Sabah’s ASB to unveil blueprint to tackle challenges in next decade

Sabah’s ASB to unveil blueprint to tackle challenges in next decade

LABUAN,. Sabah government’s linked-company Asian Supply Base Sdn Bhd (ASB) will unveil a blueprint next month as it braces itself against challenges in the next decade.

The way forward plan will enable the offshore supply base and logistic hub to implement its core business activities more efficiently to cater to the revival of Labuan’s oil and gas (O&G) industry.

“The way forward plan will get us not to do what we used to do before traditionally, but rather moving towards digitalisation and continuing the ongoing development plans which will benefit the people on the island economically,” ASB chief executive officer Datuk Haris Tan said.

He said the whole plan was formulated in collaboration with the Sabah government in the interest of Labuan’s economy.

The Labuan-based ASB, a stocking point for offshore drilling, development and production consumables is, houses more than 100 oil and gas-related companies with 60 per cent being international O&G firms, including multinational oil companies.

Of the number, 17 per cent are in the exploration and production, while and 84 are oil field service companies such as Schlumberger, Halliburton and MMC.

More than 5,000 employees of the O&G companies are based in ASB, excluding over 1,000 ASB’s staff.

ASB, an oil and gas supply base with more than 345 acres of developed land area, is wholly owned by the Sabah government via Sabah Energy Corporation Sdn Bhd. It was incorporated in 1984.

“Do not look at ASB merely an oil and gas entity, as we also a strong job provider to the people of Labuan and Sabah, as well as socio-economy of the island.

“We want to ensure that ASB would always succeed so as Labuan’s economy continues to gain momentum,” Haris told a press conference here today.

He noted that Labuan’s economy was badly affected in the last three years and struggled to stay afloat as most of the O&G companies were having difficulties due to slumping global oil prices.

Haris said, however, the situation improved steadily since January this year with increased oil and gas-related activities.

“We begin to see the leap with people at the bottom of the workforce starting to work overtime in the round-the-clock operation, thus increasing their purchasing power.

“We expect a few drilling activities to start in April, then May, with the highest peak in June, where, we are looking at a lot of oil rigs towards the year-end. It will a good year for Labuan and it will spillover until 2020,” he said.

Haris said oil prices were gaining momentum with the benchmark Brent crude price standing at US$66.48 (RM271.15) per barrel today and continued to pick up steadily.

“We, in ASB, have come up with a new system and logistics where managed to bring down the production and logistics cost but remained efficient and sustainable.

“As the drilling and production activities start again, we cannot be like where we were before. Moving forward, we have to come up with an innovative logistics system that will be announced in March,” he said.

Harris said ASB would continue to focus providing facilities and services tailored to the requirements of O&G companies which were involved in exploration, development and production activities in whatever oil price scenario.

“We are working closely with Petronas to bring in more exploration activities as there are emerging places around us like Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand and even Indonesia opening up supply bases.

“We are at the forefront (of the industry) as we have been operational for 35 years… We have the infrastructure, experience… ASB is a world-class standard supply base,” he said.

Haris said ASB was upgrading its facilities with new and large equipments to cater to the increasing demand from industry players.

“In the oil and gas industry, there are two things to focus on — cost-effectiveness and efficiency. Now we are moving in tandem with the competitiveness and highly-demand requirements of health, safety and environment, good delivery in logistics and system, and competitive rates,” he said. — Bernama