Abang Johari refuelling a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle as a symbolic gesture of the launch of Southeast Asia’ first integrated hydrogen production plant and refuelling station. Among those looking on are Hamed Sepawi (left), Assistant Minister for Rural Electricity Supply Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi (third left) and Utilities Minister Datuk Seri Stephen Rundi Utom (fourth left).

CM launches SEA’s first integrated hydrogen plant, refuelling station

KUCHING: Sarawak’s green energy agenda achieved a significant milestone yesterday with the launch of Southeast Asia’ first integrated hydrogen production plant and refuelling station and its first hydrogen-powered vehicles.

The facility comprises a plant built by Sarawak Energy Berhad that produces hydrogen through electrolysis, as well as a refuelling station for Sarawak’s first hydrogen buses owned and managed by Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC).

The construction and operations of the hydrogen production plant and refuelling station was undertaken by Sarawak Energy in collaboration with Linde EOX Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Linde Malaysia, which is among the world’s leading industrial gases and engineering companies.

The collaboration provides a platform for knowledge-sharing and transfer of technology, allowing Sarawak Energy to explore in-situ the development of hydrogen as a fuel for the future.

Through the facility, Sarawak Energy is exploring the potential of hydrogen as part of the state’s energy mix for its green transportation system as well as energy storage with export potential.

The production plant is able to produce 130kg of hydrogen per day at a purity of 99.999 per cent and is capable of supporting and fully fuelling up to five buses and ten cars per day.

Abang Johari refuelling a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle as a symbolic gesture of the launch of Southeast Asia’ first integrated hydrogen production plant and refuelling station. Among those looking on are Hamed Sepawi (left), Assistant Minister for Rural Electricity Supply Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi (third left) and Utilities Minister Datuk Seri Stephen Rundi Utom (fourth left). Photo: Ramidi Subari

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg officially launched the facility at Sarawak Energy Berhad Western Regional Office, here yesterday.

In his speech, he said that the world is shifting towards green energy, and Sarawak being practical, must contribute its part to mitigate climate change.

“I must clarify that we are not that ambitious, but we have to be practical. When we use hydrogen in vehicles, it is clean fuel, it releases zero harmful emission rather than carbon dioxide which is polluting the environment,” he pointed out.

However, he said people are sceptical about why the state wanted to use hydrogen, and whether it was safe.

“I tell you a story what convinced me. I too was worried about safety initially. I saw this hydrogen car; its station was near Eiffel Tower in Paris. If it is dangerous, they would not have it there. That convinced me it was safe,” he said.

He then said after having more hydrogen plants, the state would also shift towards hydrogen-run buses for its public transportation, because when current batteries are disposed of, the lithium could be harmful to the environment.

“We cannot depend on fossil fuel or else we will deplete our natural resources. Here we have lots of rain and enough hydropower to generate hydrogen.”

Meanwhile, SEDC chairman Tan Sri Datuk Amar Abdul Aziz Husain said that Sarawak has secured three hydrogen buses through working with Foshan Feichi Automobile Manufacture Co. Ltd, China. They will be used in a pilot project to demonstrate the capabilities of hydrogen technology in public transportation in the state.

“We are solidly supporting the emission-free vehicle programme which is part of the state’s long-term plan in ensuring that the public transportation system runs on clean energy in order to protect the state’s environment.

“We must all do our part in reducing current reliance on fossil fuel which has been proven to be unsustainable in the long run and it is also detrimental to our environment,” he said.

Sarawak Energy chairman Datuk Amar Abdul Hamed Sepawi, who also spoke at the function, said in supporting the state’s agenda, the company has four electric cars and 24 electric scooters as part of its corporate fleet, and have acquired two Hyundai NEXOs electric vehicles powered by hydrogen.

“We have built Southeast Asia’s first integrated hydrogen production plant and refuelling station. This allows us to harvest green hydrogen as the first steps towards enabling a hydrogen-based economy and in building a green energy future for the transportation sector in the state,” he said.

Also present was Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri James Jemut Masing.

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