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Skyline of Bintulu  民都鲁
Nickname(s): "Energy Town of Sarawak"
Bintulu  民都鲁 is located in Malaysia
Bintulu  民都鲁
Coordinates: 3°10′24″N 113°2′36″E / 3.17333°N 113.04333°E / 3.17333; 113.04333
Country  Malaysia
State  Sarawak
Establishment Uncertain (ceded to Rajah Brooke from Brunei Sultanate in 1861)
 • Bintulu Development Authority (BDA) General Manager Tuan Hj. Mohidin Ishak[1]
 • Total 2,515 km2 (1,563 sq mi)
Population (2014)[citation needed]
 • Total 208,000
 • Rank fourth largest urban area in Sarawak
Time zone MST (UTC+8)
 • Summer (DST) Not observed (UTC)

Bintulu /bnˈtl/ is a coastal town, and the capital of Bintulu District (7,220.4 square kilometres) in the Bintulu Division of Sarawak, Malaysia. It is about 650 kilometers from Kuching and about 215 kilometers from either Sibu or Miri.


The town is geographically situated half way between Kuching and Kota Kinabalu. Bintulu is a central gateway to tourist spots like Bakun Resort, Niah Caves (Gua Niah in Malay), Mulu National Park, Loagan Bunut National Park,[2] Lambir National Park, Sibuti Wildlife Sanctuary, Rejang Pelagus, Belaga and the Bario Highlands.

An Iban longhouse near Setiam, Kuala Tatau-Bintulu road
Taman Tumbina (Tumbina Park) in Bintulu


Thereafter Bintulu played a very significant role in the history of democracy in Sarawak. On 8 September 1867, it became the first meeting place of the State Legislative Assembly, the Council Negeri.[citation needed]

The Brooke family had ruled Sarawak for about 100 years before it was occupied by the Japanese from 1941 to 1945. When Charles Vyner Brooke, the Rajah, returned to Sarawak in 1946, he took steps to hand Sarawak over to Britain. Thus in July 1946, Sarawak became a British Crown Colony. Colonial rule lasted until 22 July 1963 and then on 16 September 1963 Sarawak joined the Federation of Malaysia.

Following the discovery of large reserves of natural gas offshore Bintulu in 1969, a feasibility study conducted in 1975 found in nearby Tanjung Kidurong a suitable site for Sarawak's first deep-water port.[3]

Realising the industrial potential in Bintulu, the Bintulu Development Authority (BDA) was established in 1978 by the State Government to undertake infrastructure development as well as to co-ordinate and promote industrial investment in the area.[citation needed]

The rapid urbanisation that Bintulu is facing has also led to the growth of the squatter's settlements and slums that surround the town's industrial area. The most notable is the slum area around the Sungai Plan area. The squatters' settlements are generally inhabited by the migrant workers who came from either the rural areas or the neighbouring countries (notably Indonesia). However, the local council has made significant efforts in tackling this problem by building units of low-cost homes, the most notable being the RPR Kidurong low-cost housing development.[citation needed]


Bintulu is the fourth largest town in Sarawak, after Kuching city, Miri city and Sibu town. Its current population stands at 209,800.[4] The ethnic composition is primarily Iban, Chinese, Melanau, Kayan, Kenyah, Punan and Segaan who was the local native, and a large number of foreign workers mainly from Norway, Britain, Australia, Italy and Indonesia[citation needed]with a population of over 180,000 covering an area of about 12,500 square kilometres.

However the number of voters in Bintulu is still low. During last March 8, 2008 Malaysia General Election, Bintulu has only about 50,243 registered voters against its total population of more than 180,000.[5] Ibans make up the largest number of voters of 46 percent, followed by the Chinese voters (29 percent), Malay/Melanau voters (22 percent) and others (which include Punan, Penan and Kayan) make up 3 percent of the voters.



Some remnants of natural rainforest still exist near Bintulu despite the impact of the booming logging industry and the gradual encroachment of plantations, principally of oil palm and pulpwood, the latter mainly comprising various species of acacia and eucalyptus.[citation needed]


Climate data for Bintulu
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 29.5
Daily mean °C (°F) 25.9
Average low °C (°F) 23.1
Average precipitation mm (inches) 445.8
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 19 14 15 15 13 12 14 15 16 18 20 21 192
Mean monthly sunshine hours 142.1 151.0 178.1 192.9 204.3 201.3 203.5 186.7 171.2 171.2 164.8 163.6 2,130.7
Source: NOAA[6]


The UPM Bintulu Sarawak Campus main Library
SMK Kidurong, Bintulu (2006)

Bintulu is home to one of Malaysia's public universities - the Universiti Putra Malaysia,[7] Bintulu Campus. The campus was reopened in November 2001 based on the third objective of UPM's 2001–2010 planning strategy, which is to upgrade UPM's ability as an internationally acclaimed Centre of Study, Agricultural and Biosource Services.

UPM Bintulu Sarawak Campus is situated 13 kilometers from Bintulu Town, and is surrounded by a lush environment rich in flora and fauna, and this natural abundance is fully utilised to affirm UPM's mission to further explore the fields in agriculture and biosource. This campus covers an area of 715.16 hectares and will be able to accommodate up to 5000 students by the year 2010.

For primary and secondary education, just as any other towns in Malaysia, Bintulu has 'Sekolah Kebangsaan' (SK) [National type schools], Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) [National Secondary School], Chinese Schools and several International Schools.

There are other National Secondary School, i.e. SMK Bandar Bintulu, SMK Kidurong, SMK Baru Bintulu, SMK Assyakirin, SMK Sebauh (Sebauh Division) & SMK Tatau (Tatau Division). SM Kai Dee (Kai Dee School)[8] is a private Chinese school in Bintulu & located at Nyabau Road. Kidurong International School[9][10][11][12] is located in Kidurong.

