Thursday, January 29, 2015

Sungai Terus Recreational Park in 1984

View of the Sungai Terus Recreational Park, photo  taken on 24 November,1984
The picture shows the strategic location of the park in the new Kidurong township. The park served the recreational needs of the new township that accomodated houses belonging to the MLNG Sdn Bhd, Bintulu Development Authority (BDA), Bintulu Port Authority and Petronas Housing built for ABF Sdn Bhd staff.

The Sungai Terus Park as seen today, 28 January,2015.
More additional park facilities are provided over time.  The park is now incorporated into a much larger chain of public parks in the Kidurong township called 'Millenium Park'.

Note the size of the Angsana trees when compared to its height during initial planting in 1984 as in the top picture above.
During the First Economic Boom (1979 -83) a new satellite township was created some 10 kilometers from the existing Bintulu town centre.  The township was called Kidurong New Township which was developed to cater for the staff housing of the companies involved with the first boom .  The companies were MLNG Sdn Bhd, Bintulu Port Authority, Bintulu Development Authority and ABF Sdn Bhd.  In order to meet the recreational needs of the new township, the Bintulu Development Authority (BDA) which was the developer of the township constructed a recreational park called Sungai Terus Recreational Park.  Works started in 1983 and the park was fully completed in 1984.  On the 3rd of September, the board of directors of the BDA paid a site visit to the park after their board meeting.  In the early days of the park, it was fully utilised because it was the only large park to cater for the families and children of the new township as well as visitors from other parts of Bintulu.
Sungai Terus in relation to the new Kidurong township, as seen in 1988.
The Sungai Terus ( Sungai is Malay for river) is seen in the middle of the picture above.  The river starts from the hills and passes underneath the Kidurong Highway by means of a big underground culvert.  The big white patch is the pond.  The green area on both sides of the river as it flows out to the sea (towards bottom left of the picture) has been fully landscaped as a chain of public parks which is named today as the "Millenium Park".
Colour photo taken on 17 January, 1988.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Bintulu Port area during the First Economic Boom (1979 - 83)

The Bintulu Port area in 1982 - a humble beginning.
Construction of the Bintulu Port was lead by a South Korean contractor named Daelim Industrial Co Ltd which secured a total of RM 170 million worth of construction packages for the first deepwater port of Sarawak. Works were in full swing in 1980 to meet the scheduled completion by end of 1982.  Total cost of building the port was RM 500 million.
Photo credits: Annual Audited Report of Bintulu Port Authority, 1982. 
View of port in 1988
One of the mammoth projects done to kick start the first economic boom in Bintulu (1979 - 1983) was the construction of the Bintulu Port by the Federal Transport Ministry of Malaysia.  Concerted efforts by all stakeholders were critical to the completion of the port built to handle the first shipment of liquified natural gas cargo (LNG) scheduled in 1983.  The Bintulu Port started operations on 1st January, 1983.  The first LNG cargo that left the port was on 29th January,1983.  The future development and sustenance of the port hinged primarily on its role as the sole provider of berthing and loading  facilities for the export of LNG.  However, to add value to its permanent presence in the Bintulu landscape it acquired vast tracts of land around the port vicinity for future storing, warehousing, transfer and direct loading of many other downstream petroleum and non-petroleum products for local and foreign destinations.  At the inset is a picture of the port area in 1988 which shows at the foreground the long conveyor gallery that transfer the granular urea products direct from the Asean Bintulu Fertiliser (ABF) plant to a shiploading facility at the end of the conveyor gallery.  The ABF plant started exporting granular urea in 1985.
The picture above shows the development of industrial land around the port vicinity in 2012.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Kemena Bridge and Timber Processing Zone

The Kemena Bridge was officially opened for use on 13 December, 1983.
In the picture above is seen the Batang Kemena or Kemena River and towards the background of the picture is the Bintulu hinterland and interior areas.  The first and second phase of the Kemena Industrial Estate is situated on the right of the riverbank (moving downstream) and later phases were located at the opposite side (left side of the riverbank, moving downstream)
Picture credits : Investment Opportunities in Timber, Bintulu, Sarawak, BDA brochure.
 The appeal of Bintulu as a centrally located new growth centre for Sarawak depended on its land as well as off-shore resources.  The first economic boom (1979 - 1983)  saw the birth of new industries for the once sleepy Bintulu.  One of the projects that helped thrust Bintulu into the new industrial age was the the large-scale timber-based manufacturing centre situated on both sides of the Kemena Bridge.  This timber processing zone was called the Kemena Industrial Estate (KIE) by its developer, Bintulu Development Authority (BDA).  The bridge was critical to connect Bintulu to the capital city Kuching, some 600 kilometers away.  With the completion of the bridge in 1983, timber resources from other parts of Bintulu especially from the Tatau river system were able to be sent by land directly to the Kemena Industrial Estate.  The KIE success depended on the development of the Bintulu Deepwater Port at Tanjung Kidurong, the Kemena Bridge and a trunk road to connect the KIE to the exporting terminal at Tanjung Kidurong.  The early investors to the KIE started with sawn timber, plywood and veneer manufacturing activities for export.
The Kemena Bridge and Kemena Industrial Estate as seen in 1990.
Picture credits : An Invitation to Invest in Bintulu (2nd Ed.),BDA.
 The setting up of the Kemena Indusrtial Estate was prompted by Bintulu's factor endowments.  The Bintulu hinterland is covered with 3.4 million hectares of forested land.  The rich interior areas of the Batang Kemena or the Kemena River and the Tatau River systems are densely inventorised of commercially valuable tropical hardwood species.  In 1984 for instance the Bintulu region produced 2.8 million cubic meters of logs or 25% of Sarawak's total production.  Besides its vast forest reserves, the KIE is served by the Batang Kemena which is the chief means of transporting the cut logs or lumber from the upriver or deep interior areas to the processing zone.  Bintulu was also endowed with cheap and adequate treated water supply (9.2 million litres per day) to meet the industrial processing needs at the KIE.  This timber processing zone was and is still kept busy by the successive economic booms of Bintulu as new uses of timber with new technology were introduced like medium density fibreboard.
The Kemena Bridge and surrounding areas in late 1980's

