KUCHING (Oct 17): Bintulu Port Holdings Bhd (Bintulu Port) is set to benefit from Samalaju Industrial Port’s rise in throughput by financial year 2025 (FY25) onwards following the commissioning of Wenan Steel’s plant with production capacity of 5.7 million tonnes per annum (TPA) in the first 10 years.

Currently, Wenan Steel is in the midst of negotiating a power purchase agreement (PPA) with Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB) with land clearing almost completed.

AmInvestment Bank Bhd (AmInvestment Bank) gathered that the plant would add up to 20 million TPA of inbound and outbound throughput for Samalaju Industrial Port.

“Bintulu Port is currently mulling various options to ensure that customers commit to their throughput commitments,” it said in its analysis yesterday. These include Bintulu Port entering into joint venture or land lease arrangements with the customers. No details are available at this juncture.

“From our recent visit to Samalaju Industrial Park, we note that Samalaju Industrial Port’s design capacity of 18 million TPA is limited to 12 million TPA by its current equipment.

“In spite of this, we do not see that the operations of the port will be affected as utilisation rate is currently only 50 per cent based on 12 million TPA. The development of the port will depend on the number of port users.”

Currently, the biggest port user is Press Metal, with aluminium production of 960,000 TPA. Including raw material imports, AmInvest Research expect Press Metal to contribute almost half of Samalaju Industrial Port’s throughput in FY22 to FY24.

Press Metal has built a conveyor belt system to transport raw materials from the port to its manufacturing plant, saving up to RM6 per tonne compared to conventional handling charges between RM29 to RM23 per tonne.

“We believe that the other investors in the park would construct a similar infrastructure, especially Malaysia Phosphate Additives Sarawak (MPAS) given its vicinity to the port,” it added.

“For Bintulu Port, the government is focusing on the Sarawak PetChem Bintulu complex and its pioneer project, Sarawak PetChem Bintulu methanol plant, which will be operational in 1QFY24 with a production capacity of 1.75 million TPA. The project is 60% per cent completed currently.

“To facilitate the exports of methanol, Sarawak PetChem has inked a memorandum of understanding with Bintulu Port Authority and BP to set up a methanol jetty.

“The methanol plant is envisaged to receive 168 million CF of natural gas daily from Bintulu additional gas sales facility 2 (BAGSF-2) which is expected to come on-stream in 2023. BAGSF-2 also delivers 70mil CF of natural gas to SEB’s Tanjung Kidurong power plant.”

Owned by Cahya Mata Sarawak (60 per cent), Tradewinds Plantation (13 per cent) and Malaysian Phosphate Ventures (27 per cent), MPAS is the first phosphate plant in Malaysia, and the firstin the world powered by hydroelectric.

Currently, the plant enjoys competitive electricity rates of with SEB. The plant produces 2 types of phosphate, yellow phosphorus (YP) – which is also feed stock for phosphoric acid – and phosphoric acid.

To produce a tonne of YP, MPAS requires 10 tonnes of rock phosphate (5-50mm), three tonnes of coke and one tonne of silica.

In the 350-acre site, 30 per cent is used for three plants under Phase 1 of the Samalaju Integrated Phosphate Complex. The plants have a total production capacity of 183,000 TPA.

“During our visit, MPAS was in the midst of commissioning its 2nd YP furnace with a capacity of 12K TPA. MPAS expects to complete commissioning all four of its YP furnaces in December 2022 while commercial production commence in the first quarter of 2023.” -Source: The Borneo Post