BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN (Borneo Bulletin/Asia News Network): The setting up of the Integrated Marine Maintenance and Decommissioning Yard project will act as a catalyst to spur efforts to diversify Brunei Darussalam’s economy in accordance to the Brunei Darussalam Economic Blueprint.
Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Mohd Amin Liew Abdullah hailed the contract signing of the integrated yard project on Wednesday (June 29), which marked the launch of the Brunei Darussalam Maritime Cluster.
“The project exemplifies the benefits the country, the economy and the people of Brunei Darussalam can stand to gain when the public and private sectors collaborate, and achieve another major step forward towards our economic diversification agenda through a whole-of-nation approach,” the minister said.
The Brunei Darussalam Maritime Cluster has the potential to capture BND10-BND25 million worth of annual vessel maintenance and onshore decommissioning in the short term, and the aspiration to create 4,000 direct and indirect employment opportunities for the Sultanate in the long term through the enhancement of the range of new business opportunities and infrastructure improvements.
Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew said the integrated yard is expected to spur the development of auxiliary industrial services to support its operation; to promote these services and opportunities to local micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) as well as foreign companies; and act as an impetus for the development of new industries under the services sector – one of the economic blueprint’s priority sectors.
“There will be spin-off opportunities for local entrepreneurs to venture into and for foreign specialists in other industrial services to establish presence in the country, which will create more investment opportunities and knowledge and technology transfer to local MSMEs,” he said.
Aligned with the nation’s efforts towards the global sustainable development goal in ‘Responsible Consumption and Production’, the minister revealed that the integrated yard intends to incorporate several green and environment-friendly features, as well as adopt circular economy concept for its operation whereby the majority of recovered residual waste material will be recycled into other products.
Additionally, the integrated yard intends to install solar photovoltaic modules and plans to use recovered steel waste to fabricate into solar-powered light pole towers typically used in onshore and offshore remote locations.
The efforts by the consortium in setting up of a modern and environmentally-sustainable decommissioning yard is timely as the Sultanate’s oil and gas sector is embarking on a multi-year decommissioning and restoration programme. This will enable the country to comply with the requirements of Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal.
“The combination of a multi-year decommissioning and restoration programme and an onshore materials recovery facility can also act as a stimulus to develop Brunei into a regional centre of excellence by attracting foreign specialists in other disciplines of the decommissioning and restoration service value chain to establish their operations in the Sultanate,” the minister said.
“This in turn will place Brunei in a better position to tap into the emerging multi-billion dollar market for decommissioning of offshore oil and gas assets in Southeast Asia. Industry observers estimated the value of this opportunity is over US$30 billion in the next 20 years.”
Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Mohd Amin Liew expressed that the project is an important step in the establishment of Brunei Darussalam Maritime Cluster, underscoring the commitment of the Government of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah to stimulate and facilitate the development of non-oil and gas sector as part of Brunei Vision 2035 goal towards a dynamic and sustainable economy, and global sustainable development goals of decent work and economic growth.