BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, April 28 (Xinhua) -- The Brunei Economic Development Board (BEDB) signed a land lease agreement with a Chinese investor, Huludao City Steel Pipe Industrial Co. Ltd ( Huludao) on Monday for a 50 U.S. million dollars project to develop welded rounding carbon steel pipe manufacturing facility in Brunei Darussalam.
The project is the second investment made by a company from China after the first investment by Zhejiang Hengyi which is involved in developing an integrated refinery at Pulau Muara Besar.
Dato Haji Ali, deputy minister at the Prime Minister's office and Chairman of BEDB who was present to witness the signing ceremony said in a statement that the investment and job creation from the new project augur well with the speech of Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah in conjunction with the New Year 2014 in which His Majesty called for Brunei Darussalam to create a more "pro- business" environment in order to spur economic growth and create more job opportunities for locals especially in the private sector.
In fact in the last few years, Dato Haji Ali added, the BEDB together with other agencies have already facilitated the investments among others by Mitsubishi Gas Chemicals and Itochu Corporation from Japan for the production of 850,000 tons of methanol per year at the Sungai Liang Industrial Park (SPARK), Zhejiang Hengyi from China for an integrated refinery and aromatics cracker facilities at Pulau Muara Besa, Viva Pharmaceuticals from Canada for halal pharmaceuticals production at the Salambigar Industrial park and CAE from Canada to build a multi-purpose training center at Rimba DigitalJunction, which will provide helicopter flight training. Several other projects are also in the pipeline. When completed, all these projects will be able to provide about 2,000 jobs for Bruneians.
Signing on behalf of the BEDB was Dr. Haji Abdul Manaf, deputy permanent secretary at the Prime Minister's office and chief executive officer of BEDB while Huludao was represented by its Chairman Song Shuxin.
"The project signifies another important milestone for Brunei Darussalam's efforts to diversify its economy away from oil and gas. When fully operational in 2017, the manufacturing facility is expected to generate employment for about 300 people and created other potential spin-off opportunities particularly for local logistics and transportation companies," said Dr. Haji Abdul Manaf.
Huludao is a market leader in the field of carbon steel pipe since 1993 and its products are exported to 62 countries around the world. The new manufacturing facility in Brunei Darussalam which will be located at Salambigar Industrial Park will have the capacity to manufacture 100,000 tons of welded rounding carbon steel pipes for application in the oil and gas as well as the construction industries with an export value of 1,000 million U.S. dollars per annum.