O&G remain strong driving force for Bintulu Port

Medan explains during a recent interview with The Borneo Post Adventure Team.

KUCHING: The Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and Oil and Gas (O&G) industries will continue to be the biggest contributors to the growth and business sustainability of the Bintulu Ports Holdings Bhd (Bintulu Ports).

Group chief executive officer (CEO) Dato Mohd Medan Abdullah reaffirmed the group’s mission would be to continue to service the local O&G scene with a focus on LNG – the group’s main bulk of cargo handling.

“The group is always ready and has the capacity and capabilities to respond to any increase in offshore oil and gas activities, especially when such activities ramp up due to better oil prices,” he said during a recent interview with The Borneo Post Adventure Team (BAT7) led by editorial director Phyllis Wong.

In order to achieve this goal, Medan said the group is conducting ongoing discussions with industry players on how the port can assist in providing value-added services in hopes of securing more base support services contracts as they have in FY16.

In particular, the group recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Petronas LNG Sdn Bhd to begin the provision of Gassing Up and Cooling Down (GUCD) services at Bintulu Port as the latest instalment of their list of port services that caters to the LNG field.

Medan, who has 30 years of experience in the O&G industry, noted that focusing on LNG would be highly beneficial to Bintulu Port as he anticipates high port throughput thanks to the recent completion of Petronas’ LNG Train 9 and their inauguration of PGLNG Satu, the world’s first offshore Floating LNG facility.

“The increased production capacity to 29.3 million tonnes per annum at Petronas LNG Complex will have a positive impact on the port throughput and we will continue to discuss with Petronas to explore other services that may be provided at the port,” he said.

While it is clear that Bintulu Port is on track to become a top-tier LNG port within the globe, Medan clarified that the group would not disregard the need for more diversification of their businesses.

“While the main cargo handled is LNG and other petroleum products, it is clear that non-LNG cargoes also materially contribute to our performance and this was made possible due to a better mix of cargo than when the port first started operations.

“The diversification of our handled cargoes was a conscious and strategic move over the year as it will be instrumental in helping us cushion the adverse impacts in terms of growth performance of specific cargoes,” he explained.

Currently, the port’s top 10 cargoes handled are LNG, containerised cargo, palm oil, condensates, alumina, crude oil, petroleum products, logs, fertilisers and other general cargoes.

In 2016, these cargoes accounted for 42.15 million tonnes out of the total 46.45 million tonnes of cargo handled by the group and moving in 2017, the group is expecting that figure to be more as they anticipate strong growth in the container, palm oil and dry bulk cargo sectors.

To accommodate for this growth and their aim to hit full capacity by 2019, Medan guided that besides the obvious technological investments the group has made over the years, they would also be looking at simplifying and improving their various processes and procedures in order to squeeze out more value from their existing operations, systems and processes.

He hoped that by doing so, the group can continue to further improve on their productivity level of certain cargoes while striving to become world class port in its in own right.

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