Friday, December 21, 2012

Alam Maritim gets anchor-handling tug-supply contract from petronas and workboat charter from dayang

Alam Maritim wins RM32mil contracts

KUALA LUMPUR: Alam Maritim Resources Bhd has secured two contracts to provide vessels with a total value of RM32mil.
The company said its unit Alam Maritim (M) Sdn Bhd had received letters of contract extension from Petronas Carigali Sdn Bhd to provide two anchor-handling tug-supply (AHTS) vessels valued at RM23.3mil.
Its unit also received a letter of award from Dayang Enterprise Sdn Bhd to provide one workboat valued at RM8.6mil.
Alam Maritim said the RM32mil contracts were expected to contribute positively to its earnings and net assets in the financial year ending Dec 31 and beyond.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Alvin Lau opens palm oil nursery in Miri Bintulu coastal road

Planting the seeds of success

Posted on November 28, 2012, Wednesday

PROPER CARE: Lau standing in front of rows of young oil palm trees at the Miri Best One nursery.Lau reveals that the seedlings take about one year to reach full maturity before it can be planted in the estates.
MIRI: Despite being a newcomer in the oil palm nursery business, Miri Best One Sdn Bhd (Miri Best One) strives to produce the best oil palm seedlings in the industry.
Established in 2008 as Kai Nguong Nursery’s outward venture to tap into the growing and highly-in-demand oil palm seedling business, Miri Best One’s agricultural practice hopes to put quality first in all stages of growth.
With a land area of 20 acres, the nursery is planted with around 210,000 young oil palm trees (or often called as oil palm seedlings), of which 180,000 are comprised of the DxP Felda Yangambi hybrid and the rest are the Calix 600 – a new super hybrid from Sime Darby Seeds and Agricultural Services.
The nursery is located some 30km from Miri, off the Miri-Bintulu coastal road.
Its managing director Alvin Lau said the process of oil palm cultivation is a difficult one, where a lot of care is involved.
“The seedlings must receive enough water, fertilizer, right soil and sunshine,” he added. “These young trees need to be watered as least twice a day as they use a lot of water,” he pointed out.
Lau revealed that the seedlings take about one year to reach full maturity before it can be planted in the estates.
“A seedling that has not grown well in the nursery will produce oil palm tree. Therefore, we eliminate the poor ones from the good ones – where this process is called culling – and out of the total seedlings, about 80 percent are deemed good,” Lau explained.
Apart from pests and diseases, the seedlings also suffer from abnormal growth.
“A good characteristic of good germinated palm oil seedlings is that they will be able to grow into healthy trees, bearing much fruits,” Lau explained.
Every month, the nursery produces about 10,000 young oil palm trees ready to be planted in the estates, he said.However, many of Lau’s customers also come from smallholders who sometimes even purchase up to a few hundred young trees.
“We also have orders of up to thousands of tress from the big plantation companies,” he revealed, adding that each young tree is being sold at RM13.
As an assurance of quality, the nursery has also obtained the Oil Palm Nursery Certificate of Competency meeting MPOB’s stringent requirements of high standards in infrastructure, facilities and nursery practices.
In a nutshell, Miri Best One believes in providing the best seedlings for its customers to ensure they have bountiful harvest and big returns for their investment.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Hock Seng Lee grows in size

HSL to see further growth and procurement success for new projects

Posted on November 30, 2012, Friday
KUCHING: Sarawak-based infrastructure company Hock Seng Lee Bhd (HSL) is set to enjoy further growth and procurement success based on the group records earnings for the third quarter of the financial year 2012 (3QFY12) while it rakes in more new projects.
In a press release, director Dato Paul Yu Chee Hoe said, “Net profit before tax for the nine months up to September 30 2012 was RM86.53 million up six per cent from the RM81.64 million achieved over the same period of 2011.”
Meanwhile revenue rose some five per cent for the January to September 2012 period to RM443.16 million from RM422.93 million for the same period in 2011.
Additionally, HSL reported RM30.39 million net profit before tax for 3QFY12, up marginally from the RM30.16 million recorded for 3QFY11 while revenue for the quarter under review was RM152.24 million, an increase of one per cent against the preceding year corresponding quarter’s figure of RM150.42 million.
Boosting HSL’s growth, some RM525 million worth of new projects had been added during 2012 to date while RM375 million worth had been completed.
HSL secured RM313 million worth of new projects in 2011, while it currently had RM1.9 billion worth of projects in hand with an outstanding value of RM1.1 billion, he added.
The most recent additions to the order book included the RM291 million new campus for UITM Mukah and Senibong secondary school, a construction sub-contract worth RM39.5 million.
“Our strength in our core business areas of marine engineering and infrastructure works provides us a competitive edge in pursuing contracts in Sarawak,” said Yu.
He added, “Moreover, our sound financial position with no borrowings and a RM177 million cash pile as at the end of the nine-month reporting period, places the group in an advantageous position when structuring project proposals where financing or land-swap deals may be involved.
“This is particularly the case when bidding for urgent public construction works whereby upfront available funding may be short.”
Currently, HSL’s largest on-hand project remains the 75 per cent completed Kuching City Centralised Wastewater Management project (Package 1) which is being undertaken by way of hi-tech tunnelling.
The Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) which included an Inlet Pumping Station, Headworks, an Activated Sludge Reactor, Secondary Clarifier and wetlands, was recently completed and had hosted numerous visitors.
The Sarawak Minister for Infrastructure and Communications, Datuk Seri Michael Manyin Jawong emphasised the importance of the project in alleviating the serious pollution of local rivers which currently absorbed some 175 million litres of Kuching’s untreated dirty wastewater every day and he called on the public to be co-operative as the contractor entered the individual property connections phase.
Looking ahead, HSL anticipates further contributions to safeguard the future health of Kuching by bidding for Phase 2 of this essential centralised sewerage project.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Old Town White Coffee gets biggest share of Malaysian kopitiam market

