Brunei Darussalam’s principal port run by Brunei-China joint-venture Muara Port Company (MPC) will be undergoing a significant expansion that will accommodate two vessels as well as increase the terminal capacity from 280,000 Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEU) to 500,000 TEUs per annum by 2023.

The expansion project for the Muara Container Terminal is slated to commence in the last quarter of this year, with aims to expand the terminal another 275 metres resulting in a total quay length of 525 metres.

Image: Iqbal Dato Selamat

The project will begin with a feasibility study and design of the port including hydrology measurements, navigation simulations, formal safety assessment and environmental studies comprising of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Environmental Monitoring and Management Plan (EMMP).

Construction of the new terminal however is expected to begin the second quarter of 2022 and is estimated to be completed by the third quarter of 2023.

Speaking during the Doa Selamat Ceremony for the pre-commencement of the Muara Port Expansion Project, Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister of Finance and Economy, Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mohd Amin Liew Abdullah shared how MPC has continued to grow from strength to strength since its establishment in 2017.

Image: Iqbal Dato Selamat

He shared that the incorporation of MPC has always been intended to be an engine of growth for the nation’s economy that can contribute significantly to the sultanate’s economic diversification efforts by leveraging on the capabilities and synergies of both shareholders, Darussalam Assets and Beibu Gulf Holding.

“Today, I’m proud to share that MPC has facilitated container throughput volume of about 440,000 TEUs in the past 4 years, with an annual average of 110,000 TEUs,” he said in his capacity as the Chairman of MPC.

Image: Iqbal Dato Selamat

With manpower of 182 people strong, the minister said that MPC has successfully diversified its business well beyond the initial port’s operations, expanding it to include land logistics, storage and specialised goods and management of the Fish Landing Complex.

“Notwithstanding the achievements and the developments that have transformed Muara Port to become a reliable, efficient and business-centric port, MPC will continuously strive to support the industry ecosystem and capture opportunities in various other industries,” added YB Dato Dr Amin Liew.

Image: Iqbal Dato Selamat

MPC: A world-class international hub

“Port plays a critical and catalytic role in the growth and development of the industries and Brunei’s economy in eventual,” said MPC Chief Operating Officer, Mohd Fazilah Hj Mohd Yassin.

“We, at MPC, strive to mirror ourselves with other international ports in improving operational performance and services to world-class standards. Ports across the world are moving towards new and dynamic approaches and so are we,” he added.

Image: Iqbal Dato Selamat

According to the COO, MPC’s annual throughput, meaning the yearly volume of cargo discharged and loaded at the port, has increased at a steady rate of seven percent, “except for last year due to the pandemic”.

Cargo traffic volume through Muara Port increased by 11 per cent year on year with 57,759 TEUs in the first half of 2021 compared to the 51,898 TEUs in the whole of 2020, reflecting an increasing trend for container volume in the next decade as new industries and businesses continue to develop.

Image: Iqbal Dato Selamat

In light of this, he explained that in July 2020, MPC along with a team of international experts established a study to develop the Muara Port Masterplan which is currently in its final stages of completion.

“The Masterplan will provide a comprehensive plan to guide MPC in expanding its operations in the short, medium, and long term to become an international hub,” he said, adding that it is impertinent for the MPC to remain responsive to market opportunities and demands.

Image: Iqbal Dato Selamat

“MPC hopes that with these ambitious plans, we can continue to harmonise our efforts with our local and international stakeholders, strive to support the nation’s economy and its diversification initiatives with the support from the authorities and the government of Brunei Darussalam,” added Mohd Fazilah.

Special guests present were Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Abd Mutalib POKSSDP Hj Mohd Yusof, Minister of Transport and Infocommunications and Chairman of Maritime and Ports Authority of Brunei Darussalam and Her Excellency Yu Hong, Chinese Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam.

Image: Iqbal Dato Selamat

THE BRUNEIAN | BRUNEI – MUARA

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