Belait Shipping and Qess have worked with China as a key partner in the construction of oil and gas vessels, including the Belait CSS 1, a multi-million dollar well-intervention vessel built in Fujian. As a Bruneian pioneer in overseas shipbuilding, Belait Shipping and Qess continue to explore opportunities abroad. Mr. Awang Haji Ali, Belait Shipping’s executive chairman and Qess’s managing director, explains more.
Why have you repeatedly worked with China as a shipbuilding partner?
China is a huge investor. That’s putting it mildly. Chinese investors mainly look to engage us in vessel production and technical matters. In the past, most of our clients didn’t want a vessel that was built in China. This is not the case today, as the Chinese have managed to bring up quality whilst keeping costs down.
What makes the Belait CSS1 unique?
The Belait CSS1 was primarily built as a well-intervention vessel, a first of its kind, to support oil production in Brunei. We received it from China in late 2014, and it can also be used as a “floatel” – a floating hotel. It’s very technologically advanced and costs about 526 million yuan ($80 million).
How are Belait Shipping and Qess’s roles different in the offshore energy industry?
Belait Shipping is the first local company to build vessels overseas and we mainly focus on technical services. Qess is an offshore contractor currently conducting painting contracts, as well as wire-wrap screens, which we are the only provider of in Brunei.
What are your future ambitions?
To build more vessels and eventually form mergers as a stepping stone into the international arena.