Oldtown beats earnings forecasts with resilient FMCG division

by Venu Puthankattil, Posted on December 1, 2012, Saturday
KUCHING: Oldtown Bhd (Oldtown) has surpassed consensus estimates for financial results of the first nine months of financial year 2012 (9MFY12), on the back of its resilient fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) division which offset seasonal weakness of its food and beverage (F&B) segment.
The group’s 9MFY12 core net profit of RM35 million, accounting for 78.1 per cent of consensus’ full-year estimates; resilient profit before tax from its FMCG business inched up marginally by 1.4 per cent quarter-on-quarter (q-o-q).
This earnings boost in turn had helped to offset the sequential 12 per cent drop in profit before tax in the F&B segment which saw weaker earnings in the third quarter (3Q), attributable to slower sales during the Ramadan month.
OSK Research Sdn Bhd (OSK Research) analyst Danny Chan observed that the “gross margins remained stable at 31.9 per cent this year compared with 32 per cent over the corresponding period last year, probably due to stable coffee prices throughout the year and management’s successful marketing efforts, which did not involve sacrificing margins in order to stimulate sales.”
“On a year-to-date basis, FMCG sales grew 24.4 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) while F&B sales jumped 19.8 per cent y-o-y as export sales continued to outperform sales to the domestic market.
“This reaffirms our view that the stock’s main catalyst lies with its FMCG business.
“We are of the view that the group’s exports will see significant growth next year once its new factory in China commences operation,” he highlighted.
Chan added that the group had declared an interim dividend of six sen per share compared with 2.5 sen per share during the corresponding period last year.
The group’s balance sheet remained sturdy as it was in a net cash position, he pointed out.
Oldtown had added six new outlets to its portfolio, bringing the total number of outlets to 213 (11 in Malaysia, one in Singapore, three in Indonesia and two in China) as at 3Q of 2012, compared to 196 as at end-FY11.
The analyst made no changes to OSK Research’s previous forecasts as he believed that the company should be able to open nine more outlets by the end of this quarter, boosting the total to 221 outlets.
He pointed out that besides launching its first kiosk outlet in KLCC recently, the group had recently opened its first newly designed signature outlet (in Mid Valley Megamall) which was described as “relatively small in size but embodies the ‘tradition meets modern’ appeal.” With the mall attracting some 30 million to 33 million visitors annually, he opined that this Oldtown outlet would be profitable as it would benefit from the mall’s success in attracting and retaining shoppers.
“With the exit of KFC Holdings (M) Bhd and QSR Brands Bhd from the local bourse by the end of the year, we continue to like Oldtown for exposure in the F&B sector.
“This is premised on the group’s consistent top- and bottom-line expansion and potential growth in its overseas business,” he reckoned.
The analyst tweaked the research house’s forecasts to reflect the change in the group’s financial year ending from December to March, revealing earnings estimates of RM57.3 million for FY13 (15 months) and RM59.8 million for FY14.
In tandem with the earnings forecast revision, he revised upwards the fair value of the stock to RM2.60 per share as he pegged the stock to 15 times FY13 earnings per share.
“That said, we believe the stock could rerate to 17 to 18 times forward earnings next year if the company can translate overseas expansion strategy into profits,” he concluded.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Naim continues its robust growth, on track to exceed target for this year

