$15M hub to become heartbeat of SPARK
By Sonia K.

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam has consented to the development of the Zone Village as a single-point access administration hub for Sungai Liang Industrial Park (SPARK). This was announced yesterday by the Sungai Liang Authority (SLA).

The contract for the development of the Zone Village, according to a press release from the Sungai Liang Authority, covers a comprehensive scope from preliminary earth and construction works to the connection of utility services and commissioning works.

The contract was awarded to a local contractor, United Engineers (B) Sdn Bhd, through an open tender, which was released in October 2008.

The Zone Village will be developed on a seven-hectare plot of land located adjacent to the main entrance to SPARK, with works expected to be completed within 12 months. It will be a modern state-of-the art complex, incorporating energy efficient concepts in its design.

The purpose of this BN$15 million project, the release added, is to provide a single-point administrative hub for a sustainable development, which will accommodate facilities and services for the daily operation of SPARK, as well as for the general community.

Speaking on the expected impact the development will have on the surrounding community, YAM Pengiran Kerma Raja Pengiran Haji Kamarulzaman, Chairman of the SLA, said, "The Zone Village is the heartbeat of SPARK, which will boost activity in the area, not only generating new employment and business opportunities directly related to the development, but also in terms of enabling and strengthening multi-level relationships with our stakeholders."

When completed the Zone Village will comprise several buildings designed to cater for the different needs of the SPARK management team, SPARK's investors, other stakeholders and the community. At the heart of the development will be the SPARK Centre - a six-storey building complex, which will house an administration block, a recreation block and a Discovery Centre.

The administration block will provide office spaces and amenities for the SLA and SPARK's tenants, as well as conference and meeting rooms facilities for tenants, staff and the community. Meanwhile, the recreation block will comprise a restaurant or food court area, as well as several small scale retail and commercial units, which will provide opportunities for local SMEs. The block will also house ATM banking facilities, a post office, convenience outlets and other services.

The Discovery Centre will be an educational arena in which to promote SPARK as a globally competitive petrochemical park to potential investors and interested parties. Facilities provided will include an exhibition gallery, a mini theatre, an observation gallery, a library, conference and meeting rooms, prayer rooms and public amenities.

In addition to the SPARK Centre, the Zone Village will also contain a two-storey building with a multi-purpose hall that will provide sports facilities or host large events for tenants and the general public.

In September 2008, the Arkitek Idris Consortium was awarded a contract to provide architectural and consultancy services for the design of the Zone Village. - Borneo Bulletin (15th May 2009)