- Yong Ing Huong: Challenges in the Sand and Gravel industry
Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy is business opportunity.
Review to the shipping industrial history in Sibu, gravel is one of the most important cargos.
Managing Director of JIM FIAT GRAVEL SDN. BHD., Mr. Yong stated that: “Our Company was only established in year 1997 but our vessels had involved in carried logs and sand since year 1988. We have more then 20 years experience in the sand and gravel industry. Currently our company have two dump barges are involve in dredging and washing of river sand. For the unwashed sand, it will used in the road construction and the washed sand will use in construction and making of spun pile.”
There are more than 100 dump barges involve in carrying river sand in Sibu. This is because of Rejang River is the longest river in the country and also contain much of sand. Beside Sibu, the river sand also supply to Mukah, Kuching, Bintulu and Miri.
Every industry has their rivalry in the market include the sand and gravel industry.
Yong Ing Huong stated that: “Beside the rivalry inter industrial companies; the industry also needs to meet rivalry from the soil industrial. This is because the river sand needs more operating cost compare to the soil.”
When talk about the challenges of sand and gravel industrial, Mr. Yong said: “The first challenge is rising of fuel price which increase the operating cost and the product price. The second challenge is an increasing hardware and spare parts indirectly increase the maintenance cost. The third are dredging need meet the requirement of the Marine Department, River Board, Environment Department, Land and Survey Department and Marine Police Department. To obtain the permit the operators have to spend a lot of time to make an application.
When asked about the future growth of sand and gravel industry, Mr.Yong answered: “Because Sibu more is situated at lowland area, they are needed to fill and higher the land when want to develop and construct the shopping centre, house and shop houses. In the palm estates, they have a higher demand of sand to build the roads. Besides, Sarawak is now under develops follow a Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy planning and this is also the biggest project in Sarawak. This project is started from the Bintulu until Tanjung Manis so a lot of sand is needed for the project.
‘Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy project’ includes the shipyard building and the ‘Halal food base’. When the international airport is complete, it will sure to flourish the area around and indirectly bringing much opportunity to the sand and gravel industry.
Shipping takes an important part in the development. All operators should prepare the good equipment and good services to ensure of industry growing.