Borneo Post December 1, 2012, Saturday
KUCHING: Property development and construction group, Naim Holdings Bhd (Naim) continues to record robust growth.
The group released its results for the third quarter (3Q) for 2012 yesterday, following its board of directors’ meeting held at its office at Wisma Naim in Kuching.
With these results, the group’s profit before tax as at 3Q12 stood at RM90.3 million, an increase of 76.9 per cent as compared with that of 2011, one of the highest in the group’s history.
Earnings per share for the period also increased from 17.58 sen in 3Q11 to 32.23 sen in 3Q12, while net assets per share rose RM0.26 sen from RM2.99 as at December 31, 2011 to RM3.25 as at September 30, 2012.
The group revenue also increased by 10.6 per cent from RM120.6 million to RM133.4 million compared with the immediate preceding quarter of 2012.
The strong performance was mainly attributed to a strong results recorded by its property development division, an improvement in project margin for its construction division and positive contribution from its investments in associates namely Dayang Enterprise Holdings Bhd and joint venture initiatives.
Property revenue improved by five per cent as compared with the immediate preceding quarter, while the construction segment also showed an increase of 22 per cent as compared with the immediate preceding quarter.
With this, the contributions by the core sectors namely property and construction to profit in 3Q were 51.8 per cent and 48.2 per cent respectively.
The group is confident of a strong performance in 2012 despite the uncertain economic climate and will continue to exercise due care to sustain and enhance the shareholder value of the company.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Plaza Merdeka confident of strong retail presence

SOFT LAUNCH: (From left) Datuk Wee Hong Seng, Plaza Merdeka Holdings managing director Steve Ng, director Datin Azarina Mohd Arip, Regional Corridor Development Authority chief executive officer Datuk Amar Wilson Baya Dandot and his wife Datin Amar Theresa Toyad along with other Plaza Merdeka Holdings directors during the mall’s soft launching yesterday morning.

KUCHING: Having seen an overwhelming response from the public on its soft opening, Plaza Merdeka hopes to achieve continuous loyalty from the public with about 70 per cent of its shop already operational to date.
Despite Kuching seeing a current oversupply of retail players, Plaza Merdeka Holdings Sdn Bhd (Plaza Merdeka) managing director Steve Ng believed that the newly-opened mall would not face any problems in this aspect based on the positive feedback seen so far.
“We are optimistic that the retailers will be successful here. At this point in time, about 70 per cent of the stores in Plaza Merdeka are open,” Ng told The Borneo Post in an exclusive interview.
“By December 12, we will launch our official opening and we will see 90 per cent of our stores up and running by then.
“We have reserved a number of stores as we wish to be selective of the other brands coming in. We are looking at brands that are different,” Ng noted, adding that he was looking for more unique brands for the mass market which were not in Kuching yet.
With a total net lettable area of 350,000 square feet, Ng affirmed his belief that having a good mix of retailers – with many opening pioneer outlets in Sarawak – would be a key point to make Plaza Merdeka stand out from other shopping malls in the city.
Among players opening their first Sarawakian outlet in Plaza Merdeka are Dorothy Perkins, Diva, Samsonite, Cotton On and so forth.
When asked on other possible players opening outlets in Plaza Merdeka, Ng said the management was currently in discussions to bring in more food and beverage players such as Subway and Nandos.
“Currently we are in discussion with them and we hope to get them to open outlets in Plaza Merdeka.
“We are also looking at other clothing and fashion brands that are not yet in Kuching,” he said.
“With these, we hope to be one of the top premier shopping malls in Kuching and we hope to be able to emulate what tHe Spring has done. In this way, we hope to be able to attract the international brands to come to Kuching. ”
This was on the back of Level Up Fitness Centre soon to be opened on the topmost floor of the mall, which will have a swimming pool with a panoramic view of the Sarawak river.
“As you can see, the layout for our mall is not classic. We cater to the local players. For the larger stores, we look at big players such as Cotton On, Esprit, Guess Accessories, Quicksilver – brands that appeal to the mass market, which are affordable and yet have a premium feel to them.
“This is in line with the mall’s primary target market aimed at the young generation up to working adults with young families.
“We also hope to garner strong tourist presence because of our location. We are always trying to think how else we can make Plaza Merdeka better for our shoppers,” he concluded.

by Ronnie Teo, Posted on November 30, 2012, Friday

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Semua kaum wajib berterima kasih kepada kerajaan BN membangunkan ekonomi

