Friday, August 31, 2012

Bakun’s reservoir now as big as Singapore

by Samuel Aubrey Borneo Post March 12, 2012

FULL LEVEL: The most recent photo of the reservoir at Bakun Dam
KUCHING: The impoundment of the Bakun Dam reservoir, which commenced on October 13, 2010, has reached the full supply level of 228m above sea level (asl) as of last Friday.
Sarawak Hidro Sdn Bhd (SHSB) managing director Zulkifle Osman said the size of the reservoir was now over 695 square kilometres, which is a water body equivalent to the size of Singapore.
Despite this, he said based on SHSB’s spillway operation rule, the reservoir would have to be lowered six metres to eight metres below the full supply level.
It has to be maintained at this level until such time the Sarawak Electricity Supply System load increases to allow the reservoir to operate over its full range, he added.
The additional release for reservoir lowering is scheduled to commence today.
“The lowering of the reservoir level also serves as an important purpose in providing flood storage of the reservoir, and hence reducing the peak spillway discharges during floods, thereby regulating floods downstream,” he said in a statement.
He also mentioned that since November 11 last year, Bakun Dam has been continuously releasing about 500 cubic metres per second (m3/s) of water through its spillway, and up to 300 m3/s from the powerhouse for power generation to enable unrestricted river traffic, especially for passenger express boats travelling between Kapit, Belaga and Bakun.
As for today’s scheduled reservoir lowering, he said the total discharge  downstream would be three times more, at 2,500 m3/s.
“This is approximately 1.6 times the long term average flow of Batang Balui (1,500 m3/s), but much lower than high flow of the river. It is anticipated that with this additional discharge, the downstream river level will rise further, and the river flow will become swifter.
“As such, river users and inhabitants downstream of the dam are hereby advised to take extra precautions on the rising river level and fluctuating river flows.”
He also said SHSB, as owners of Bakun Dam, wish to express their sincere appreciation to the downstream folks for their understanding and cooperation during the impoundment period.
“The downstream river users have benefitted from almost uninterrupted river travel.”

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Shin Yang-owned Boulevard Shopping Malls increase dominance of Sarawak Retail market

Boulevard Shopping Mall master plan to be unveiled in phases

Posted on March 3, 2012, Saturday

BIG PLANS AHEAD: Photo shows the team involved behind the expansion as well as the current mall. From left, Boulevard tenants, function and marketing executive, Jeremy Sim, operations manager, Dean Lee, tenants, function and marketing manageress, Diana Thian, function and marketing manager, Pinky Tan and tenants, function and marketing executive, Veron Jong.
KUCHING: With the rapidly progressing retail landscape in the city, The Boulevard Group of Companies is set to unveil its master plan for the Boulevard Shopping Mall (Boulevard) here as its phased expansion progresses on schedule.
“At this juncture, our project is actually still incomplete. We actually have an eight-year plan for the entire project which is scheduled for completion in 2014, upon the wrap up of Phase Four,” Boulevard Shopping Mall tenants, function and marketing manageress, Diana Thian revealed during an interview with The Borneo Post.
She noted that the upcoming soft opening of the mall’s new shopping wing would be Phase Two of the project. At approximately 80 per cent completion, the new wing is scheduled for the soft opening on June 1.
The opening will encompass three floors, with the ground floor’s ‘Stylish Avenue’ targeted at the fashion-conscious crowd, the first floor will be housing retailers catering to mothers and children while the second floor, to be named ‘Gizmozone’ will be occupied by telecommunication companies and gadget retailers.
“The new wing will be accessible from the existing wing through link bridges and it will also have two storeys of parking space,” Thian said.
The manageress also highlighted several retailers that would be opening up their first flagship store in Kuching upon the opening of the new wing, namely Brands Outlet under the Padini umbrella, Trio, Eighteen Plus, Jefferson, Summit, Footin, Shins and Pierre D’Gem to name a few.
All these, she believed would add to the variety of the retail mix in Boulevard.
Boulevard’s impending expansion would expand its retail area to 226,398 square feet and a build-up area of 1,659,437 square feet accommodating 230 tenants in total.
When asked about Phase Three and Four of the development, Thian stated that Phase Three would comprise of a hotel as well as two towers of serviced apartment suites. She noted that the four star hotel would be managed by Boulevard’s very own Imperial Hotel management.
All sections of the upcoming complex would be connected through link bridges, thereby making it convenient for shoppers and hotel guests alike.
“The hotel will also take up the lower ground floor of the new wing for its lounge and fine dining area, the third floor of the new wing for its 14 function rooms.
“Our banquet hall will be able to accommodate up to 1,200 people. There will also be a floor for a gym and other leisure activities,” Thian added.
The final phase, according to Thian, would be the multi-storey carpark cum entertainment centre  housing a skating rink, karaoke centre as well as a cinema equipped with state-of-the-art 3D technology, set to woo Kuchingites of all ages to the one-stop lifestyle mall.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Lau Nai company profit surges

Tas Offshore pre-tax profit surges to RM15.5m

Published: 2012/07/25

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Tas Offshore Bhd's pre-tax profit surged to RM15.517 million in the financial year ended May 31, 2012 compared to RM5.324
million posted in the same period last year.

