Bintulu Port In News

BPSB to Finalise Concession Renewal

5 April 2022

By Alvin Tang

KUCHING: Bintulu Port Sdn Bhd (BPSB) expects to finalise the terms of its concession renewal with Bintulu Port Authority (BPA) by fourth quarter-2022.

Facilitated by a joint steering working committee, BPSB and BPA are currently in the midst of the concession renewal negotiations, according to Bintulu Port Holdings Bhd (BPHB) group chief executive officer (CEO) Dato Mohammad Medan Abdullah.

BPSB and BPA have formulated a shared vision for the next 30-year concession period that underscores the commitment to enhancing the sustainability and competitiveness of Bintulu Port of which BPSB is the operator.

Bintulu Port is Malaysia’s third largest port in terms of cargo throughput and one of the world’s top five liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporters and the only LNG export gateway for Malaysia.

Reviewing the performance of BPSB for 2021, Mohammad Medan said a major development was the successful completion of its initiative to export LNG in ISO tanks on a large scale.

“BPSB became the first Asean port operator to do so in March and subsequently completed six such shipments during the year.

“The innovation of exporting LNG in ISO tanks will significantly increase the destinations to which LNG may be shipped directly from our ports, thus reinforcing our prime position to capitalise on the expected increase in LNG demand from China, India and Asean countries in 2022 and beyond,” he added in the company’s 2021 annual report.

The commencement of LNG ISO tanks operation followed the maiden call of Tiger Clean Energy Limited’s (TCEL) 169m long vessel Fan Zhou 6 at Bintulu International Container Terminal (BICT) on Jan 20, 2021.

Petronas LNG Ltd had recently inked a sales and purchase agreement with TCEL for the supply of LNG to TCEL’s ISO tank filling facility at BICT. “Our prospects for continued growth in this sector are promising,” said Mohammad Medan.

He said BPSB had also renewed its supply base license with Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) for three years to 2023 for the continuation of the provision of supply based related services at Bintulu Port. During the year under review, three oil and gas major players also extended their contracts with BPSB.

Additionally, he said Bintulu Port is also expected to benefit from two new service routes launched by MTT Shipping and Shin Yang Shipping that will the port’s connectivity to local and regional destinations including Port Klang, Singapore and Laem Chabang in Thailand.

The new service route launched by MTT Shipping runs from Bintulu to Kota Kinabalu to Laem Chabang to Port Klang and back to Bintulu.

Shin Yang, one of the main shipping lines providing feedering services to East Malaysian ports, introduced a new service route that connects Kuching, Bintulu and Singapore.

Mohammad Medan said last October, BiPort Bulkers Sdn Bhd (BBSB) was officially appointed by Bursa Malaysia Derivatives to provide Port Tank Installation (PTI) services in Sarawak to facilitate its new East Malaysia Crude Palm Oil Futures (FEPO) contract.

This extension of services is strategic as it leverages on BBSB’s existing facilities and capabilities. “With strong potential for largo cargo trading volume at a higher profit margin compared to existing operations, this move will help BBSB increase its volume and revenue while enhancing its profitability,” he added.

Mohammad Medan said the group has entered into Phase Two of the feasibility study on the proposed Biohub Port development and its ecosystem in Sarawak. The collaboration between the group, Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), Regal Lands Sdn Bhd, Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) and Port of Rotterdam will enable all parties involved to explore the possibility of developing the biomass industry in Sarawak.

This, according to Mohammad Medan, can potentially generate good investment opportunities and create jobs for the country in the near future.

He said the provision of marine services by BPSB in Brunei since 2020 has contributed both intangible value to the group in terms of expanding its reach into the international marine services industry as well as tangible value in terms of steady revenue streams to the group.

On smart digital green port initiatives, Mohammad Medan said BPSB improved and expanded its wireless coverage to ensure both Narrowband and Wireless Data Communication Devices receive a stable communication signal when in use during the handling of containers.

The enhanced architecture allows services such as vehicle mounted terminal and radio data terminal to receive better signal coverage and ensures operational activities are able to proceed with minimum disruption.

BPSB has substantially enhanced the monitoring, tracking, handling and delivery of break bulk cargoes by transitioning into paperless delivery via the use of Barcode scanners and RFID technology.

Mohammad Medan said BPHB recorded an annual throughput volume of 47.17 million tonnes in 2021,representing a 0.93 percent decline from 2020 while vessel calls recorded a decline of 0.84 percent to 6,732 vessels from 6,792 vessels.

The group’s operating revenue rose 2.98 percent to RM728.39 million from RM707.31 million year-on-year while pre-tax profit decreased by merely 0.28 percent to RM126.32 million from RM126.67 million recorded in 2020. The decline in profit was mainly due to increased expenditure from higher provision of replacement costs, depreciation of rightof- use assets and additional amortisation of the port’s LPG jetty lease.

On the prospects for 2022, Mohammad Medan said the group is cautiously optimistic of a stronger performance this year.

“We expect to see increased demand for all major cargoes, with more LNG being exported to Asean markets and some recuperation of palm oil demand from India.

“At the same time, the growth of various new industries at Samalaju Industrial Park and our recent expansion into various sub-sectors within the industry, such as the export of LNG in ISO tanks, Port Tank Installation and expansion of marine services, will provide greater volume and diversity in the group’s revenue streams,” he added.

Source: New Sarawak Tribune