KOTA TINGGI, Aug 7 — The development of the Pengerang Integrated Petroleum Complex (PIPC) since 2013 has opened up a host of business opportunities for young enterprising locals in this once-sleepy hollow of Pengerang on the southern tip of Johor.
Located about 100 kilometres from Johor Bahru, it used to be surrounded by oil palm and rubber plantations and the district is better known for popular resorts in Desaru and Batu Layar, about 50 km away.
Nonetheless, all that changed when PIPC took shape in Pengerang and when giant tankers began calling at the complex, hundreds of food stalls and shops sprouted up along the road to serve thousands of people in the industry.
Among those who saw opportunities in the development was a 28-year-old man dabbling in clean water supply to vessels docking off the complex.
Captain Mohd Hafiq Mohd Taib, the managing director of Belungkor Services Sdn Bhd, said the company now operates four private boats to send about 300 tonnes of water to ships berthing in the waters of Sungai Santi and Sungai Johor.
Mohd Hafiq who took over the business from his father Mohd Taib Mohd Tahir, 63, said the company could supply up to 1,000 tonnes of water daily as it has its own reservoir which processed treated water similar to the standard of Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (SYABAS) and Syarikat Air Johor (SAJ).
“In a month, we can sell up to 7,000 tonnes of water at RM35 per tonne depending on the season. Ships need clean water for their daily consumption during their extended journeys,” he told Bernama recently.
Mohd Hafiq said tankers used to produce clean water through condensation using the ship’s engine heat but it resulted in heavier consumption of costly fuel.
“So my father got the idea to supply ships with clean water and we sought the assistance of experts from SAJ, Chemistry Department and Health Ministry to ensure the quality and cleanliness of water,” he added.
According to him, four companies are operating the same business in Singapore, but he is the sole supplier in Pengerang.
Mohd Hafiq said he received exposure on the business since he was eight and had attained maritime education at Pelita Academy in Batang Kali, Selangor.
Currently he is running the business with 20 workers and crew members round the clock.
“We also have to go through inspections by the Customs, Marine and Immigration departments every time our ships go out to deliver water,” he said.
In this regard, he called on youths to seize the employment opportunities created within their vicinity and to be bold in getting into business as well. — Bernama