Crown Prince lays foundation stone for methanol plant
By Liza Mohd

His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office yesterday consented to lay the foundation stone of Brunei's first methanol plant at Sungai Liang Industrial park site.

The auspicious event brings Brunei a step closer towards realising the single largest industrial plant in the country in more than 30 years.

The $400 million plant, expected to start commercial operation in the first quarter of 2010, is an answer to the aspirations of the His Majesty's government towards the diversification of the country's economy and the development of downstream industries from oil and gas resources.

At the ceremony, the Chairman of Sungai Liang Authority (SLA) Pengiran Kerma Raja Pengiran Haji Kamarulzaman, delivered welcoming remarks on the major objectives of the authority's creation.

Later, Brunei Methanol Company Sdn Bhd (BMC) Chief Executive Officer, Mr Kinya Tsuji, gave a speech on the project's significant milestones since it signed the joint venture agreement in November 2005.

After laying the foundation, the Crown Prince received a 'pesambah' from Mr Tsuji and viewed an exhibition on the development of the project.

The event ended with a group photograph with the BMC staff.

The methanol plant will not only provide a broader scope of business opportunities for both existing local Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) but also create spin-off industries and generate employment opportunities for locals. - Borneo Bulletin (12th Feb 2008)