Brunei Fertilizer Industries exports reach US$322 million

While diversifying Brunei's exports, BFI supports local logistics and agriculture as well as spin-off opportunities for other industries

His Majesty interacting with BFI staff during his visit to officiate the fertiliser plant at SPARK.

Brunei Fertilizer Industries (BFI) has recorded US$322 million in urea fertiliser exports since beginning operations in January 2022.

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam mentioned the milestone in his visit to officiate BFI at the Sungai Liang Industrial Park (SPARK) yesterday.

In addition to diversifying Brunei’s exports that are reliant on oil and gas, increased exports will also help develop the country’s logistics sector, said His Majesty.

BFI has produced 631,000 metric tonnes (MT) of urea since commencing, 556,000 MT of which has been exported to 14 countries including the United States, Australia, Japan, and Malaysia.

The US$1.8 billion state-owned plant, built by German conglomerate thyssenkrupp AG’s Industrial Solutions, is Brunei’s first fertiliser plant, and utilises a single-train design for urea production – the biggest of its kind in Southeast Asia, and one of the largest in the world.

BFI has a daily nameplate capacity of 2,200 MT of ammonia and 3,900 MT of urea; corresponding to 1.365 million MT of urea annually.

To produce urea, BFI utilises local natural gas to synthesise ammonia which is then converted into granular urea.

Urea is prized as a commercial fertiliser as it’s a concentrated, cost-effective source of nitrogen, which is essential for plant growth.

While BFI expects to market the majority of its urea as fertiliser, urea and ammonia have numerous other industrial applications including the production of resins and melamine.

Second Minister of Finance and Economy and Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office Dato Dr Hj Mohd Amin Liew Abdullah said BFI’s urea would therefore not only help support the country’s agriculture sector, but provide the raw materials needed for other industries and business opportunities.

Sixty-six percent of BFI’s 536 employees are local, 161 of whom were enrolled in a apprenticeship programme that saw them undergo six month attachments at fertiliser plants in neighbouring countries.

His Majesty also announced that all BFI staff would receive a project completion bonus in conjunction with the plant’s successful setup and subsequent exports.

BFI began construction in May 2018, with the plant receiving its first gas supply in January 2021.

The first export was made to Thailand on February 3, 2022 through BFI’s own jetty connected to their plant. Later in May 2022, an inaugural shipment from Muara Port was made.

Muara Port Company has signed an agreement to manage BFI’s terminal and their exports through Muara.

BFI is one of two major downstream oil and gas projects recently implemented in the country, the other being Hengyi Industries’ refinery and petrochemical plant.