunei’s first industrial fertiliser plant is targeting to begin commercial production by May 2021 and create 500 jobs for its initial operations – 70% which will be filled with Bruneians.
Situated at the Sg Liang Industrial Park (SPARK), Brunei Fertilizer Industries (BFI) is a majority government-owned project that’s set to produce 2,200 metric tonnes of ammonia per day which will be converted into 1,365,000 metric tonnes of urea granular fertiliser annually, which will be exported regionally to the agriculture industry.
The Ministry of Energy (ME) who are facilitating the BFI project said in a press statement that the $1.8 billion plant will be one of the largest fertiliser operations in Southeast Asia, featuring the construction of the world’s largest single-train ammonia production.
BFI’s workforce is 357 as of August 2020, which includes trainees undergoing a 12 month Operation & Maintenance training programme before being offered full-time employment.
The programme covers different disciplines for positions in operations, maintenance, safety and laboratory.
A total of 161 trainees have undergone BFI training at Institut Teknologi Petroleum Petronas in Terengganu, ASEAN Bintulu Fertiliser in Bintulu, Petronas Chemical Fertilisers in Kedah and Gas Processing and Utilities Plant in Kertih.
Another 16 i-Ready trainees who joined in 2018 and 2019 have also been offered full-time positions.
ME added that it has set a Bruneiasation directive in 2018 that will eventually require all companies in the oil and gas industry to have a 90% Bruneian workforce – at all levels and skills pools.
German multinational conglomerate thyssenkrupp AG’s Industrial Solutions (tkIS) signed a contract in 2018 for the plant’s construction. Brunei Shell Petroleum (BSP) has previously agreed to supply BFI with 500 billion cubic feet of natural gas over the next 20 years to be used as the main feedstock to produce the urea granular fertiliser.
BFI is one of two pioneering, multi-billion dollar downstream oil and gas projects in Brunei, the other being Hengyi Industries’ refinery and petrochemical plant at Pulau Muara Besar.
Both projects help expand the value chain of Brunei’s oil and gas industry by making use of more raw products from the upstream sector to create new industrial products that can be exported.
The scale of both projects are also expected to provide opportunities for local contractors and service providers. BFI is committed to provide micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) opportunities in supporting construction, maintenance, transport, logistics, catering and accommodation for their project.