A Technical School of the Education Department[13] is found on a 20-hectare site, about 15 kilometres from the Bintulu Town and near to the industrial projects at Tanjung Kidurong. Built at a cost of RM15 million and completed in 1982, the school has at present 527 students pursuing various courses at the school. The school has a maximum capacity of 900 students and an annual intake of 280 students.

Bintulu was also home to Sarawak's first and only flying academy.[citation needed] Gulf Golden International Flying Academy (GGIFA) was one of only two flying academies in Malaysia which had college status (out of a total of 7 flying academies). This has since closed in 2012 due to financial difficulties.


Bintulu is accessible by air and road. The completion of the Pan Borneo Highway[14] has connected Bintulu by road to other major towns in Sarawak. Bintulu Airport is located 11 km south west of the town and is equipped to handle aircraft up to the size of a Boeing 747.

The new, modern Bintulu Airport is much bigger than the old airport. Malaysia Airlines (including its subsidiary MASwings) and AirAsia are the only airlines that fly to Bintulu. Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia operates daily flights to various destinations in the country which include Kuching, Sibu, Miri, Kota Kinabalu and Kuala Lumpur.

Bintulu is well-connected to other major urban centres in Sarawak by the Pan-Borneo Highway. The express bus services provide comfortable and cheap means of transportation all of the major towns in Sarawak. The Medan Jaya Bus Station is the Bintulu's single centre for the intercity bus services.[15] Bintulu is also served by the comfortable intracity buses whose routes serve a significant portion of the town area.


Tamu Bintulu, the main market of Bintulu town.
The streetscape along Jalan Abang Galau in Bintulu near the Tamu Bintulu market.
Downtown Bintulu, at the heart of the commercial district.

Bintulu is a major industrial centre. Its port area in Kidurong, which is located to the east of the main town hosts the Petronas Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) Complex, currently the world’s largest liquefied natural gas production facility on a single site, with an annual production of 23 million tonnes.[citation needed]

The role of the primary sector to the economy of Bintulu has greatly diminished and has been replaced by the secondary and tertiary sector. Bintulu is also equipped with several hotels that are able to cater to the needs of the town's burgeoning business communities. Furthermore, a more robust growth is anticipated in the future due to the Bintulu's position as the main urban focus for the ambitious multi-billion dollar Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE).[16][17][18]

Bintulu has a number of industries. A significant portion of its industrial activities takes place in Tanjung Kidurong Industrial Area including:

Malaysia Liquefied Natural Gas (MLNG) plantsThere are 3 liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants in Bintulu: MLNG, MLNG Dua and MLNG Tiga. Petronas, the national oil corporation, owns majority interests in these plants.[19][20]

Asean Bintulu Fertilizer (ABF) plant The Asean Bintulu Fertilizer (ABF) plant is a joint venture by five Asean countries namely Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, and Singapore. It produces anhydrous ammonia and granular urea, and is one of the largest urea plants in Asia.[21]

Shell Middle Distillate Synthesis plant The world's first commercial gas to liquids (GTL) plant—the Shell Middle Distillate Synthesis (SMDS) plant—started manufacturing operations in May 1993.[22] The SMDS technology converts natural gas into high quality synthetic fuel, waxes and speciality products that are paraffinic, colourless and odourless. Shell MDS (Malaysia) supplied the GTL fuel in the jet fuel mix used in one of the jet engine of the Airbus A380 during its test flight on alternative fuel on 1 February 2008.[23][24]

National Parks[edit]


New World Suites, the largest Mall in Bintulu
Imperial Suites Bintulu at Tanjong Batu (Coast of Rocks)

There are several hotels and a trend of mushrooming illegal budget hotels in Bintulu.

Shopping Malls[edit]

There are several new coming up shopping malls in Bintulu. Parkcity Mall is the most crowded shopping mall in Bintulu currently which the other one is City Point. There are several new coming up shopping malls in next 3-5 years. Such as Times Square Bintulu, Commerce Square, Paragon Street Mall, Town Square, Bintulu City Mall, Boulevard Shopping Mall & The Spring Bintulu.


  1. ^ BDA General Manager
  2. ^ Loagan Bunut National Park
  3. ^ Gas Utilisation in Sabah and Sarawak Malaysian Gas Association
  4. ^ Department of Statistic, 2007. Malaysia)
  5. ^ It's a hatrick for Tiong in Bintulu. accessed on 25 March. 2008
  6. ^ "Bintulu Climate Normals 1961–1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 24 March 2015. 
  7. ^ Universiti Putra Malaysia
  8. ^ SM Kai Dee SM Kai Dee website
  9. ^ Kidurong International School Website
  10. ^ Kidurong International School Handbook
  11. ^ Kidurong International School in Malaysia School Finder
  12. ^ Kidurong International School in The Outpost Network
  13. ^ Technical School of the Education Department
  14. ^ Pan Borneo Highway
  15. ^ Medan Jaya Bus Station at
  16. ^ Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy
  17. ^ SCORE set to make Sarawak a powerhouse of growth TheStar Online
  18. ^ RM110 billion investments for SCORE TheStar Online
  19. ^ Malaysia Liquefied Natural Gas plants, one of the gigantic projects in Bintulu
  20. ^ MLNG Shell's interest in MLNG
  21. ^ Asean Bintulu Fertilizer plant
  22. ^ Shell MDS Plant, one of the gigantic projects in Bintulu
  23. ^ Airbus A380 test flight on GTL fuel
  24. ^ A380 makes test flight on alternative fuel on REUTERS

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 3°10′N 113°02′E / 3.167°N 113.033°E / 3.167; 113.033