Sustainability and Renewable Energy Forum (SAREF)
KUCHING: The Sarawak government will construct six more hydrogen refilling stations to cater for the anticipated needs of the transportation sector and to develop the state’s green energy agenda.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said that two of the six stations would be located in Kuching, while Sri Aman, Sibu, Bintulu, and Miri would have one station each.
He said that South East Asia’s first integrated hydrogen productions plant and refuelling station was commissioned in Kuching this year by Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) working with Linde Industrial Gases Malaysia.
“It is a pilot research facility that is generating a greater understanding of how we can green the transportation sector,” he said when speaking at the Sustainability and Renewable Energy Forum (Saref) at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here, yesterday.
He said the outcome of the research would guide the state in its next steps for the application of hydrogen and fuel cells here.
“Its success will benefit Sarawak by opening potential opportunities for export on global markets,” Abang Johari said.
He pointed out that Sarawak provided an ideal setting for enabling a hydrogen economy due to the state’s abundant hydropower resources, which enable the production of clean hydrogen from source.
“Moving forward, we will continue to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels so that our people will be able to enjoy modern and efficient public transportation with minimal impact on the environment,” he said.
The chief minister said that in addition to turning the global push for energy decarbonisation into opportunities to progress renewable energy, Sarawak was also capitalising on other energy disruptors such as digitalisation to improve and innovate.
“We are studying and looking into building smart cities with smart power grids which encompass the Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data to improve efficiency, sustainability, and citizen welfare.
“All this requires energy, so it is inevitable that we achieve energy security first for this next phase of development to take shape,” he said.
He emphasised that Sarawak had the ability and resources to move ahead in its renewable energy agenda and the state government aimed to realise this through policies aligned with international best practices, leveraging on technology and its improving expertise.
Also present at the forum were United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) goodwill ambassador Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh, Utilities Minister Datuk Seri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom, Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian, SEB chairman Datuk Amar Abdul Hamed Sepawi, and SEB group chief executive officer Datuk Sharbini Suhaili.