80% of 40 richest Malaysians are ethnic Chinese

Eighty percent of the top 40 richest Malaysians are ethnic Chinese, according to data compiled by the Malaysian daily Nanyang Siang Pau.
The daily named sugar trader and owner of world's largest palm oil listed company Wilmar InternationalRobert Kuokas the richest, with a net worth of 30.28 billion ringgit ($10 billion).
The 89-year-old, the world's 33rd richest man who also holds stakes in Hong Kong-based Shangri-la Hotels beat the second richest, casino mogul Lim Kok Thay by 10 billion ringgit ($3.3 billion ) in net worth.
Lim Kok Thay, who has a net worth of 20.2 billion ringgit ($6.7 billion) inherited the casino operator Genting Group from his late father and company founder Lim Goh Tong, who was once the richest man in the country.
Telecommunication mogul Ananda Krishnan, who owns Malaysia's telecommunications giant Maxis and satellite television Astro was named the third richest with a net worth of 18 billion ringgit ($5.9 billion).
The daily named 82-year-old bank founder Teh Hong Piao, who started Malaysia's Public Bank at the age of 35 as the fourth richest with a net worth of 12.5 billion ringgit ($4.15 billion).
Syed Mokhtar Albukhary, owner of energy-to-property conglomerate MMC Corp. owner and auto-assembler DRB Hicom, was ranked 6th with a net worth of 8.7 billion ringgit ($2.89 billion).
Budget airline AirAsia's CEO Tony Fernandes was ranked 28th with a net worth of 938 million ringgit ($311.5 million).
Nanyang said the top 10 richest men in the country have a combined net worth of 126.9 billion ringgit ($42.1 billion) and 80 percent of the 40 wealthiest people in the country were ethnic Chinese, most of whom run diversified conglomerates.
The ethnic Chinese make up 22.5 percent of Malaysia's 27.5 million population - China Daily

Tun Mahathir urges business community to be thankful to govt

Posted on December 3, 2012, Monday
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad
KUALA LUMPUR: Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has urged the business community in Malaysia to be thankful to the government for its efforts in upholding the country’s stability for the past 55 years.
“There is no other government in the world which is as friendly as our government, in terms of facilitating a seamless business operation,” he said in his opening remarks at the Malaysia Business Awards (MBA) 2012.
He said Malaysians today have made a lot of improvements, adding that before this the country would have had to bring in outside experts just to set up basic infrastructure.
“Now, I am so proud to see local contractors providing their services overseas,” he added.
At the event, Datuk Tan Chin Nam, the major shareholder of IGB Corp Bhd, was honoured with the Legendary Lifetime Achievement Award, while National Land Finance Co-Operative Executive Chairman Tan Sri Dr K R Somasundram and MK Land Chairman Tan Sri Mustapha Kamal Abu Bakar bagged Lifetime Achievement Awards.
Datuk Syed Hisham Syed Wazir, UMW Holdings president and group chief executive officer, was honoured with the International Excellence Award.
The MBA 2012, organised by the Kuala Lumpur Malay Chamber of Commerce (KLMCC), recognises outstanding performers in the local business community. — Bernama

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Sarawak Budget 2013 good overall, says Soon Koh

GOOD BUDGET: Wong talking to the press after the tabling of Budget 2013.
KUCHING: The state’s allocation of 69 per cent of Budget 2013 for development expenditure and the remaining 31 per cent for operating expenditure reflected the government’s intention to better distribute resources for development of the rural areas.
Second Finance Minister Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh opined that the development biased budget would also be good for the education sector.
“We have been trying our best to manage our finances in the most efficient, prudent, and responsible manner,” he said when approached by reporters for comments on Budget 2013 which was tabled by Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud yesterday.

SENIOR CABINET MINISTERS: (From left) Senior Ministers Tan Sri Dr James Masing, Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh and Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu Numpang arrive at the State Legislative Assembly to attend the Budget 2013 tabling by Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud.

ROCKET TEAM: The assemblymen and assemblywomen from state Democratic Action Party (DAP) in a photo call after the state Budget 2013 tabling by Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud at State Legislative Assembly yesterday.

TIME FOR A LAUGH: Social Development Minister Tan Sri William Mawan Ikom (right) having a light moment with Democratic Action Party (DAP) elected representatives (from left) Fong Pau Teck (Pujut), David Wong Kee Woan (Pelawan) and its state chairman Wong Ho Leng (Bukit Assek).

IN WAITING MODE: Media personnel covering the state Budget 2013 tabling mingle at the lobby of the State Legislative Assembly. They are waiting to interview the assemblymen and assemblywomen.

FIRST DAY SITTING: Democratic Action Party (DAP) Kota Sentosa assemblyman Chong Chieng Jen (right) followed by Sarawak Workers Party (SWP) Pelagus assemblyman George Lagong (left) arriving at the DUN yesterday.

