Sunday, September 20

Bintulu Port confident of strategies, sustainable initiatives

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Present at the 24th AGM are from left to right, Members of the Board of directors of Bintulu Port, Datuk Seri Fong Joo Chung and Tan Sri Datuk Amar Mohamad Morshidi bin Abdul Ghani, chairman Tan Sri Dr Ismail Bakar and group chief executive officer Datuk Mohammad Medan Abdullah.

KUCHING: Bintulu Port Holdings Bhd (Bintulu Port) is confident that with the implementation of its strategic business thrusts, underpinned by its sustainability initiatives, the group will continue to return consistent and sustainable value to stakeholders as Bintulu Port is moving into a new and vibrant concession period.

In a press statement following Bintulu Port’s 24th Annual General Meeting (AGM), the group said it is confident that with the aggressive implementation of the three strategic thrusts (instituting operational excellence, expand port capacities and capitalising on key growth markets and profitability and embark into smart and green port), underpinned by robust sustainability initiatives, the group will continue to return consistent and sustainable value to stakeholders as Bintulu Port is moving into a new and vibrant concession period.

The 24th AGM of Bintulu Port was held last week and conducted entirely through live streaming, with eight agendas and 10 resolutions tabled for shareholders’ approval. All 10 resolutions were carried.

On its performance, Bintulu Port said its operating revenue reached RM716.42 million in 2019, while the group’s profit before tax (PBT) decreased to RM179.03 million from the previous year, as revealed at its Annual General Meeting last week.

For the year under review, as an overall, Bintulu Port recorded operating revenue of RM716.42 million, 4.41 per cent higher than 2018. PBT decreased by 15.2 per cent to RM179.03 million, from RM211.12 million in 2018, mainly due to the recognition of extraordinary income in 2018.

Total cargo throughput increased by 3.72 per cent to 50.14 million tonnes from 48.34 million tonnes in 2018, due to more movements of liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargo and palm oil.

The completion of the second year of operations at Samalaju Industrial Port has also meant better utilisation of the berths and higher throughput of dry bulk cargo, which contributed to higher revenue and profits.

Revenue generated from port services at Bintulu Port is RM536.01 million, up 2.6 per cent year on year (2018: RM522.41 million) whilst revenue generated from port services at Samalaju is up by 12.90 per cent from RM101.61 million in 2018 to RM114.72 million in 2019.

Revenue from LNG is still the main contributor to the port’s operations. Revenue generated from the bulking services is RM43.94 million, an increase of 9.63 per cent compared to the previous year 2018 of RM40.08 million.

Revenue from rental income is accounted for in accordance with MFRS 16: Leases and comprises rental of warehouse, yard, office space and equipment at Bintulu Port and tank rental at Biport Bulkers.

Revenue from construction services and the cost of construction services recognised in 2019 is RM8.68 million as against RM19.33 million in 2018.

These are recognised in accordance with IC Interpretation 12: Service Concession Arrangements and relate to the construction or improvement of port’s infrastructure projects and procurement of movable assets under the Privatisation Agreement and Principal Agreement.

As for its performance in 2019, Bintulu Port Sdn Bhd (BPSB) handled 45.2 million tonnes of cargo compared to 44.12 million tonnes in year 2018. BPSB recorded significant growth in LNG and palm oil cargoes but saw slight reduction in dry bulk, break bulk and containerised cargo.

The increase in LNG throughput was largely due to greater demand from South Korea and China, while the increased palm oil cargoes were due to low prices and demand from India and China.

To improve operational excellence, BPSB initiated ‘Project Diamond’, which was targeted at removing bottleneck issues in the port’s container services. BPSB focused on three key areas, namely Vessel Operations and Productivity, Yard and Gate Operations and Berth Window Management.

Looking forward, the BPSB has continued to find new channels of growth. In this context, BPSB have diversified into fuel bunkering services together with Straits Inter Logistics and Gafung Petroleum (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd.

In addition, BPSB have also agreed to provide LNG ISO Tanks services to Tiger Clean Energy Ltd, which will make BPSB the first LNG ISO Tank Hub operator in the region.

This deal will help propel the Port’s container sector into achieving its largest growth ever, as BPSB expects it to contribute 800,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) at peak LNG ISO Tank production levels.

For Biport Bulkers Sdn Bhd (Biport Bulkers), its development has been in line with the growth of Sarawak’s planted area of oil palms.

Biport Bulkers started its operations in 2005 handling 339,641 metric tonnes (MT) of palm oil and is currently handling 4.51 MT in 2019 which accounted for 91 per cent of Sarawak palm oil exports.

To continue to serve this industry well, initiatives taken this year (2019) were focused on improving Biport Bulkers bulking facilities, which enabled gains in operational efficiency.

This included the replacement of pump sets, installing pipelines to facilitate internal transfers, a new pedestal crane at Palm Oil North 2 (PON 2) and providing sufficient shipment hoses.

Biport Bulkers also took steps to mitigate the impact on the environment by switching to natural gas instead of diesel to power the boilers and by replacing high-pressure sodium lights with LED lights in all street lighting at Biport Bulkers.

Samalaju Industrial Port Sdn Bhd (Samalaju Industrial Port) handled a total cargo throughput of 4.94 million tonnes in 2019, a 17.03 per cent increase compared to 2018.

The increase in throughput was contributed by the ramping up of plant capacity in Samalaju Industrial Park by port investors. Samalaju Industrial Port has a total handling capacity of 18 million tonnes per annum with its current industrial built-up area.

It is expected that this capacity will increase in the near future. Samalaju Industrial Port’s top priority, which has also been a challenge, is to find investors to increase throughput to utilise port excess capacity.

In that context, Samalaju Industrial Port is pleased to have signed an agreement with CleanCarbon, a Norwegian company that produces clean coal. CleanCarbon commenced its first phase of operations in August 2019.

Samalaju Industrial Port continues to invest in operational efficiency initiatives to improve vessel turnaround time through the purchase of new equipment and the upgrading of the conveyor belt facilities.

Samalaju Industrial Port has also invested in deepening the port basin to cater to larger-capacity vessels. The business has also been recognised for its outstanding occupational safety and health performance through the Malaysian Society for Occupational Safety & Health Gold Class 1 Award.

As the group progresses with its business, it is well-understood that embedding sustainability into the company’s business practices will produce long-term value-creation results.

As such, the group continues to take good care of the employees, who are the drivers of port business, through robust health and safety programmes, while paying close attention to their well-being.

Port operations impact on the environment is also diligently managed and monitored to ensure the group mitigates port operations effects on the water and the air, and also to respond quickly in the event of an emergency.

Moving forward, Bintulu Port is progressing well against the Smart Digital Green Port (SDGP) Blueprint, commissioned by Bintulu Port Authority (BPA) which is an overall plan to improve operational efficiency.

The Blueprint was developed with Bintulu Port serving as the main partner and stakeholder. The SDGP Blueprint is a comprehensive plan to transform the Port in the areas of its operations, energy efficiency, management and organisation and its approach to the environment.

In 2019, some of the initiatives undertaken under the ‘Smart’ side of the Blueprint included transitioning into electronic systems for procurement, port billings and delivery orders for break bulk cargo.

Whereas under the ‘Green’ part of the Blueprint, a number of training programmes were on environmental topics, while ongoing initiatives included calculating the port’s carbon footprint and energy consumption and a revision of its environmental management plan.

The group is also cognisant of the communities affected, or surrounding the port, and continue to provide both employment and business opportunities for local communities, as well as undertaking corporate social responsibility programmes for the needy and deserving.