Into a new era of fuel supply

Posted on : 30 Jul 2018  Source of News: The Borneo Post Online
 

Abang Johari (third right) gestures while taking a closer look at a model of the hydrogen production plant and refuelling station. With him are Utilities Minister Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom (third left), Sarawak Energy group CEO Sharbini Suhaili (left), Sarawak Energy chairman Datuk Amar Hamed Sepawi (right), Assistant Minister of Rural Electricity Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi (second right) and Assistant Minister of Water Supply Datuk Liwan Lagang (fourth right). — Photos by Muhammad Rais Sanusi

KUCHING: Sarawak has great potential to become a net exporter of mixed gas, particularly hydrogen, once the construction of Sarawak Energy Berhad’s hydrogen production plant and refuelling station here is completed.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said the facility, which is being built by Sarawak Energy in partnership with Linde Malaysia – part of the global Linde Group and a leading industrial gas supplier in Malaysia – will also mark a significant milestone for the state as this will be the first dedicated refuelling station for transportation in Southeast Asia.

“The gas industry has transformed because of the need to have clean environment these days. Previously, we were producing oxygen and we are also producing LNG (liquefied natural gas).

“Maybe one day, we will be producing hydrogen to the world especially if producing hydrogen in Sarawak is comparatively cheaper against our peers. If that happens, then we can transform the state to be a net exporter of gas overseas and promote the use of green energy to the world,” he said when performing the earth-breaking ceremony for the pilot facility at Sarawak Energy’s Western Region Office here yesterday.

Abang Johari (seventh right) together with Dr Rundi (eighth right), Sharbini (ninth right), Hamed (sixth right), Liwan (third right), Dr Abdul Rahman (fifth right) and others give the thumbs-up as they pose next to an excavator used for the earth-breaking ceremony of the hydrogen production plant and refuelling station.

Abang Johari commended Sarawak Energy for taking up the challenge to spearhead a feasibility study on hydrogen and fuel cell applications in the state last year, which has resulted in the setting-up of the pilot hydrogen production plant and refuelling station.

“The ceremony this afternoon (yesterday) is very important as I’ve promised last year that in 2018, we will start doing something on hydrogen and this July, I fulfilled my promise to the people of Sarawak to have this pilot hydrogen production plant and refuelling station.”

The hydrogen production plant and refuelling station is scheduled for completion in the first quarter of 2019 and will be built next to Sarawak Energy’s Western Region Office at Jalan Belian here.

Abang Johari hoped that Sarawak Energy can next look towards getting buses here run on hydrogen.

Abang Johari (centre) witnessing the exchange of MoU between Sharbini (third right) and Hughes (third left). Looking on are Dr Rundi (second left), Dr Abdul Rahman (left), Liwan (second right) and others.

“We have three buses using hydrogen in Kuching and if these buses are available as research pilot buses, perhaps after that, Sarawak government can give free public transport to the people of Kuching.

“However, this is not a promise yet but just a matter of what will be the result from this research and development,” he remarked.

Later, Abang Johari witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Sarawak Energy and Linde Malaysia to explore potential markets for hydrogen and to undertake a joint technical study to assess the technology of the whole value chain.

Signing on behalf of Sarawak Energy was its group chief executive officer Sharbini Suhaili while Linde Malaysia was represented by its South Asia and Asean regional managing director Rob Hughes.

Among those present were Utilities Minister Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom, Assistant Minister of Water Supply Datuk Liwan Lagang, Assistant Minister of Rural Electricity Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi and Sarawak Energy chairman Datuk Amar Hamed Sepawi.