EARLY BIRDS: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How and Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) Samariang assemblywoman Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali arriving for the DUN sitting.
Wong, who is also Minister of Local Government and Community Development, said this was also the 10th consecutive year that the state’s credit rating position is maintained at A3 by Moody’s and A- by Standard and Poor’s.
“No other state in the country is subjected to this international rating. With such high rating, there will be a great deal of confidence in the part of foreign investors to come to the state,” he said, adding that the budget was a good one overall.
Asked whether the recent setback involving Sanmina-SCI Corporation (M) Sdn Bhd would affect the state’s foreign direct investment (FDI) attractiveness, Wong said the incident was a different case altogether when compared to what’s happening at the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (Score).
He explained that the volume of foreign demand and supply facing high tech industries were different to the heavy and downstream industries operating in SCORE.
Sanmina-SCI, a global electronic contract manufacturer, recently retrenched more than 800 employees here in its effort to reduce cost by moving its operation to a new facility at Wuxi, China.
Taib, in tabling the budget, said private investment activities were expected to remain at 5.9 per cent this year, driven by the government’s strategies to lead the private sector spearhead business activities deemed beneficial to the state.
“Undeniably, growth in investments is due to the government’s ability to provide a favourable investment environment.
“This is done through conscious efforts to put in place essential infrastructure facilities, improve public sector delivery system, and continuing with its on-going initiatives to attract foreign and local investments, particularly to SCORE,” said Taib, who is also Finance Minister and Minister of Resource Planning and Environment.
He added that the strong growth in private investments in the first half of this year could be seen in several key investment indicators. These included the importation of capital and intermediate goods that grew by 10.3 per cent and 19.4 per cent respectively during this period.
The anticipated progress of SCORE and implementation of the Economic Transformation Programme would further boost investor confidence.
“Hence, private investments are expected to expand by 10.4 per cent in 2013.”

by Geryl Ogilvy Ruekeith Posted on November 20, 2012, Tuesday

Saturday, November 17, 2012

SME are the most flexible arm of our economic community - YAB Pehin Sri

Aid to continue for SMEs

by Lee Ya Yun, Posted on November 17, 2012, Saturday

LEAVING A MARK: Taib signs on a board to declare open the new Kubah Ria Complex as Ragad, Jabu (second left), Masing (left), Talib (right) and others look on. — Photos by Kong Jun Liung
Flexibility of small and medium scale enterprises a boon to state’s economy
“Ibarat anak bongsu yang perlu lebih banyak dibantu berbanding anak sulung dalam sebuah keluarga, be­gitu juga pendekatan kita ambil dalam menambah dan memajukan bilangan peniaga Bumiputera,” jelas YAB Pehin Sri Taib Mahmud..

KUCHING: The state government will continue to assist small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as its ability to survive in an economic crisis will continue to put the state’s economy in a resilient and flexible position.
Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud explained yesterday that even though SMEs would most likely be hit during economic downturns, the sector would bounce back when the economic storm passed.
“Small and medium scale businessmen are the most flexible arm of our economic community. We want that
flexibility to exist because of the behaviour of the modern economy,” he said at the opening of the new Kubah Ria Complex at Jalan Matang here.
“There is always a business cycle, up and down, crises and boom, and that is the way we expand.
“We take the development of SMEs as one of the best ways to make our business community resilient.”
Taib added that the need to continue helping SMEs was also driven by population pattern, adding that SMEs could serve the remotest corners of the state.
He assured that the state government would not practise favouritism when providing assistance to SMEs.
“Although Sarawak SEDC had been entrusted to help Bumiputera entrepreneurs, we do help non-Bumiputera entrepreneurs as well because in the development of business we can’t separate Bumiputeras and non-Bumiputeras,” Taib said.
He said the key reason the government was giving Bumiputera entrepreneurs an extra push was because they started relatively late in business compared with non-Bumiputeras.
“It is always our vision for Bumiputeras and non-Bumiputeras to work together. We always believe that Bumiputeras could learn good business practices from non-Bumiputeras,” he said.
“We will continue to help SMEs, irrespective of whether Bumiputera or non-Bumiputera ones, because SMEs play a great role in improving our economy.”
On a related matter, Taib opined that an entrepreneur’s attitude determine the success of his or her business.
Likening an entrepreneur to a driver, he said the ability of a businessperson to get to the desired destination largely depended on his/her driving skill.
Apart from the need to have a correct attitude, entrepreneur should have the initiative to equip themselves with relevant knowledge in order to stay competitive.
“More importantly, you must provide good and quality services to customers so that they would come back again. You need to be sensitive to change and adapt to change.”
Assistant Minister of Tourism and SEDC chairman, Datuk Talib Zulpilip, who also spoke, said the new Kubah Ria Complex had a total of 93 units, of which 44 are food stalls.
This RM22.3 million project was completed on August 2010.
The new Kubah Ria Complex, he added, came about following the redevelopment of the old Kubah Ria premises which was built in 1983 with a total of 59 units.
The new complex, which is equipped with modern facilities, is aimed at providing a better business environment for local entrepreneurs, with the hope of increasing their revenue.
Also present were Taib’s wife Puan Sri Ragad Kurdi Taib, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu Numpang, Land Development Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing, State Legislative Assembly Speaker Datuk Amar Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar, and State Secretary Tan Sri Datuk Amar Mohamad Morshidi Abdul Ghani.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Labuan depriving Sarawak of oil & gas jobs?

