Thursday, February 5, 2015

From a lighthouse lookout to an LNG loading terminal

Tanjung Kidurong Lighthouse with bungalow for its care-takers.
Note the  design of the lighthouse as a skeletal tower.
This view is typical of the place during the 1960's - early 1970's.

An LNG (liquified natural gas )loading terminal built by the Bintulu Port Authority.  In the far background is the loading jetty for LPG ships.
Photo credits : Sarawak Tribune, 9 May,2003., Special Supplement on 'Opening of Petronas LNG Tiga'.

View of the lighthouse from a postcard of the 1960's.

Another view of the LNG loading terminal. In the background is the Bintulu Port area.
Photo credits : Petronas Brochure (2003), Petronas LNG Complex.
The Tanjung Kidurong  point refers to a location on the Sarawak coastline that is north of the Bintulu town.  More specifically in its vicinity are to be found today the Bintulu Port's LNG exporting terminal.  Throughout the 1960's till early 1970's the area was only accessible by sea. Historically, the Tanjung Kidurong point area belonged to the Sultan of Brunei but in 1861 it was bought from the Sultan at a cost of 6000 dollars by James Brooke, who later became the Rajah of Sarawak.  During the piracy days Tanjung Kidurong was  regularly visited by the pirates.  It was left to the British starting with James Brooke to end piracy along Sarawak's coast in order to advance the colonial trading and commercial interests.  It was a well-known fact that the court of the  Sultan of Brunei derived  considerable if not major part of its income from proceeds of the piratical activities of the Sultans's subjects.  However, in the piracy world of the 19th century, it was the Illanuns and Balinini who were the most feared pirates and they originated from the Sulu and Mindanao islands.  On the 12th of August,1869 the last of the Illanun pirates were defeated off the Tanjung Kidurong coast by the people of Bintulu without waiting for help from the Rajah Brooke.  Since the defeat of the Illanuns by the Bintulu people there were no further accounts of them daring to raid the Sarawak coastline.   In 1872, a lighthouse was established at the Kidurong point as recorded in the annals of the Sarawak Almanac.  Lighthouses are very important for safe navigation of the 750 km long Sarawak coastline that faces directly the South China Sea.  With the discovery of natural gas off the coast of Tanjung Kidurong in 1968 at the Central Luconia gas fields some 125 -250 km offshore and its processing onshore in 1983, an exporting terminal was required to ship the LNG overseas.  Thus the Bintulu Port built an LNG loading and exporting terminal within the immediate vicinity of the old lighthouse or Tanjung Kidurong point. The first or maiden LNG cargo left the Bintulu Port on 7 February,1983 and arrived at the Sodeguara terminal in Japan on 7 February,1983.
A group of visitors having a group photo taken while on a visit to the lighthouse.  They are seen with two lighthouse care-takers in front of the Tanjung Kidurong bungalow.
Photo credits : Ho Ah Choon, Sarawak in Pictures 1940's -1970's.

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