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, reporters@theborneopost.com. 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.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Progress shares tumble after Christian Paradis nixes Petronas deal


Progress shares tumble after Christian Paradis nixes Petronas deal

Motorists fill up their vehicles at Petronas petrol station in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, July 1, 2010. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Lai Seng Sin

CALGARY — Progress Energy Resources shares dropped 12 per cent Monday in their first trading after Ottawa blocked a proposed $6-billion takeover by Malaysian state-owned oil company Petronas.
Other Canadian energy players with deals in the works — notably, Nexen Inc. (TSX:NXY) and Celtic Exploration (TSX:CLT) — were also dragged down by the surprise news that broke just before midnight on Friday.
Around mid-morning Progress (TSX:PRQ) was down $2.60 to $19.05.
Nexen, whose $15.1-billion takeover by China National Offshore Oil Co is subject to the same key net benefit test that nixed the Petronas-Progress deal, was off about five per cent to $23.84.
A review of the CNOOC-Nexen deal by Industry Minister Christian Paradis is set to end on Nov. 11, though it can be extended by 30-day increments with the buyer's consent.
Shares in Celtic, which agreed last week to be taken over by U.S. powerhouse ExxonMobil Corp. (NYSE:XOM), were down two per cent to $25.67. Unlike the other two deals, ExxonMobil is a publicly traded independent company with a decades-long history of operating in Canada.
Paradis didn't say why he decided Petronas' take over of Progress was wasn't of net benefit to Canada — a test widely criticized for its lack of clarity and consistency.
Representatives of Progress and the Malaysian state-owned oil company Petronas said Monday they'll meet with Industry Canada officials to find out more about the government's decision.
Petronas has 30 days to amend its deal and send it back to Ottawa for review.
Analysts at CIBC World Markets give 25 per cent odds to the deal being saved and say there's a 50 per cent chance another multinational oil company comes along if the Petronas deal fails.
After Progress accepted Petronas' initial $20.45-per-share offer this summer, another unidentified bidder swooped in with a rival bid. Petronas trumped the competing offer by sweetening its bid to $22 per share.
If the Petronas deal falls through, the likes of ExxonMobil or U.K. gas giant BG Petroleum are potential buyers.
CIBC said it's not likely the government's quibbles centred around things like job promises or reciprocal market access, suggesting the decision may have had more to do with Ottawa positioning itself for the much more politically troublesome CNOOC-Nexen deal.
One theory is that the government will ultimately approve a tweaked Progress-Petronas deal, but wants to make it look like its' being tough on foreign investment so that it has more credibility when it waves through the CNOOC-Nexen one.
"Another theory is that the government does not want to be seen as anti-China and easily approving the Progress-Petronas deal would make it look like the government's issue is primarily with China as opposed to the national oil company business model and other concerns."
Either way, the analysts say it's "bad news for Canada."
"Global investors have already been struggling with why they need to own Canadian energy and this announcement clearly does not help," they said.
"After years of healing the wounds introduced by the Alberta government's disastrous royalty review and the royalty trust termination, the last thing global investors needed was a reminder that Canada is a risky political environment."

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Pansar RM 355 million revenue

Pansar banking on its capabilities to expand into global market

by Emy Lindsay, emylindsay@theborneopost.comy
KUCHING : Sarawak based conglomerate, Pansar Bhd (Pansar) aims to become a one-stop total solution provider in building materials and systems for the building industry in the region.
The company, dealing in building products; marine and industrial; agro engineering; electrical and office automation as well as mechanical and electrical engineering is looking to consolidate its business activities in the near future with the hope of expanding into overseas market.
Listed on the main board of Bursa Malaysia, Pansar has a huge network of 17 branches within Malaysia including Singapore and Brunei Darussalam, out of which in its financial year of 2011, the company commanded a healthy revenue of about RM355 million, with gross profit of over RM50 million and profit after tax amounting to RM20 million.
When interviewed yesterday, Pansar’s chief operating officer Stephen Chin said that the company was diversified in its businesses and it had the relevant resources, specialisation and value-added services for all its clients for minor and major building projects.
He revealed that the company undertook turnkey projects for the state and federal governments, adding that it tendered for all the projects based on its capabilities.
“We measure our capability for each of our projects based on the services that we can provide and people are the real assets. Our people with the specialties are the ones that get the projects done,” affirmed Chin.
In relation to its business activity, Pansar organised a ‘Plumbing & Pressure Pump Solutions Seminar’ held at a leading hotel near here yesterday for those involved in building management, consultancy and engineering.
The seminar highlighted a presentation of multi-purpose imported pumps from Denmark called Grundfos and high quality pre-insulated pipe systems from Austria named Ke-Kelit.
Chin pointed out that the company organised this seminar to promote and increase the market presence of both products among its clientele in Sarawak as the products were relatively unknown in the local market.
“Both of these products have been certified according to the highest level of the certification processes and they are widely used in major building landmarks all over the world,” added Chin.
Grundfos is one of the world’s leading pump manufacturers specialising in heating and hot water service systems; cooling and air conditioning systems; industrial applications; pressure boosting and liquid transfer; groundwater supply; domestic water supply; wastewater; environmental applications; dosing and disinfection as well as renewable-energy systems.
As for Ke-Kelit’s product, it covers four core areas that could withstand the pressure of water, fire, earth as well as air and it specialises in the development, production and sales of pipe systems, pipe insulation and pre-insulated pipes.
Meanwhile, Pansar’s general affairs manager, Eddy Puah informed that the company could also do air conditioning ventilation for big buildings, adding that Pansar had installed the cooling ventilation in all the major airports in the state.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Naim to bid for RM1b MRT works
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By Ben Shane Lim of theedgeproperty.com
Friday, 02 March 2012 15:43 Bookmark and Share
KUALA LUMPUR (Mar 2): Naim Holdings Bhd is preparing to throw in a bid for around RM1 billion worth of mass rapid transit (MRT) related construction works, a local analyst who attended a briefing by the company told The Edge Financial Daily.

