Interview: China-Brunei joint petrochemical venture contributes to local economy: CEO

Hengyi Industries Sdn Bhd, a China-Brunei joint venture, has been contributing to the local economy, Chen Liancai, the CEO of the company, told Xinhua on Saturday.

“The year of 2020 had been an unprecedented year full of unique challenges for us. We started operation of our petrochemical complex at Pulau Muara Besar Industrial Park (PMB) at the end of 2019, and into 2020” facing an impact of the COVID-19, the CEO said.

“Despite the challenges we faced due to the pandemic, we have remained in high operation load for the whole year of 2020, and successfully exported more than 6.38 million tonnes of petroleum products and 1.7 million tonnes of petrochemical products, achieving a sales revenue of up to 3.5 billion U.S. dollars for the whole year, which directly contributed to Brunei’s GDP growth in 2020,” he said.

Hengyi Industries is a joint venture between China’s Zhejiang Hengyi Group and Damai Holdings, a wholly-owned subsidiary under the Brunei government’s Strategic Development Capital Fund, owning 70 percent and 30 percent respectively.

Hengyi invested about 3.45 billion U.S. dollars in the first phase of its oil refinery and petrochemical project in Brunei, which went into full operation in November 2019 and the company’s 13.654 billion U.S. dollars second phase project is currently awaiting the green light from the government.

According to the CEO, Hengyi also achieved several new milestones in 2020. It entered into a commercial agreement with Brunei Shell Marketing, as part of its commitment to supply fuel products to the local market.

The company is also committed to pushing forward local recruitment and has made progress in this regard. “We have … successfully achieved 40 percent localization in our first year of operation, and we are aiming to increase our localization efforts each and every year,” he said.

“We are also providing our local staff with the opportunity to develop their skills with training programs while also encouraging our experienced staff to share their knowledge with them,” the CEO said.

“I am delighted to say that with the achievements of these milestones, we are able to help contribute to the diversification of the nation’s downstream industry,” Chen said.