The Muara Fish Landing Complex in Serasa will see a B$14 million upgrade with the first phase of its redevelopment slated to begin in January 2021, following an agreement signing between the Department of Fisheries and the Muara Port Company (MPC) on Tuesday. 

The agreement signing ceremony was “To Design, Build, Operate and Maintain for The Modernisation and Redevelopment of the Muara Fish Landing Complex in Brunei Darussalam” and was held at the Indera Samudera Grand Hall, The Empire. 

Cabinet Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Permanent Sectaries, Deputy Permanent Sectaries along with other invited guests pose for a group photo during a signing ceremony between Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism and Muara Port Company Sdn Bhd held at the Empire Brunei. Image: Fazizul Haqimie

According to a press statement by the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism (MPRT), MPC was selected through the open tendering process earlier this year, and through the project will develop modern and high-tech facilities to ensure high quality and environmentally friendly Fish Landing Complex services. 

“Modernisation of the complex will introduce modern terminal equipment for unloading fishes from the fishing vessels and fish from the inshore and offshore fish cage farms, as well as efficiency to load and unload basic supplies on fishing vessels that will be departing the jetty to sea,” the statement read. 

Muara Port Company Chief Operating Officer Mohd Fazilah Haji Mohd Yassin delivering his welcoming remarks during a signing ceremony between Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism and Muara Port Company Sdn Bhd held at the Empire Brunei. Image: Fazizul Haqimie

In an interview with the media, MPRT Minister, Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Hj Ali Apong said that the project represents a public-private partnership that is intended to bolster Brunei’s fisheries sector, to increase its contribution to the national economy. 

“The upgrade (of the Muara Fish Landing Complex) will help us in achieving our Key Performance Indicators (KPI) to increase the output of the fisheries sector, from the B$100 million in 2019 to B$175 million in 2022,” he said. 

Image: Fisheries Department, Brunei Darussalam

He added that due to MPC’s international network, being a Government Linked Company jointly owned by Beibu Gulf Holding (Hong Kong), China and Darussalam Assets, the modernised complex is expected to attract more foreign direct investment (FDI), particularly in the capture and aquaculture sectors. 

Image: Fazizul Haqimie

This, in turn, is expected to generate more than 200 job opportunities for local employment, to fill a vast array of job positions as the modernisation project will accommodate increased numbers of vessel landings and berthing at the fish landing jetty. 

The Muara Fish Landing Complex is currently the only fish landing wharf in Brunei and has an estimated area of 16 hectares, equipped with an array of facilities that include cold storage, ice making, and net mending areas.  

Image: Fazizul Haqimie

 The wharf stretches up to 200 metres long and can berth up 30 medium-sized vessels at any one time, boasting a range of over 10 players. 

Furthermore, the modernisation and redevelopment of the complex is expected to improve product flow efficiency and cleanliness from landing to processing plant, to ensure products comply with national quality control and food safety requirements. 

Image: Fazizul Haqimie

This is in addition to complying with the requirements set by importing countries including the requirements to enter the markets of the European Union (EU), the United States (USA), Australia, China and Japan. 

A video presentation by the MPC also revealed that the new project will also introduce an Intelligent Information Centre, which provides real-time statistics and data as well as employs big data, as a means to improve the industry’s future prospects in producing quality local fish products eligible for multinational export. 

In the first phase of the complex’s redevelopment, which is slated to begin in January next year, MPC will inject a total of over B$14 million into the project. 

Signing the agreement on behalf of the Department of Fisheries was Acting Director of Fisheries, Noraini Hj Anggas while MPC was represented by Chief Financial Officer, Lyu Guoli. 

Witnessing the signing of the agreement were Deputy Permanent Secretary at MPRT, Abd Halidi Mohd Salleh and MPC CEO, Zeng Caili. 

The ceremony also saw MoU signings between the MPC with Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam and the Bank of China, to strengthen financial cooperations with the financial institutions. 

Image: Courtesy of Muara Port Company Sdn. Bhd.

Also present as special guests were Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and the Second Minister of Finance and Economy, Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr. Hj Mohd Amin Liew Abdullah, Minister of Development, Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Ir. Hj Suhaimi Hj Gafar and Minister of Transport and Infocommunications, Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Abd Mutalib POKSSDP Hj Mohd Yussof. 

This article was first published on December 26, 2020 in our Weekly E-Paper issue 121

The Bruneian | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN 

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