Brunei economy: Work begins on a major infrastructure project

Event

In mid–January construction work began on a 607–metre bridge across the Brunei River that will connect the subdistrict of Lumapas with the Bruneian capital, Bandar Seri Begawan.

Analysis

In the context of Brunei’s small economy, the Sungai Kebun bridge is a major infrastructure project, with a value of Br$139m (around US$115m). It is being constructed as part of the country’s Tenth National Development Plan. A consortium including Daelim Industrial of South Korea, Swee (a local building firm), and TRC of Malaysia is handling the construction of Brunei’s first cable-stayed bridge, which is expected to be completed by 2016.

According to the Department of Roads, around 18,000 vehicles travel from Lumapas to Bandar Seri Begawan every day, a number that is expected to increase with the construction of government-subsidised housing in Lumapas. The government expects around 9,000 of these vehicles to use the bridge from 2016, considerably shortening journey times and reducing traffic congestion.

Around 500 jobs in the local construction industry are being created by the bridge construction project. Daelim recently said that it was considering taking up more infrastructure projects in the sultanate, and the local minister of development, Suyoi Osman, indicated that a number of road bypasses, expansions and interchange projects would be opened up for tenders from construction companies.

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