According to the analyst, the Sarawak-based developer has yet to submit bids for some of the jobs, but will likely do so by the end of the month.

This could see an additional RM1 billion to its approximately RM2 billion order book, if its bids are successful.

"There are roughly RM12 billion in MRT contracts up for grabs and Naim has a decent shot at securing some contracts.

"Naim has pre-qualified to bid for contracts relating to the elevated section of the Sungai Buloh-Kajang MRT project in the bumiputera category," said the analyst.

The analyst also noted that Naim does not have a presence or relative experience in Peninsular Malaysia and had trouble in the past breaking into the market there.

In Sarawak, where Naim is the largest developer by landbank, the group is bidding for another RM1 billion in contracts.

Towards this end the analyst said: "It is likely that Naim will have to find a partner to undertake a project of such a large size and complexity.

"Naim has just come out of a poor performance in 2011, with few additions to its order book. Last year it only secured one major job worth RM12 million in Fiji."

The company recorded a net profit of RM5.28 million for 4QFY11 ended Dec 31, down 76.47% from RM22.45 million the previous year.

Revenue fell 52.77% for the quarter to RM90.86 million from RM192.4 million.

For FY11, net profit was down about 52% to RM46 million from RM97.75 million previously. Revenue dropped 33.14% to RM409.65 from RM612.69 million.

"Naim's earnings were bolstered by its 34.2%-held oil and gas (O&G) associate, Dayang Enterprise Holdings Bhd, which contributed about RM27 million to Naim's core earnings," said the analyst, who noted there was a slowdown in the property market in Sabah and Sarawak last year.

Looking ahead, Naim's earnings are expected to normalise this year.

While the MRT project would be a bonus to Naim's order book, the developer's core business is in Sarawak where job flows are beginning to pick up and the company is hoping to secure up to RM1 billion worth of contracts, said the analyst.

Naim could double the size of its order book this year although it is unlikely to win 100% of the bids.

The analyst said of Naim's order book which currently stands at RM2 billion, about RM1 billion of the jobs were awarded letters of intent (LoI) for flood mitigation works in Kuching from the federal government.

He explained that Sarawak's market is demand-driven and lately there has been a boom in demand for energy which has outstripped supply.

"The state has immense potential for hydroelectric power and more hydroelectric dams are being planned. The Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (Score) sees demand for energy growing," said the analyst.

While Naim does not have the expertise to build the dams, it will take the opportunity to undertake basic infrastructure projects like water supply, roads, bridges and building works, said the analyst, who highlighted Bintulu's Samalaju Industrial Park.

"For example, Naim has a JV with Cahya Mata Sarawak Bhd (CMS) to develop a township in Samalaju, near the Samalaju Industrial Park on about 4,000 to 5,000 acres of land. They will probably start by developing 1,000 acres first," said the analyst.

Overall, the analyst is positive on Naim's prospects in the coming years.

"We can expect to see earnings normalise in 2012 from a low base. Due to improved earnings visibility, we can expect Naim to reap most of its gains in 2013 and 2014," said the analyst.

"Its associate Dayang should also continue to offer strong returns as it has been securing contracts from Petronas. Even though Naim does not control Dayang, it was still a very good investment."

The stock price fell 3.2% to RM2.14 on Thursday from RM2.21, with 592,700 shares traded.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Sarawak Energy New Landmark

SEB launches new building in line with corporate identity

by Justin Yap, justinyap@theborneopost.com. Posted on September 19, 2012, Wednesday

