🇲🇾 Bintulu is a coastal town on the island of Borneo in the central region of Sarawak, Malaysia. Bintulu is located 610 km (380 mi) north-east of Kuching, 216 km (134 mi) north-east of Sibu, and 200 km (120 mi) south-west of Miri. With a population of 114,058 as of 2010, Bintulu is the capital of the Bintulu District of the Bintulu Division of Sarawak, Malaysia.
The name of Bintulu was derived from the local native language "Mentu Ulau" (picking heads). Bintulu was a small fishing village when Rajah James Brooke acquired it in 1861. Brooke later built a fort there in 1862. In 1867, the first General Council meeting (now Sarawak State Legislative Assembly) was convened in Bintulu. It is the earliest state legislature system in Malaysia. The construction of the earliest airstrip in Bintulu began in 1934 but was halted in 1938 due to financial difficulties. During World War II, the airstrip was heavily bombed by Allied forces. The British later rebuilt the airstrip, and it became fully operational in 1955. The old airport was replaced by a new airport in 2002. Bintulu remained a fishing village until 1969 when oil and gas reserves were discovered off the coast. Since then, Bintulu has become the centre of energy intensive industries such as a Malaysia LNG plant, a Shell Middle Distillate Synthesis plant, and a Bintulu combined cycle power plant. The economy has also expanded into oil palm and forest plantations, palm oil processing, wood-waste processing, and cement manufacturing. The port of Bintulu is the busiest in Sarawak. The town is also a gateway to Samalajau Industrial Park.
Among the tourist attractions in Bintulu are Similajau National Park, Tumbina Park, Tanjung Batu beach, Jepak village, Kuan Yin Tong temple, Assyakirin mosque, Council Negri monument, Tamu Bintulu, and Pasar Utama markets. The Borneo International Kite Festival is held annually in the town.
Economy There are five industrial estates in Bintulu. They are: Kemena Industrial Estate (for wood-based industries), Jepak Industries Estate (wood-based industries), Kidurong Industrial Area (for medium and light industries), Kidurong Light Industrial Estate (medium and light industries), and Bintulu Light Industrial Estate (light industry).
Oil and gas Malaysia LNG is a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) manufacturing complex located in Bintulu that currently contains eight LNG trains with a ninth one currently under construction. The complex was built by the Malaysian national oil and gas company, Petronas. The manufacturing complex has a production capacity of 25.7 million tonnes per annum. Petronas is also planning to open Floating LNG (FLNG) offshore Bintulu, which is used specifically to harvest natural gas from small and isolated gas fields. Transportation of natural gas from Kimanis in the neighbouring state of Sabah, to the LNG complex at Bintulu is facilitated by a 512-kilometre (318 mi) pipeline known as the "Sabah Sarawak Gas Pipeline". Currently, 45% of Malaysian natural gas is found at Central Luconia off the coast of Bintulu. The largest importers of Malaysia LNG productions are Japan (62%), Korea (17%), Taiwan (12%), and China (9%).
The Sarawak Shell Bintulu Plant (SSBP), formerly known as Bintulu Crude Oil Terminal (BCOT), was established in 1979. It consists of three crude oil storage tanks, each with a capacity of 410,000 barrels. It has three major areas of operation: Crude Oil Operations, Condensate Stabilisation, and Gas Sales Facilities. Royal Dutch Shell started to establish the world's first Shell Middle Distillate Synthesis plant (Shell MDS) in 1993. It is also known as Bintulu Gas-To-Liquid plant (Bintulu GTL). The plant has a production capacity of 14,770 barrels per day with a total investment of over US$1 billion as of the year 2010. The plant is staffed with 380 people, of whom 93% are Malaysians, with 80% of the staff coming from Sarawak.
Wood-based industries and plantations Since the opening up of the Bintulu–Miri road in the 1970s, large-scale plantations of oil palm and cocoa has been developed in rural areas of Bintulu Division. Currently, there are 57,740 hectares (577.4 km2 (223 sq mi)) of oil palm, 2,000 hectares (200 km2 (77 sq mi)) of Rattan, and 815 hectares (8.15 km2 (3 sq mi)) of pepper plantations.
