Hydrogen buses to resume operations soon

Tan Sri Datuk Amar Abdul Aziz Husain

KUCHING: Sarawak’s hydrogen-powered bus service, which was temporarily suspended on March 18 in compliance with the nationwide movement control order (MCO), will resume operations soon.

The resumption of service will only be announced after all the buses have undergone full scheduled maintenance by technicians from the China-based manufacturer, Foshan Feichi Automobile Co., Ltd.

Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC Sarawak) chairman Tan Sri Datuk Amar Abdul Aziz Haji Husain, in a press statement on Monday (June 29), said: “Presently, the hydrogen buses are still grounded until technicians from the bus manufacturer, Foshan Feichi Automobile Manufacture Co., Ltd (Feichi) in China perform the necessary scheduled maintenance works.”

He said the technicians were scheduled to arrive in Kuching sometime last March.

They, however, could not enter Sarawak due to the existing travel restrictions imposed since the start of MCO which was part of the precautionary measures to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Apart from providing the warranty support services, the bus manufacturer was also scheduled to complete the training schedule for local technicians in Kuching as part of their continuous obligations to SEDC under the technical support agreement.

These plans, too, have been put on hold due to travel restriction related to Covid-19.

“The reliability and safety of our passengers are of utmost priority and as such, the bus service will only resume operations when every vehicle is proven to be fully roadworthy.”

Abdul Aziz said upon the resumption of service, the general public could continue to use the hydrogen-fuel bus service free of charge.

“We are pleased to note that the general public is looking forward to the resumption of service for the hydrogen-fuel buses and they can still use such services free of charge,” he added.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Abang Openg officially launched the bus service on Jan 21.

The bus service has received encouraging response from city folks and foreign tourists who can travel through major areas within Kuching city and also to Pantai Damai, Santubong on weekends.

“Rest assured that we will resume our service so that locals and tourists alike will be able to enjoy this environmental-friendly and comfortable public transport once again,” he added.

Abdul Aziz said the manufacturer had collected data on all three buses’ performance during every journey taken in Kuching since the buses arrived here.

The data, which included information on the consumption of hydrogen, voltage and current perimeters as well as the drivers’ habits, are being monitored and reflected in the manufacturer’s database in China.