BINTULU: Bintulu Ports Holdings Bhd (Bintulu Ports) is set for transformation under a new captain, Dato Mohd Medan Abdullah – who has over 30 years of well-rounded hands-on experience spanning the oil and gas industry value chain, from upstream to midstream, downstream, and marketing and trading.

Seven years ago, Medan who is from Bario (a Barionite) left Bintulu with a heavy heart after tenure of nearly four years as the managing director and chief executive officer (CEO) of Malaysia LNG Group of Companies (MLNG).

Many thought that he was leaving Bintulu for good but defying expectations, Medan returned once again to Bintulu – this time to helm Bintulu Ports, bringing along a renewed vigour and increased portfolio of experiences in the O&G industry.

His return was a surprise to many including himself as he was planning to retire for good at the end of 2016 with a plan to spend the rest of his days enjoying life to the fullest by fishing, writing poems, golfing, travelling and jungle trekking.

However, these plans quickly changed course as sometime in 2016, he received a phone call that would force him to drop his retirement plans.

On the other end of the line was a government representative urging him to consider performing a ‘national service’ at Bintulu Ports, a Bursa Malaysia listed entity where the State Financial Secretary of Sarawak had a 26.67 per cent stake.

Known for his strong sense of patriotism, Medan viewed the offer as an opportunity to once again serve his nation by doing what he does best – transforming, unlocking and creating values in organisations.

So without hesitation, he agreed to do the ‘national service’ at a pay cut.

“I believe serving the bigger cause brings a sense of fulfilment that money can’t buy. We need to be driven by higher and even altruistic motives, pitching in our share of efforts for the common good. To me, that is important,” he told BAT7 here yesterday.

Additionally, with Bintulu Port being an established and dedicated LNG port since the early 90s, Medan was confident that he would be able to utilise his vast experiences in the O&G industry to steer Bintulu Port around its new market challenges and the prolonged slump in global oil prices to transform the group from being good to great.

“It’s a transformative journey worth taking,” Medan said.

Under this transformative journey, the already profitable port is expected to diversify its revenue stream from the heavy reliance on oil and gas industry to securing new customers.

In this regard, the development and construction of the 393-hectare Samalaju Industrial Port, which is the only dedicated industrial port in the region to support the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE), was largely seen as a step in the right direction for the group.

It also anticipated an increase in cargo throughput from palm oil, bulk fertiliser, petroleum products and woodchips to contribute towards positive overall revenue and earnings growth in FY17. The group’s revenue in FY16 was RM1.6 billion and core net profit was RM148.8 million.

Despite the diversification away from the O&G industry, Medan says the group will not be neglecting its current businesses and highlights that the group has recently enhanced its presence in the field further through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Petronas LNG Sdn Bhd (PLSB) in May.

The MoU entails the collaboration between the two groups to explore potential business opportunities and value added services which include Gassing up Cooling down (GUCD) services to vessel operators at Bintulu Port.