BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – Hengyi Industries has generated $1.22 billion in export revenue since its aromatics plant started production last November, the second finance and economy minister said.

During the 16th Legislative Council proceedings on Wednesday, YB Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mohd Amin Liew Abdullah said Hengyi’s petrochemical products have been exported to 15 countries including the US, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Australia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Vietnam and China.

“This achievement is a significant milestone that proves that the plant can produce 13 types of products including petrol, diesel, jet fuel, benzene and much more,” he said.

With an investment of US$3.45 billion, the Hengyi refinery is the largest foreign direct investment project in the sultanate.

Hengyi has a 70 percent stake in the project, while Damai Holdings — a subsidiary under the Ministry of Finance and Economy’s Strategic Development Capital Fund — owns the remaining 30 percent.

Meanwhile, the minister said the state-owned Brunei Fertilizer Industries (BFI) is in the progress of building its production plant and is estimated to be operational in May 2021.

“This factory will have a production capacity of 2,200 metric tonnes per day of ammonia, which will be processed to produce granular urea fertilizer at 3,900 metric tonnes per day,” said the minister.

German multinational conglomerate thyssenkrupp AG’s Industrial Solutions (tkIS) had signed a contract in 2018 to build the $1.8 billion plant.

YB Dato Dr Hj Amin said both companies are expected to promote foreign direct investments, make downstream products more readily available and change the country’s economic landscape by diversifying and strengthening the oil and gas sector’s value chain.

“These projects will continue to create investment opportunities in industries such as petrochemicals and downstream production, which in turn will spearhead growth and economic diversification.

“For example, purified terephthalic acid can be processed to produce various products, including vehicle components, textile, packaging, furniture and kitchen utensils,” he added.

YB Dato Dr Hj Mohd Amin said these investment activities would intensify private sector development and subsequently generate employment.

The companies have since provided employment opportunities to Bruneians, with Hengyi Industries hiring 447 locals and BFI recruiting locals for 33 officer positions and staff, along with 162 apprentices.

He said the companies have provided scholarships for local students to undertake engineering training abroad.

“In the future, it would provide more job opportunities for highly skilled locals,” he added.