Blood donors are heroes: BGC

A BLOOD donation campaign organised by Brunei Gas Carriers Sdn Bhd (BGC) and supported by McDonald’s and Syarikat Rajamas Bersama (Sosro), received encouraging response from the public yesterday.

The campaign, which carried the theme ‘Be a Hero, Donate Blood,’ was held at the McDonald’s drive thru in celebration of BGC’s 20th anniversary.

BGC Human Resources and Corporate Affairs Manager Mizan Adiliah binti Haji Mohamad Deli said, “It was our first blood drive held outside our office. This is our sixth installment of the campaign to foster a sense of care and responsibility in the community.

“We are here to continue our efforts in assisting to restock the Brunei Blood Bank through this annual blood drive. We would also like to thank the Brunei Blood Bank for joining us and make this happen,” she said.

Meanwhile, McDonald’s Manager Hartini binti Haji Hussin said, “We are proud to be part of the campaign. This is also part of our social corporate responsibility. We took the opportunity to work with BGC and to give back to the community.”

Bleeding for a good cause. – RAHWANI ZAHARI
Bleeding for a good cause. – RAHWANI ZAHARI

Borneo Bulletin

Captains reminisce about experiences in Brunei maritime

DURING the farewell ceremony held at the Brunei LNG plant for Bebatik, one of the oldest LNG steamships in the world, two local captains shared their thoughts on the vessel and their roles in the Brunei maritime industry.

One of them was Captain Abdul Mateen Abdurrahman Liew @ Martin, a QM – Quality and HSSE Manager, as well as a FMS/1 – LNG Fleet Operations Superintendent for Brunei Gas Carriers (BGC), who has worked on Bebatik since 2000.

Having more than 15 years of maritime experience under his belt, Captain Abdul Mateen said he started out as an employee of BGC and Brunei Shell Tankers (BST).

“Having started with the position of a Navigating Bridge Officer, I slowly rose through the ranks, after which I was sent to the United Kingdom to pursue a certification in Master Unlimited. It enables me to sail any ship, regardless of the size and type, anywhere in the world,” he explained.

Captain Abdul Mateen said acquiring his certificate of competency in Master Unlimited was a huge milestone, as it allowed him to steer Amani and Amadi, two of the new A-Class vessels, during their respective maiden voyages from Korea to Brunei Darussalam.

He admitted to feeling sad about Bebatik’s final voyage to Japan from Brunei, as it provided a stepping stone for him to learn about the basics and how to be an efficient officer on board a vessel with a multinational crew.

“Being one of the oldest vessels, Bebatik is a tough one to operate, which requires all the crew members to be fully cooperative with each other, in addition to having the same mindset and resilience,” he said.

“The B-class vessel has always been a place for us to learn, as a beginning. It’s a sort of kindergarten, where having learned the basics, we move up the class to Primary One and so on.

“As such, the experience gained over the past years in the B-Class vessel will prove beneficial to Brunei mariners in operating the A-Class vessel, which was evident three years ago, when a crew comprising Bruneian mariners successfully sailed from Korea to Brunei.”

Captain Abdul Mateen Abdurrahman Liew @ Martin. – PHOTOS: DANIEL LIM
Captain Shahbrin bin Ibrahim

Captain Shahbrin bin Ibrahim also talked to the Weekend Bulletin about his time on Bebatik, saying that the vessel will always remain close to his heart.

“Being the first ship that I boarded during my career, I am sad about Bebatik’s imminent retirement, but in retrospect, I am glad that I was able to be on a vessel such as Bebatik, that allowed me to develop my skills,” he said, while adding that the career path for a seafarer in Brunei is far from an easy one.

“Being a seafarer means self-efficiency in working with other crew members, readily adaptable to any problems that may occur, and always willing to learn,” he said.

“The B-Class vessel has a place, not only in the history of Brunei’s maritime industry, but also in the world’s history, as it represents a legacy in the training of mariners and setting standards for future vessels to follow.”

With an estimated 217 million tonnes of LNG to be delivered on a journey of 30 million miles, the B-Class vessel has constantly provided a safe and reliable shipping service for Brunei LNG Project and its customers.

Bebatik is currently scheduled to deliver its last cargo to Sodegaura Terminal in Japan, before being sent for decommissioning.  

Borneo Bulletin

BGC, BST bid adieu to long-serving SS Bebatik

AS ONE of the oldest steam-operated maritime vessels in Brunei’s history, SS Bebatik will have her last cargo of liquefied natural gas (LNG) loaded into her hull for her final voyage.

To mark the event, Brunei Gas Carriers Sdn Bhd (BGC) and Brunei Shell Tankers Sdn Bhd (BST) held a farewell ceremony at the Brunei LNG Plant in Lumut yesterday.

