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Financiers inspired by the fruits of their labour

Monday, 15 April 2019, Kuching – It is always inspiring to be able to see the fruits of your labour – to know how your efforts at planning and coordination, which take place in the office, can lead to bringing a positive change to people’s lives. Such was the feeling of Lebuhraya Borneo Utara’s (LBU) recent group of guests who were able to see the impact of their efforts, from the drawing board to construction on the ground.

Last week, LBU hosted a team of senior officials from the Ministry of Finance, DanaInfra and banks on a 3-day visit covering Sibu and Kuching from 9 till 11 April 2019. Their feedback? Being in Sarawak and touring the project gave them more understanding, deeper knowledge about the challenges of highway construction, and greater insight into the building the Pan Borneo Highway Sarawak.

The visitors were excited to see first-hand the progress made in implementing this mega project, and meeting the passionate team building it.

The visit began in Sibu with a briefing on the works packages of the Central Region – covering WPCs 05, 06, 07 and 08. Having been impressed with the drone videos showing kilometres and kilometres of completed and nearly completed 1st carriageway, the visitors later took to the road for a site visit to ‘see and feel’ the project’s progress at WPC 07 Julau Section. Leading the visitors was LBU’s Head of Construction, Ir. Ng Chin Meng.

Prior to that was a visit to Batang Rajang Bridge at Durin where the visitors were briefed on progress made at Pan Borneo Highway Sarawak’s longest bridge using the balanced cantilever construction method with incremental segments pushed in to position.

The following day, the visitors were given a detailed briefing by LBU’s Managing Director, Haji Zaidee Abang Hipni, and Chief Executive Officer, Ir. Safuani Abdul Hamid, on the overall progress of the entire Pan Borneo Highway Sarawak project. As at end March 2019, overall physical progress achieved was 39.32%, overall financial progress achieved stood at 42.07%.

In the afternoon, the visitors made their way to experience the completed Telok Melano to Sematan stretch (WPC 01) and enjoyed the scenery at KM 0.000 Pan Borneo Highway Sarawak. The completed road which has since provided easy access to Telok Melano, paving the way for the growth of tourism at Sarawak’s south-western most tip. Along the way, the visitors passed through WPC 02 Sematan to Sg. Moyan stretch.

Pan Borneo Highway is being funded through a mix of Government’s Development Expenditure budget and Sukuk (Islamic bonds) raised in the local market by a team of banks acting as joint lead arranger. Having supported the progress of the project since inception, and especially through the raising of sufficient funds in timely manner, the visit enabled the finance officials and bankers to see and understand the important impact of their efforts on development of society.