Royal consent for BEDB project

The Brunei Economic Development Board (BEDB) yesterday announced that His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam has consented to the implementation of a pilot scheme to build 2,000 houses for the people of Brunei Darussalam under the government's National Housing Scheme.

The 2,000 houses and supporting infrastructure will be built under the National Development Plan on a 180-hectare greenfield site at Kampong Pandan in Kuala Belait within a record time of 24 months.

In accordance to the requirements of the National Housing Scheme, 60 per cent of the development will comprise terrace houses and 40 per cent will be semi-detached houses.

This is the largest number of houses ever built within this period of time in Brunei Darussalam and reflects the care and commitment of His Majesty for the welfare of the people of this country. The project will help to reduce the long waiting list for houses under the National Housing Scheme.

The speedy implementation of the pilot scheme in the face of a global economic slowdown is a much welcomed stimulus for the Brunei economy as the project is expected to benefit a number of different sectors besides construction including building materials, the retail industry and services.

The project will be implemented by Bina Puri Holdings Bhd, a Malaysian publicly listed construction company with operations in Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, UAE, Indonesia and Pakistan. Bina Puri Holdings has a strong track record in building large-scale infrastructure projects internationally including the construction of 40,000 housing units in Thailand.

Bina Puri Holdings was appointed with the consent of His Majesty following an international tender. The appointment was based on the company's track record at executing large-scale projects speedily and the lowest tender price it submitted.

According to the BEDB's infrastructure division, the cost per house in Bina Puri's tender price is lower than in previous contracts awarded under the National Housing Scheme as a result of greater efficiency and economies of scale. "There will be savings for the government in terms of both time and money," said Mr Geoffrey Shim, Senior Executive Engineer with the BEDB. - Borneo Bulletin (26th Feb 2009)