Labuan Shipyard hopes to become regional leader

BECOMING REGIONAL: LSE is considering to collaborate with over20 small fabricators currently operating in Labuan by allowing them to use the company’s yard.
LABUAN: Labuan Shipyard Engineering Sdn Bhd (LSE), which has one of the largest and most well-equipped shipyards in Southeast Asia, is upbeat on prospects of becoming a regional leader in the oil and gas and fabrication sector.
Its chief executive officer, Mohd Azman Nasir, said LSE was now marketing its services internationally, with the focus on India, Vietnam, Myanmar, Thailand, China, Indonesia and Middle East.
“We are bidding for jobs in these countries in line with our mission to go international. With the inclusion of Sapuracrest on board, we are now able to bid for mega jobs in these countries,” he told Bernama here yesterday.
SapuraCrest Petroleum Bhd’s unit, SapuraCrest Ventures Sdn Bhd, has acquired a 50 per cent stake in LSE. Petra Energy Bhd’s wholly-owned unit, Petra Resources Sdn Bhd, has also signed a memorandum of understanding with LSE for the proposed utilisation of the latter’s shipyard facilities at Victoria Harbour, Labuan.
“Apart from Petra Energy, we are also working with Kencana Petroleum Bhd.LSE is open to partnerships with others also,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mohd Azman said, LSE was also considering collaborating with over 20 small fabricators currently operating in Labuan by allowing them to use the company’s yard.
“Some small fabricators are now operating in small workshops and some of them have declined jobs as they are not able to carry our big jobs due to their capabilities.
“They have good network and connection and we have invited them to undertake their jobs in our yard,” he said.
Mohd Azman said LSE would focus on its core fabrication business before venturing into other fields.
“What I want to do now is to make sure LSE is on the right track with the right partners and after that we will diversify,” he said.
He said Labuan would soon become a premier oil and gas centre in the region with the support of the federal government coupled with the discovery of new oil fields off Sabah waters.
“The development of oil and gas in Labuan has greatly helped supporting industries on the island.
“And the booming of this sector has positioned our yard in the right place and at the right time,” he said.
Mohd Azman said LSE would focus on human capital development in view of the development of the sector.
He said apart from fabrication, LSE has the capacity to build and repair hundreds ships a year.
“We are headhunting for people with skills and experiences all over the country and are taking part in job fairs and exhibitions,” he said. — Bernama

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Singapre set to exploit the most in increase of demand for gas in Asia

Demand for gas in Asia to increase


ACTIVE DIVERSIFICATION: Teo says the long-term outlook for gas market is also strong as countries diversify their energy sources by seeking alternatives to oil and coal, and are switching to cleaner fuels like petrol gas. — Reuters photo

SINGAPORE: The demand for liquified natural gas (LNG) is expected to increase in Asia, and Singapore is set to tap the significant market growth, says International Enterprise (IE) Singapore chief executive officer Teo Eng Cheong.
“For the growth of Asia’s LNG industry to remain strong, the marketplace needs a dynamic environment. As Asia’s top oil hub, Singapore is well positioned to also be the regional hub for LNG.
“Today, Singapore is the gateway to key LNG markets.
“More than 400 petroleum and petroleum trading companies are already based here,” he said in his address at the opening of the World LNG Series: Asia Pacific Summit here yesterday.
Teo said while Singapore may not be a major LNG consumer or supplier, it had seen strong and steady growth in its LNG trading sector in recent years.
Shell was among the first energy majors to establish LNG marketing and trading activities in Singapore while other key players include BP, BG Group and Gazprom.
Teo said more energy companies have also started new LNG trading businesses here.
“Just this year, we witnessed new entrants to the cluster, including Gunvor, Vitol, and PetroChina.
“We are very encouraged by this progress.
“It showcases the potential of the LNG industry in playing a greater role in contributing to Singapore’s economy.”
“Many projects that are set to boost the growth of our LNG eco-system are already in the pipeline,” he said, adding that the construction of Singapore’s first LNG terminal is on track to commence commercial operations by mid-2013.
As the government agency responsible for promoting the republic’s trade, Teo said IE Singapore will continue to work with interested players to facilitate entry and growth of their operations in Singapore.
Teo said the long-term outlook for gas market was also strong as countries were diversifying their energy sources by seeking alternatives to oil and coal, and are switching to cleaner fuels like petrol gas.
By 2030, he said natural gas demand is projected to increase by 60 per cent to overtake coal in the global energy mix, to become the second most dominant source of energy globally.
He also pointed the global use of nuclear as an energy source has slowed significantly since Japan was hit by a tsunami and earthquake in March.
Most of the future action, he said would be seen in emerging markets.
He said 80 per cent of the growth is expected to be in non-OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries by 2035, largely driven by the emerging economies of Asia.
China’s demand for natural gas alone is projected to grow more than five times from the current 20 billion cubic metres to 110 billion cubic metres by 2015.
He said while South-East Asia was traditionally a LNG exporting region, with no importers, this was expected to change by 2015.
Teo said 10 LNG import terminals with a total import capacity of some 34 billion cubic metres were possibly coming online in the region.
Several recent trends further underscored Asia’s role in the evolution of the global LNG market.
He said Asia’s LNG demand surged strongly after the 2008 financial crisis.
It is expected to grow faster than supply in the coming years.
The supply situation is only expected to ease after 2015, when more LNG production projects and supply options come on-stream. — Bernama

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

SOGCA too pliant to petronas?