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Market Garden at Sungai Plan

Road to Market Gardening Project area at Sungai Plan, near Tg. Kidurong.
The above picture shows the site allocated for the Market Garden project was carved from original jungle.
Picture credits: The Sarawak Tribune, 26th November, 1981.
 Two large projects that attracted people to Bintulu during the first boom (1979 - 1983 ) were the LNG plant (Liquified Natural Gas) belonging to Malaysia LNG Sdn Bhd and the Bintulu Deep Water Port.  These mammoth projects were the prime generators of employment during the first boom period.  The influx of people coming to work in Bintulu as temporary workers created a sudden demand for food items such as vegetables.  In those days, enterprising businessmen even imported vegetables by air from Sabah to meet the daily needs.  Due to the soaring prices of vegetables, the Bintulu Development Authority (BDA) under the chairmanship of the Chief Minister of Sarawak, Datuk Patinggi Hj. Abdul Rahman Yakub decided to re-settle some existing vegetable growers from Sibu and Bintagor to become pioneers at Sungai Plan.  Out of original jungle, vegetables plots were  created for the settlers and their families. Later they were given tables at the Bintulu vegetable market as outlets to sell the vegetables directly to the consumers instead of through middlemen.  This project proved successful in the early stages and was able to drastically bring down the prices of locally grown vegetables during those crucial years.  Today, the original settlers are hardly doing any more vegetable growing and they prefer to use their land or allocated lots for warehousing, workshops, light industrial housing, permanent residential  housing development and shophouses.
The old Sungai Plan road  has been tremendously improved over the years.
Today the road is very heavily used  as an alternative route to the new industrial area at Similajau.
Date taken : 4 January 2015.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Landscaping of SMDS Administrative area

Overall view of SMDS Administrative area (foreground with green roof).  In the background at left are the storage tanks of BCOT ( Bintulu Crude Oil Terminal) and on the right of the picture at the top is partly seen the MLNG Sdn Bhd Office Complex (white buildings) and the LNG plant complex towards right of the picture.
Date taken : 22 December, 2014.

 The Shell SMDS plant located at Bintulu is the first of its kind in the world to convert natural gas into synthetic oil products.  The products include high quality middle distillates such gasoil (diesel) and kerosene, as well as naptha, paraffins and wax.  To undertake this project in Bintulu, a joint-venture company was incorporated in 1989 with the equity structure as follow :- Shell Gas BV (60%), Mitsubishi Corporation (20%), Petronas (10%) and Sarawak State Government (10%).
In 1992 I was involved with the landscaping of the administrative area of the SMDS plant (see inset).  This job was one of the major landscaping works done by my company, Exxoplus Corporation Sdn Bhd. when it started operations in Bintulu in 1992.  I was fortunate to have met Mr. H W Van der Woerdt who was the Construction Manager for the SMDS plant in Bintulu then.  Pleased with my landscaping design proposal he later gave my company the job of actual planting the proposed design, besides just the design consultancy.  This job kept me busy for the first few months since I started the company.  Later in 1993, I did more landscaping jobs for the SMDS company especially in their housing area at Taman Matahari, Kidurong township.  Below are some views of the administrative area taken on 30th July,1992 while on a site visit to the area.
View of SMDS Administrative Area, taken on 30th July. 1992.

View of the landscaping works around the Administrative area, taken on 22nd December,2014
View of the proposed landscaping area, taken on 30.7.1992
The buildings in green roofing belongs to SMDS, while the buildings in red in the background belongs to MLNG Sdn Bhd.

View of the planting, according to design proposal.
Image taken on 22 December,2014.
View of entrance to SMDS plant and office site.  The SMDS car parking area is at right.
Photo taken on 28 July'92 while on site visit to the proposed area for landscaping.

View of entrance to SMDS office and plant site  today, 28 January,2015.