Revenue however declined to RM101.573 million from RM119.735 million posted in the same period, the company said in a filing to Bursa Malaysia today.

On the outlook, Tas said despite the disheartening global economic scenarios, the highly-resilient crude oil prices would provide a timely stimulant to the shipbuilding industry.

The company said demand for offshore support vessels is expected to increase in tandem with the higher offshore deepsea explorations and production.

"With about RM180 million shipbuilding contracts recently secured, we are optimistic in our outlook that new orders for offshore support vessels are going to resurface," it said.

Furthermore, the demand for tugboats has increased as the mining industry in Indonesia, particularly those related to coal and iron ore, are doing well, it said.

The company said financial year 2013 would remain challenging as the global recovery was still uncertain but was confident that it would be a better year as the company was working towards securing more projects. -- Bernama

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Shahril Shamsudin-owned Sapura received over 12 billion contracts

Pipelaying and installation works to propel SapCrest forward

Bornoe Post December 7, 2011, Wednesday

Pipelaying and installation works to propel SapCrest forward
KUCHING: SapuraCrest Petroluem Bhd (SapCrest) disclosed its merger proposals with Kencana Petroluem Bhd (Kencana) that would need shareholders’ approval in the upcoming extraordinary general meeting (EGM).
ECM Libra Capital Sdn Bhd (ECM Libra) viewed the merger to go as planned. The analyst also stated that SapCrest currently had an order book of RM12 billion to last it until 2016.
The bulk of the order book was from the installation of pipelines and facilities (IPF) segment, including the newly awarded Petrobras RM4.4 billion pipelaying job which was forecasted to commence in the fourth quarter calendar year 2014.
The acquired Clough marine business (Australia) came with three vessels of two pipe laying barges and one subsea support vessel was positive as SapCrest needed more vessels in order to grow its order book. SapCrest’s ninth month for the financial year 2012 earnings of RM233.7 million beat the house and consensus estimated by making up to 80 per cent of both full year estimates.
The stellar of the third quarter of the financial year 2012 earnings of RM83.1 million was an accrual of 52 per cent year-on-year backed by healthy marine services segment and high contribution from its installation of IPF sector.
SapCrest’s earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) margins advanced by nine per cent points year-on-year to 18 per cent as work orders completed in the third quarter of the financial year 2012 returned higher margins. ECM Libra maintained a target price of RM4.60 per share.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Ta Ann registers strong results backed by continuing demand for its timber and plantation divisions

Borneo Post March 1, 2012, Thursday
KUCHING: Ta Ann Holdings Bhd (Ta Ann) has seen a good year in both its plantation and timber division, recording core net profit of RM166 million for the financial year 2011.
“Excluding the total provisioning of RM13 million for asset impairment, Ta Ann’s financial year 2011 core net profit is exactly the same with our estimate but was four per cent above the consensus at RM159 million,” Kenanga Investment Bank Bhd (Kenanga Research) noted in a research report.
The report attributed the strong financial year 2011 to the higher crude palm oil prices (CPO) of RM3,348 per metric tonne and stronger fresh fruit bunch (FFB) production of 456,000 metric tonne – a 25 per cent and 47 per cent increase year-on-year (y-o-y) respectively.
It had assumed 30 per cent FFB growth in financial year 2012 estimates as its young oil palm trees mature. The research house noted that this was in line with management expectation of 25 to 30 per cent FFB growth.
“Beyond financial year 2012, FFB growth should be sustained at a double digit growth rate for at least another three years as its average oil palm tree age is only 4.8 years old as compared to peak production age of 10 to 12 years old,” the research house explained.
Kenanga Research observed that the plantation division enjoyed another strong pre tax profit growth of 106 per cent y-o-y to RM167 million, which reinforced its view that Ta Ann would eventually be categorised as a plantation company.
“The company’s timber division has also seen its pretax profit jump 209 per cent y-o-y to RM51 million on the back of better average selling price for export logs and plywood,” the report explained.
However, as the research house expected softer average selling price for export logs and plywood in financial year 2012, it lowered its estimated pretax profit for the year to RM34 million.
AmResearch Sdn Bhd (AmResearch) noted in its report that Ta Ann declared a second interim dividend of 10 sen per share, bringing the total for the full year to 20 sen per share.
The research house had since adjusted its forecast annual gross dividend upwards accordingly, to 20 sen per share.
“We understand that the RM9.7 million impairment was made with regards to its property, plant and equipment in Tasmania, given the continuing losses of the operations there,” the report noted as it also highlighted a loss after tax of RM14 million for the plywood division, inclusive of the impairment.
It went on to maintain its forecasts as it had already assumed a financial year 2011 pretax loss of RM5 million for the plywood division excluding the impairment and further annual losses of between RM10 million and RM 13 million for financial year 2012 to 2014 forecasts.