KUCHING: KKB Engineering Bhd’s oil and gas outfit, OceanMight Sdn Bhd, has tendered for RM360mil worth of offshore structures fabrication job.
The outcome of these bids are expected to be known in the next three months, group executive director William Kho Pok Tong (pic) told StarBiz.
He said OceanMight had completed and delivered eight of the 11 contracts worth a combined RM915mil it secured from oil majors since it was licensed as a major onshore fabricator by Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) in 2013.
OceanMight’s ongoing contracts are for Petronas Carigali Sdn Bhd (engineering, procurement, construction, installation and commissioning of wellhead platforms for BKD-A and Host tie-in modification at BNCPP-B topsides – Bakau non-associated gas development project) and for PTTEP Sarawak Oil Ltd (engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning of Pemanis satellite topside).
With the strong recovery in global oil prices and the recent two large gas discoveries offshore Sarawak, Kho is positive about the development in the oil and gas industry going forward. He expects production sharing contract (PSC) projects between Petronas and oil majors to pick up.
Last month, Petronas and Thailand’s PTTEP announced that they had made a large gas discovery at the Lang Lebah-2 well, which is located in Block SK410B in the Central Luconia Province, about 80km off the coast of Sarawak.
The second gas discovery, according to Petronas, is from the Dokong-1 wildcat exploration well in Block SK417 PSC, located in the shallow waters of Baram Province, about 90km off Sarawak’s coast.
PTTEP HK Offshore Ltd is the operator for Block SK417 PSC with 80% participating interest while Petronas Carigali, a subsidiary of Petronas, holds the remaining 20%.
Kho said KKB had also submitted bids for engineering and manufacturing projects worth about RM200mil. The outcome of these tenders are also expected to be known within the first half of 2021.
In 2020, KKB secured about RM410mil worth of new contracts, out of which RM330mil were through OceanMight and the balance through its engineering, construction and manufacturing divisions.
Kho said the group’s current order book stood at RM750mil to be fulfilled in stages until 2022 or early 2023.
Among its major ongoing projects are a work package under the Pan Borneo Highway project and construction jobs under the billion-ringgit Sarawak Water Supply Grid Programme.
He said the movement restrictions imposed by the government to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic had affected work progress of its construction projects. The pandemic has also caused disruptions to the global supply chain and resulted in higher prices of raw materials like steel.
“Labour shortages, both local and foreign, in the construction industry are common. For example, no new foreign workers are allowed in and there are migrant workers who have returned home by choice or due to expiry of their work permits. This has essentially reduced the group’s output and affected the group’s sales.”
However, he expects work progress for delayed projects to pick up in the later part of 2021 if the movement restrictions are relaxed.
Noting that the global supply chain has been hit badly, Kho added: “Unpredictable supply and demand has caused material prices (for steel raw mat and other commodities) to skyrocket almost up to 45% over the last nine months.
“As a major part of KKB’s secured orders have been fulfilled in 2020, minor orders with balance are being managed well to minimise the margin impact. So our new bids (for contracts) are based on the current average higher cost of steel.”
Kho said KKB’s diversified and robust businesses, coupled with a healthy financial position with almost no gearing, will provide the group the resilience it needs to continue to mitigate the challenges ahead under the prevailing competitive business environment while factoring in the continued risks of the Covid-19 pandemic and supply chain disruptions.
As at Dec 31,2020, KKB’s cash and bank balances stood at RM128mil.
“The group continues to focus on areas of opportunities on the strength of its own competency and via collaboration with parties which can add value in any projects.
“We remain excited about the prospects of Sarawak’s future development across the spectrum of different industries over the next five to 10 years, ” added Kho.