THE Islamic Development Bank is open to the idea of financially supporting Brunei’s upcoming mega infrastructure projects, said the acting director of the development bank’s regional office in Kuala Lumpur.
The Sultanate is in the midst of building three major bridges that are expected to spur economic growth and national development in areas that are currently disconnected from the main district of Brunei-Muara.
“We will be more than happy to discuss the possibilities of IDB supporting these projects financially,” Kunrat Wirasubrata told The Brunei Times.
He said that there are various ways that IDB can collaborate with the Brunei government for the projects.
Kunrat also proposed a financing scheme based on public-private partnership (PPP).
“Brunei probably has its own agency to manage these PPPs and IDB can always come to discuss how IDB can contribute to IDB’s initiatives,” he said.
“We are open, we will be more than happy to establish and strengthen this collaboration with Brunei, “ he said.
Infrastructure spending is expected to rise in the next two to three years with projects such as the Pulau Muara Besar (PMB) industrial zone and the Brunei-Muara – Temburong mega bridge in the pipeline.
The Brunei government last year signed a $138.9 million joint venture project with local construction giants and Korean firm Daelim Industrial Co Ltd to build a cable-stayed bridge over the Brunei River between Kg Sungai Kebun and Jalan Residency.
The 36-month project is included in under the National Development Plan 10 and aims to connect the north and south of Bandar Seri Begawan.
In August 2012, another South Korean bridge specialist was awarded a contract by the Brunei Economic Development Board to provide consultancy services for the proposed construction of the Pulau Muara Besar (PMB) bridge.
The bridge will provide mainland connectivity and support industrial development on PMB.
It will also serve as a “utility corridor to reticulate power, water and telecommunication services” between the mainland and PMB.
Meanwhile, it was also announced at the Ninth Legislative Council in March last year that the construction of a 30-kilometre bridge connecting Kota Batu in Brunei-Muara District and Temburong is expected to be completed by 2018.
The Brunei Times
16 Sep 2014