The project, which will create an estimated 240 jobs, will cost $280 million. It will be set up on a 16-hectare piece of land at Sungai Liang, alongside other industries earlier announced by the Brunei Economic Development Board.
A local company, Hamidjojo Development, believes that Brunei has what it takes to produce float glass. It is working in collaboration with two foreign companies, Stein Heurtey and Compagnie De Fives-Lille, both of France,
Hamidjojo Development disclosed the setting up of the first glass plant to produce flat glass and micro glass beads yesterday morning.
The annual demand for float glass used in various industries, particularly in construction and automobile is expected to post an increase in the coming years.
As of now, the annual demand for float glass stands at 39 million tons per year. Analysts have predicted that the demand will grow by 4 per cent each year.
They believe that Brunei, because of it strategic location, and the availability of raw materials such as silica sand and natural gas as energy for melting the sand is an ideal location to establish such a plant.
Aside from the production of float glass, the plant is expected to also manufacture MGB. This is normally used for road marking, reflective media, surface treatment or cosmetics.
There is only one small MGB in the region at the moment located in Thailand. Most of the MGBs are imported from Australia or Europe. Therefore, Brunei has an excellent chance on capitalizing on this.
According to the feasibility study conducted by Hamidjojo Development, there is approximately 16 million tons of silica sand available in Tutong.
To produce 170,000 tons of glass per annum for 25 years, the company will only require 4 million tons of silica sand.
As for environmental hazards, 5 million Euros or about $11 million will be invested in a dust control system as dust is the primary concern in the manufacturing of glass. Initial works on the project is expected to begin sometime in June this year and is expected to be completed in September of 2006.
Attending yesterdays presentation were Dato Paduka Awang Haji Idris Haji Belaman, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources, and His Excellency Mr. Thierry Borja De Mozota, French Ambassador to the country