A Dialogue Session (Sesi Muzakarah) between the Ministry of Energy and members of the Legislative Council was held on Thursday, 11th February 2021 at West Wing Meeting Room, Level 1 of the Prime Minister's Office Complex. The delegation consisted of fifteen (15) Legislative Council Members and was led by Yang Berhormat Pengiran Haji Mohamed bin Pengiran Haji Osman @ Othman.
Chaired by Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr. Awang Haji Mat Suny bin Haji Md. Hussein, the Minister of Energy, the session was also attended by Yang Mulia Dato Seri Paduka Awang Haji Matsatejo bin Sokiaw, Deputy Minister of Energy; Yang Mulia Awang Haji Azhar bin Haji Yahya, Permanent Secretary; Yang Mulia Pengiran Haji Jamra Weira bin Pengiran Haji Petra, Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Energy; as well as officials from the Ministry, the Department of Electrical Services (DES), Autoriti Elektrik Negara Brunei Darussalam (AENBD), Safety Health Environment National Authority (SHENA) and Petroleum Authority of Brunei Darussalam (PA).
The session commenced with a welcoming remarks from Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr. Awang Haji Mat Suny bin Haji Md. Hussein, Minister of Energy, highlighting the energy sector's achievements in 2020 which included the full operation of the Oil Refinery and Petrochemical Plant at Pulau Muara Besar (PMB) which has been operating since November 2019. Yang Berhormat Minister also shared a number of key upcoming developments that would transform the energy sector's landscape, including large scale solar projects and further downstream undertakings such as the Brunei Fertilizer Industries (BFI). Yang Berhormat Minister then emphasized that the growth of the energy sector must be pursued with prioritization of local employment and local business opportunities, as well as through a Whole-of-Nation approach.
Energy sector remains relevant in its role as one of the main contributor to Brunei Darussalam national economy. The oil and gas sector as the most mature industry has made substantial investment in the expansion of its upstream and downstream activities. The upstream oil and gas investment is set for another milestone by exploring opportunities in the deepwater exploration activities. The deepwater exploration activities will bring technological advancement and expertise in support of the country's economic development. To further improve the sector's infrastructure, the sector is embarking on spin-off activities involving decommissioning and restoration of aging and end-of-life energy facilities.
The Ministry is also overseeing the diversification of the energy sector through the expansion of its downstream activities. The most recent mega downstream project development is the full commercial operation of the Pulau Muara Besar (PMB) Refinery and Petrochemical Plant in November 2019. The PMB Refinery and Petrochemical Plant is currently the largest foreign direct investment project in Brunei Darussalam, with the capacity to refine 175,000 barrels per day of crude oil and generate 8 million tonnes of petroleum and petrochemical products per year. The Brunei Fertilizer Industries' ammonia and urea production plant will also add to the expansion of the country's downstream energy portfolio. The plant is scheduled to start operations in the third quarter of 2021 with a production capacity of 3, 900 metric tonnes per day of urea.
Yang Berhormat Minister further added that in recognizing the rising importance of alternative energy, the Ministry facilitated the global hydrogen supply chain demonstration project between the Government of Brunei Darussalam and Japan, operated by the Advanced Hydrogen Energy Chain Association for Technology Development (AHEAD). Aimed at realizing global hydrogen transport and supply technology for full-scale hydrogen power generation by 2030, the project has reached a significant milestone after successfully transporting hydrogen produced from the Sungai Liang Industrial Park (SPARK) to Japan in the form of a stable organic compound shipped via conventional shipping methods. The demonstration project marks the success of the world's first international hydrogen supply chain.
A presentation by Yang Mulia Awang Haji Azhar bin Haji Yahya, the Permanent Secretary, shared that the ministry is working closely with agencies to ensure the successful implementation of projects under the Ministry of Energy's Strategic Plan for the year 2020 – 2025. Yang Mulia Permanent Secretary presented the eight (8) Strategic Objective under this plan, aimed at realizing the vision for a sustainable and diverse energy sector, which among others, include the development of downstream industries and the growth of green energy. The presentation was followed by a Question and Answer session that was participated by the relevant Heads of Divisions and leads from the Ministry of Energy and its Department, as well as relevant agencies.
Collaboration with the LegCo members in raising awareness among the public with regards to energy sector priorities is one of the contributing factors to the success of the Ministry's Strategic Plan 2020 – 2025. This is especially crucial for initiatives such as encouraging safe and prudent use of energy and electrical appliances; inspiring a growth mindset for employment and entrepreneurship in the energy sector; and promoting the use of clean and renewable energy technologies.
The dialogue session marked the second segment of the Ministry's engagement with the LegCo members for the year 2021. The session is an annual event which aims to foster a strategic dialogue exchange on the Ministry's pivotal role in developing the country's energy sector. The Muzakarah session was preceded by a working visit to energy facilities and companies in the Belait District, held on the 3rd February 2021.