Petronas projects will develop Sabah, says contractors’ association

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Oil and Gas Contractors Association (SOGCA) yesterday defended Pet­ronas’ presence in Sabah, saying it would contribute significantly to the state’s development.
SOGCA’s president Datuk Iskandar Malik said Petronas was actually showing its sincerity by bringing the development of oil and gas to Sabah.
“Yes, we are very happy with Pet­ronas’ role in Sabah and this is the very reason why we formed SOGCA because we believe Petronas is well managed.
“To us, Petronas belongs to every Malaysian and we should share op­portunities given by the national oil corporation,” he said.
Iskandar was commenting on Pet­ronas’ plan to develop long-term key projects to monetise and add value to Sabah’s petroleum resources, which would result in greater revenue to the state.
With the discovery of oil and gas resources in offshore Sabah, Petronas would be pushing ahead with up­stream as well as downstream oil and gas projects involving a combined capital investment of RM45 billion. Integral to Petronas’ plans would be the Sabah-Sarawak Integrated Oil and Gas Project, comprising the upstream development of offshore oil and gas fields as well as downstream development of the Sabah Oil and Gas Terminal, and the Sabah-Sarawak Gas Pipeline. Iskandar said SOGCA also welcomed Petronas’ plan to set up the RM4.6-billion mega-fertiliser plant along with the Sabah Ammonia and Urea Project (Samur) in Sipitang.
Expected to be completed in 2015, Samur would become the largest single-train granular urea facility in South East Asia, with an capacity of 1.2 metric tonnes. — Bernama

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Negeri ini mempunyai tempat-tempat menarik sebagai lokasi penggambaran filem

Keindahan Sarawak dikagumi

by Rusnan Mustafa. Posted on March 12, 2012, Monday

KAGUMI SARAWAK: Aaron Aziz menjawab soalan wartawan pada sidang media semalam.
KUCHING: Pelakon terkenal Aaron Aziz mencari tawaran berlakon di negeri ini yang memiliki keindahan alam semula jadi yang cantik.
Beliau yang pernah membuat penggambaran di Kinabatangan, Sabah berkata, Sarawak mempunyai tempat-tempat yang menarik untuk dijadikan lokasi penggambaran yang tidak ada di Semenanjung Malaysia.
“Buat masa ini belum ada (tawaran) berlakon di sini, tapi saya tahu Sarawak mempunyai alam semula jadi yang sangat cantik, harap suatu hari nanti akan berlakon di sini kalau ada tawaran,” katanya.
Aaron turut meluahkan rasa teruja untuk menjelajah Sarawak.
“Banyak tempat belum pergi lagi di sini, hanya sempat tengok beberapa kawasan di sepanjang perjalanan menuju ke airport (Lapangan Terbang Antarabangsa Kuching),” tambahnya.
Pada masa yang sama, Aaron menyuarakan bahawa beliau tidak mengharapkan kemenangan walaupun mendapat tiga pencalonan dalam Anugerah Bintang Popular Berita Harian (ABPBH) Ke-25.
Aaron dicalonkan bagi kategari Pelakon Filem Lelaki Popular, Pelakon TV Lelaki Popular dan Online.
Bercakap kepada pemberita pada sidang media semasa jerayawara ABPBH di sini semalam, Aaron yang kini semakin melonjak naik hanya menyerahkan perkara itu kepada takdir.
“Saya terserah kalau hari ini saya dapat ikan dapat ikanlah, kalau hari ini dapat ‘Mango Chicken, Mango Chickenlah…saya tak mencari dan tidak mengharap terpulang kepada rezeki,” katanya.
Ditanya mengenai perkembangan terkininya Aaron berkata, beliau sibuk dengan penggambaran drama baharu bertajuk ‘Adam dan Hawa’ yang mempunyai 80 episod dan dijangka selesai penggambaran pada Jun akan datang.
Tambahnya, tiga filem baharu yang dilakonkannya kini menunggu untuk ditayangkan, antaranya KL Gangster II dan Taikun.
Justeru, beliau berharap filem KL Gangster II mendapat sambutan daripada rakyat negara ini.
“70 hari untuk habiskan filem itu jadi harapan agak tinggi… berat badan pun banyak turun  kerana banyak aksi bertarung.
“Datang kering balik basah, ia antara filem yang mencabar dari segi mental dan fizikal,” katanya.
Jelasnya, filem itu kemungkinan akan ditayangkan pada hujung tahun ini iaitu bulan Disember nanti.
Selain itu, beliau turut menerima tawaran berlakon dalam filem baharu di bawah KRU Production yang mempunyai banyak perbezaan berbanding filem-filem yang pernah dilakonkannya.
Jerayawara ABPBH25 disertai lapan artis antaranya Aaron Aziz, Fizz Fairuz, Tasha Shiela, Fauzi Nawawi dan Hazama.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Shell MDS new solid wax plant to double output

