Analysts: Bintulu Port to benefit from prolific projects in Sarawak


Analysts guided that several ongoing and upcoming projects in Sarawak are expected to benefit Bintulu Port’s operations in the long run. – Bintulu Port photo

KUCHING (April 18): Bintulu Port Holdings Bhd (Bintulu Port) is expected to benefit from the prolific projects in Sarawak, which are expected to achieve economic growth between 5 to 6 per cent in 2024.

Analysts at AmInvestment Bank Bhd (AmInvestment Bank) guided that several ongoing and upcoming projects in Sarawak are expected to benefit Bintulu Port’s operations in the long run.

In the medium-term, they guide that Sarawak Petrochem’s methanol project is expected to commence its first shipment in July 2024 and that the project is estimated to contribute an additional monthly average of 1,00l tonnes of cargo.

“In the same month, Bintulu Port will facilitate the first shipment of Biomass Raw Energy Hot Tropical Grass, adding 10,000 tonnes of liquid bulk volume monthly,” they added.

The combined total additional to liquid bulk throughput for FY24 is estimated to be 660k tonnes, says AmInvestment Bank.

That said the analyst notes that this is not a very significant increase as liquid bulk which accounts for 70 per cent of Bintulu Port’s total cargo throughput in 2023 is made up of 73 per cent LNG cargo while the remaining 27 per cent is from non-LNG liquids like methanol.

In the longer-term, the Bintulu International Container Terminal (BICT) is expected to benefit from additional medical glove shipments from the Sarawak Medical Innovation Technology Hub (SMITH) in FY25 with Phase 1A of the SMITH slated to be operational by the end of FY24.

One of the most prolific projects expected to benefit Bintulu Ports is Sarawak’s push for a green hydrogen economy which is in line with the National Energy Transition (NETR).

Thus far, there are two ongoing mega hydrogen-focused projects at the Sarawak hydrogen Hub in Bintulu and Rembus Depot.

They are the H2ornbill project partnered with Japanese Eneos and Sumitomo Corporation and H2biscus partnered with South Korean Samsung Engineering, Posco and Lottle Chemical.

The H2ornbill project seeks to develop two clean hydrogen-producing plants while the H2biscus project aims to develop hydrogen derivative facilities.

“H2ornbill and H2biscus projects are expected to produce a combined 240,000 tonnes per annum of green hydrogen, making the Sarawak Hydrogen Hub, one of the largest producers of clean energy globally. The 2 projects are envisaged to be operational in Bintulu Petchem Industrial Park in 2027,” the analyst shared.

This is expected to benefit Bintulu Ports tremendously as the export of hydrogen to both Japan and South Korea will use Bintulu Port’s shipping equipment and port facilities.

In a separate development, AmInvestment Bank believes that the mooted Trans Borneo Railway project that will link Sabah, Sarawak, Brunei and Kalimantan will be an economic catalyst for the Borneo region.

However, it is still early days as beyond a feasibility study approved by the federal government on routes within Sabah and Sarawak, there has been no agreement or expressed interest among the governments of Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei to collaboratively build the Kalimantan-Borneo railway.