The B-Class vessel, previously named Gardinia, was one of the seven LNG tankers transferred from Shell Tankers (UK) Ltd to BST.

SS Bebatik is the oldest, having been launched in 1972, making her over 46 years when she is retired this month.

Guest of honour at the event Deputy Minister of Energy and Industry Dato Paduka Awang Haji Matsatejo bin Sokiaw was welcomed onboard by BST and BGC Managing Director John Douglas Cook, and SS Bebatik Master Captain Mario Lacconi.

Japanese Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam Motohiko Kato, French Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam Christian Ramage, Shell Country Chair and Brunei Shell Petroleum Co Sdn Bhd (BSP) Managing Director Dr Ceri M Powell, Brunei LNG Sdn Bhd Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Patrice Girard, Mitsubishi Corporation General Manager (Brunei Liaison Office) Masaki Fujiwara as well as top officials from Brunei Shell Joint Venture Companies, government officers and the SS Bebatik crew were also in attendance.

Deputy Minister of Energy and Industry Data Paduka Awang Haji Matsatejo bin Sokiaw sounding the horn marking SS Bebatik’s final voyage. – PHOTO: DANIEL LIM

The guest of honour toured the vessel, before heading to the vessel’s bridge for the farewell ceremony.

John Douglas Cook in his speech highlighted the collective effort that has enabled the SS Bebatik to deliver safe, reliable and efficient LNG shipping service.

After the sounding of the horn, the national flag was lowered and a Doa Selamat recitation was conducted.

SS Bebatik was also given a salute with the use of water cannons to signal her last voyage, as well as to celebrate her years of service.

SS Bebatik is slated to deliver her last cargo to Sodegaura Terminal in Japan before being decommissioned. Crew members will be reassigned to other vessels operated by BST.

Borneo Bulletin

BST to decommission two B-Class vessels

TWO Brunei Shell Tankers Sdn Bhd (BST)’s remaining B-Class vessels, the Bebatik and Belanak, will be decommissioned in April and June this year after delivering liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargo to customers for over 45 years.

BST launched a commemorative coffee-table book titled ‘Finished with Engines’ at a high tea reception to mark the decommissioning of the vessels at the Indera Samudra Grand Hall of The Empire Hotel & Country Club.

The book launch was officiated by guest of honour, Minister of Communications Awang Abdul Mutalib bin Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Setia Dato Paduka Haji Mohd Yusof.

Leading the event was John Douglas Cook, the Managing Director of BST and Brunei Gas Carriers Sdn Bhd (BGC).

In a tribute speech, Captain Abdul Mateen Abdurrahman Liew, BGC’s QHSSE Manager, noted, “Seven G Class vessels, all of which were built to serve the then nascent Brunei LNG project, delivered LNG from Lumut to customers, initially in Japan, and one epic voyage all the way from the South China Sea to Barcelona, Spain via the Suez Canal in 2002.”

In 1986, he recalled, “Ownership of the G-Class vessels transferred from Shell Tankers UK limited to a newly formed company, BST – and all vessels were renamed accordingly by His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam.”

Minister of Communications Awang Abdul Mutalib bin Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Setia Dato Paduka Haji Mohd Yusof during the coffee-table book launch. – BAHYIAH BAKIR

The B-Class vessels were renamed Bebatik, Bekalang, Belais, Belanak, Bekulan, Bilis and Bubuk – all names of local fishes and shellfish, to maintain a marine connection.

Over the course of more than 45 years, he added, “The B-Class vessels have continuously provided safe and reliable LNG shipping services for the Brunei LNG project and their customers, completing more than 6,300 successful cargo deliveries whilst navigating an approximately 4,000-kilometre route between Brunei Darussalam and Japan.

“That is over 75 times to the moon and back or 15,000 times circumnavigating the planet.”

The B-Class, Captain Abdul Mateen Abdurrahman Liew pointed out, “have played an essential role in the development of the Bruneian LNG seafarer community, with the very first officers and cadets employed by BST gaining their sea legs onboard, and if you speak to any of the seafarers who have sailed on them, you will note a fondness for them that you only get from something that has proven invaluable to your own personal development”.

Through the B-Class vessels, BGC now has its first few master mariners and chief engineers, and with their decommissioning, that mantel has now been passed on to BGC’s A-Class vessels as BGC continues to develop its Bruneian seafarers in support of Vision 2035 and befitting BGC’s vision of “developing the nations’ resources for safe, reliable and sustainable maritime transportation”.

Following the book launching, the minister and invited guests proceeded to view an exhibition displaying photos and details of each of the seven B-Class vessels.  

Borneo Bulletin