GOING GREEN: Photo shows SEB new building at The Isthmus.
KUCHING: Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB) goes through transformation with the launch of its new building and new corporate identity which serves as a tangible reminder that it is now part of a modern, professional organisation connected to the outside world.
The organisational transformation of SEB had been massive over the last three years, said its chief executive officer Torstein Dale Sjotveit during the opening ceremony yesterday.
Down the road, the group had recruited more than 1,000 new Sarawakian staff and had used its internal resources to develop and deliver a change programme to more than 3,000 of its staff.
It had signed the first collective agreement with the Sesco Union and had revised the terms and conditions of service or Tacos for its non-executive staff.
“Today’s event is the symbolic of the transformation that is underway at SEB. The first striking feature of this building is that there is a lot of natural light and open space,” Sjotveit pointed out.
The second notable feature of the building was that it had been designed to minimize the negative impact on the environment, he added.
With that, SEB’s headquarters is now the first building in the state to achieve the Green Building status, making use of double glazing, careful shading and energy efficient compressors to reduce its energy consumption.
He further said, “We have revised the performance appraisal system and are well advanced in planning our first ever systematic leadership development programme.
“We have established a global best practice on procurement and contracts – all our tender and tender valuations are now following this new best practice and we are confident that even when we have some unfortunate leakage, the integrity of our procurement process is now very robust and will stand to any scrutiny,” he concluded.
The new corporate identify and building was officiated by Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud which captures the mighty rivers of Sarawak as the source of hydropower, its connection to the forest and the natural environment and drawing energy from the sun.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Well-planned strategies crucial to higher oil extraction rate in Sarawak — Experts

by Jasmine Chin. Posted on October 5, 2011, Wednesday
KUCHING: There is so much of untapped potential lying in Sarawak’s oil palm industry and as far as industry experts are concerned, with the right steps taken ahead, the state has the capability to exceed the targeted 23 per cent oil extraction rate (OER) by 2020.
“There is so much of potential in the oil palm industry in Sarawak, hence if we’re talking about OER, the state can definitely exceed the 23 per cent target,” said veteran specialist of the oil palm industry, Mahbob Abdullah to The Borneo Post in an email interview.
What mattered most now according to him was the right strategies taken to reap more OER from the current amount retrieved from these palm trees.
“Sarawak must have adequate manpower who are well-trained to do the harvesting efficiently, and with reduced number of bunches which are unripe. The adequate labour force will also enable full collection of loose fruit. Fruit quality has to improve by removing sand and dirt that can arrive at the mill. Fruit harvested must arrive at the mill on the same day while it is still fresh,” he pointed out.
In Sarawak, labour shortage was severe, not only in the managers and engineers segment, but in other levels of the workforce as well.
“The shortage of workers has resulted in losses of millions of ringgit revenue each year. Bunches are not fully harvested, and as fertiliser application is not done on time, the productivity of the palms begins to drop,” Mahbob stressed.
Group managing director of Sarawak Plantation Bhd, Datuk Hamden Ahmad took a similar stance in this matter by noting that the oil palm sector was currently suffering from labour shortages.
“The reason why the players in the industry rely heavily on the inflow of Indonesian workers is because we lack the input of labour in our own domestic market,” he said in an exclusive interview with The Borneo Post.
According to Hamden, the industry was experiencing an estimated 10 per cent to 15 per cent shortage in the labour department, especially in the harvesting process.
Additionally, the right management skills were vital if the oil palm industry was to flourish even more.
As such, Mahbob was quick to reiterate that the level of management skills would need to be raised so that planning, supervision and control could be improved.
“Effective management controls and improved equipment at the mills can reduce the losses of oil during processing. Planting and replanting with improved material will raise the oil content in fruit,” Mahbob underscored.
However, general of MPOB, Datuk Dr Choo Yuen May opined to The Borneo Post that OER in Sarawak was not low compared with other states in Malaysia.
“For the first eight months of this year,    OER in Sarawak was the highest compared to Sabah and Peninsular Malaysia. The OER in Sarawak averaged 20.64 per cent, while Sabah recorded 20.52 per cent and Peninsular Malaysia registered 20.02 per cent. This puts Malaysia’s average OER at 20.26 per cent.
“However, Sarawak’s OER at 20.64 per cent, was lower by 1.9 per cent compared with that of the corresponding period last year mainly due to poor fruit formation from young trees coupled with excessive rainfalls in the first quarter of this year, which  impacted the January to August 2011 OER performance,” she said.
In terms of oil palm planted area, Sarawak which has 971,611 hectares, has been the second largest state after Sabah. However, in terms of CPO production, Sarawak was the fourth producing state after Sabah, Johor and Pahang, contributing 2,179,601 tonnes or 12.8 per cent of total Malaysia CPO production last year.
The main factors according to Choo was premised on lower yield arising from poor  fruits formation from young matured areas (three to six years old trees) covering 323,706 hectares or 33 per cent of total Sarawak oil palm planted area. This however would improve over time.
Another significant contributing factor to lower yield for both fresh fruit bunch and OER would be the unfavourable weather experienced this year.
“In Sarawak,  production per palm was far lower than the crop I could see there. The figures on record showed that the yield in Sarawak was among the lowest, with only 15 tonnes per hectare last year,” Mahbob added.
These figures were for plantations, which had organised management.
“For most smallholders, the figures will be far lower. There are exceptions of course. For example if the palm could produce 16 bunches a year, and assuming each bunch is 15 kilogramme, and for a hectare of 138 trees, the yield could be over 30 tonnes per hectare, or double the performance seen now,” he said.