LONG TERM INVESTMENT: Idris Jala signing plaque during officiating the New Solid Wax Plant Inauguration at Shell MDS (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd in Tanjung Kidurong yesterday. Also present the Chairman of Shell Malaysia Lian Lo.
by Yunus Yussop, Posted on October 17, 2012, Wednesday

BINTULU: The new Shell MDS (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd’s (Shell MDS) solid wax plant which was completed in November 2011 is expected to double its solid wax output and strengthen its position as a leading producer of high quality Shell Gas-to-Liquids (GTL) Sarawak hard waxes and slab waxes.
The vice president of the gas business for Shell Upstream International in Asia and managing director of Shell MDS Ate Visser said the Shell MDS investment in the new solid wax plant at its GTL complex was a strategic one.
In January last year, Shell announced an investment of RM5.1 billion to further develop its various oil and gas facilities across the country.
The solid wax plant expansion here in Bintulu was the first to be completed among the three entry point projects that included a new diesel processing unit at its Port Dickson refinery and the Gumusut-Kakap deepwater development offshore Sabah, said Shell Malaysia chairman Iain Lo.
“This is an important achievement and ensures the Bintulu plant and its products remain relevant as it switches to innovative and niche products demanded by the world market,” he said during the inauguration of Shell MDS new solid wax plant expansion project at the gas-to-liquids (GTL) complex at Tanjung Kidurong.
Officiating at the event was Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department and chief executive officer of the Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) Dato’ Sri Idris Jala.
Also in attendance were vice president of the gas business for Shell Upstream International in Asia and managing director of Shell MDS Ate Visser, and various other dignitaries including the Dutch Ambassador and British High Commissioner to Malaysia.
In fact he said the whole plant itself was significant to Shell on many factors.
“It stands as a great example of innovation using Shell’s proprietary technologies to convert natural gas into high quality hydrocarbon products. It showcases the full value chain from offshore gas production development to onshore processing to the refining of finished products,” he said.
Being a pioneer in Gas-to-Liquids (GTL) technology, the plant he said offered a blueprint for Shell to build an even bigger GTL plant in Qatar lending credence to the capability that it developed in Bintulu.
“It provides further opportunities for high-end employment in Bintulu, allowing many of its staff to develop niche skills that have become valuable elsewhere,” he said adding that many of its talent here have gone to lend their skills to help Shell in Qatar and have returned to continue supporting this plant.
In short he pointed Shell MDS utilises state-of-the-art technology managed by highly skilled local Sarawakians to produce high quality specialty products that Shell exports to over 50 countries and all done right here in Bintulu.
We believe that there is a long-term growth potential for synthetic waxes and we are proud that our waxes are marketed to over 50 countries in Asia, Europe, Americas and Australia in a wide range of industrial applications.
¡§Products include hot-melt adhesives, fibreboards, PVC lubricants, plastic processing, candles and coatings,” he said during the solid wax plant inauguration ceremony at Tanjung Kidurong yesterday.
The unique white colour of Shell MDS waxes is also ideal for applications requiring colour additives example crayons, candles, graphic arts and other decorative items. The opaque appearance produces true colour brilliance with minimum colouring agents.
He said the project was an integral part towards achieving its vision to be the world leaders in GTL specialties while helping add value to Malaysia’s natural gas resources.
Shell has been doing business in Malaysia for 120 years and it remains a vital country central to Shell’s long term global strategy.
“Today we have the 6,500 staff in our employment, the majority of whom are Malaysians, each contributing to developing Malaysia’s hydrocarbon resources. Our operations in Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak, including here at Shell MDS in Bintulu, underpin Shell’s commitment to Malaysia.
“We invest an average of US$1 billion, approximately RM3 billion annually. We want to continue to bring technology, expertise and capital to Malaysia as we have done throughout our tenure here,” Lo said.
Bintulu holds a special place for Shell. Its Bintulu Integrated Facility at Tanjung Kidurong was among the pioneer facilities to be set up as it began developing the gas field’s offshore Sarawak 30 years ago.
“Today Bintulu hosts one of Shell’s most sophisticated facilities. We hope that we may be recognised as having played a role in its transformation into a vibrant energy town through the creation of local jobs, and investing in programmes and initiatives to raise its socio-economic status,” he said.