The first Bintulu palm oil refinery, Bintulu Edible Oil Sdn Bhd, was established in June 1991. Bintulu currently has four palm oil refineries: Bintulu Edible Oils Sdn Bhd (operated under PGEO Group, a subsidiary of Wilmar International), Sime Darby Austral Edible Oil Sdn Bhd, Kirana Palm Oil Refinery Sdn Bhd, and Sarawak Oil Palm Bhd. However, as of 2015, Wilmar no longer buys raw palm oil produced from cleared forests and peat swamps in Sarawak because of environmental concerns.
The Bintulu Division has been designated as a Planted Forests Zone (PFZ) by the Sarawak state government since 1998. As of 30 June 2011, a total of 124,618 hectares (1,246.18 km2 (481 sq mi)) has been planted with acacia trees. Other trees that are planned for plantations are kelampayan, engkabang, durian, batai, eucalyptus, and rubber trees. Sarawak Planted Forest Sdn Bhd, a company wholly owned by the Sarawak state government, has been granted a license to replant forests for 60 years. However, the company has been suffering financial losses from 2009 to 2011.
There are three mills in Bintulu that process wood-waste products. Two are Medium-density fibreboard (MDF) plants and the third is a charcoal briquette plant, with a total installed capacity of 246,000 cubic metres (8,700,000 cu ft) per year. MDF plants utilise wood waste purchased from sawmills and plywood mills in the Bintulu area and occasionally from the Tanjung Manis timber processing zone located at the mouth of the Rajang River. Synthetic resins, which are required to hold wood dust together, constituted 20% of the total production cost of the wood panel products. MDF plants in Bintulu are operated by Daiken Sarawak Sdn Bhd, which was founded on 15 February 1994. The briquette plant is operated by Cipta Briquette Sdn Bhd. A glue/adhesive factory in Bintulu is owned by Bintulu Adhesive & Chemicals Sdn Bhd. It produces urea formaldehyde resin and phenol formaldehyde resin for plywood and chipboard manufacturing at Kemena Industrial Estate. Urea precondensate is also produced to supply ASEAN Bintulu Fertiliser plant.
Others The Bintulu Port Authority was established in 1981. It started port operation in 1983 at Tanjung Kidurong. Following a privatisation exercise, Bintulu Port Sdn Bhd (BPSB) was founded on 23 December 1992 and commenced operation on 1 January 1993. BPA is currently responsible for regulatory exercises and security of the port. Meanwhile, BPSB is responsible for cargo handling at the Bintulu International Container Terminal (BICT). The port also provides Vessel traffic service to shipping vessels. The annual total cargo throughput is 45.4 million tonnes, consisting of 58% LNG and 42% non-LNG products. As of 31 December 2014, it generated a total revenue of RM 552.3 million per year. Bintulu Port is the busiest port in Sarawak.
The ASEAN Bintulu Fertiliser plant is the anhydrous ammonia and granular plant operated by ASEAN Bintulu Fertiliser Sdn Bhd (ABF), which is partly owned by Petronas. The company was formed on 6 December 1980. The plant started operation on 1 October 1985. It is also one of the largest granular urea plants in Asia. It is a joint venture by five ASEAN countries: Malaysia (63.5% shares), Thailand (13%), Indonesia (13%), Vietnam (9.5%), and Singapore (1%).
Cahya Mata Sarawak Berhad (CMSB), one of the largest publicly traded companies in Sarawak, set up a cement plant in Bintulu at Kidurong Industrial Estate. The plant, manned by 40 people, produces ordinary Portland cement and Portland blast furnace cement. It currently has a combined production capacity of 2.75 million MT (million tonnes).
The Bintulu combined cycle power plant was started in early 2010 with a capacity of 317 megawatts. The power plant is registered under the United Nations Clean Development Management (CDM) scheme as of 18 September 2010. The plant is built to ensure efficient use of energy and reduce green house gas emissions. It is the first CDM power plant in Malaysia, currently operated by Sarawak Power Generation Sdn Bhd (SPG), a wholly owned subsidiary of Sarawak Energy.
Bintulu has a population of over 114,058 people. Bintulu also forms the centre of the wider Bintulu Division which has a population of over 219,529 people. It is also a part of the larger Sarawak state.
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Twin Towns - Sister Cities Bintulu has links with:🇮🇩 Singkawang, Indonesia