PMB project to be finished by 2012
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
THE Pulau Muara Besar (PMB) project will hopefully be completed by 2012/2013. At the moment the project is in the process of, among others, the provisions of power generators, while the construction of a bridge linking the isle with the mainland is in the tender process.
This was disclosed by Minister of Energy Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Dewa Major General (Rtd) Dato Seri Pahlawan Hj Mohammad Hj Daud in response to questions raised during a meeting of the State Legislative Council (LegCo) by appointed council member Dato Paduka Hj Idris Hj Abas.
He said that several industries and developments have been planning to take into account that the development of PMB in the beginning is to include a 600-metre jetty with other progressions being added on in the future depending on the requirements.
Other than that, said the Minister, a Singaporean company has been assigned to be the master planner of the mega-project as well as the commissioning of a Philippines-based company, International Container Terminal Services Inc (ICTSI), to assist in the preparation of the plans and the handling of the ports.
The Brunei Economic Development Board (BEDB) signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the port mega-project with ICTSI and Singapore's Surbana consortium late in October last year.
"Currently technical inspections have been implemented. Once the inspection has been completed, the PMB project will begin sometime around 2010," said the Minister.
The question raised by the appointed council member was what the government has in plans for the PMB mega-project as this would systematically put us (Brunei) on the map, not only by providing jobs for an estimated 4,000 people but also the provisions of a deep water container port for the region.
The question also revolved around what the government has in store in terms of provisions for attracting foreign investors.
Minister of Communications Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia Hj Abu Bakar Hj Apong, in response to the question which was raised during the discussion on the budget for the Ports Department, said that the PMB project is currently being handled under the administration of BEDB.
Earlier reports said that PMB project is a grand scheme costing roughly more than US$1.5 billion ($2.25 billion) to complete, and is expected to transform the Muara port area into a major transshipment hub and generate massive economic benefits and opportunities for the locals.
Pulau Muara Besar is an uninhabited low-lying island situated in Brunei Bay with a total land area of about 955 hectares. It sits directly across a narrow strip of water from Muara Port, the country's principal port.
The Brunei Times