Abang Johari: Sarawak to look into mass algae cultivation for biofuel production

Abang Johari (centre) being shown the system at the Industrial Revolution 4.0 Lab.

By Karen Bong

KUCHING, June 7: Sarawak is looking into the mass cultivation of algae which is becoming the main source of biofuel production in the world owing to its rich energy content.

Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg revealed that SEDC Energy Sdn Bhd is working with Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) to establish a laboratory to undertake comprehensive research and study to determine the growth of the energy crop and oil content production.

“The algae can be a source for biofuel generation. Moreover, our algae species may not be available in other places.

“We can produce biofuels using carbon dioxide as a solvent agent to extract oil from the algae. The algae can be cultivated such as in tanks and this (biofuel) can be use in aircrafts in what is called sustainable aviation fuel (SAF),” he told the media during a doorstep interview after officiating at the Centexs International Symposium on Digital Industry Transformation 2022 at the centre near Rampangi here today.

However Abang Johari emphasised that a study must be done first to gather data and explore how Sarawak can take on this venture to create another alternative energy resource.

“I want to sponsor the research for this as algae are aplenty along the coastal area in Sarawak or whether we need to cultivate the crop in large-scale. We need to see how many tonnes of algae are needed to produce a certain amount of biofuel.

“So this sort of thing has to be studied, which could probably take two to three years. The moment we get the data, then we can produce biofuels for the aviation sector,” he said.

With Sarawak’s abundant resources, Abang Johari pointed out that utilising them is only a matter of creativity and innovation as well as adoption of Six Sigma, a data-driven methodology in processes to define, measure, analyse, improve and control a project systematically to attain its outcome.

Among those present at the event were Deputy Premier Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian, Minister of Education, Innovation and Talent Development Datuk Roland Sagah Wee Inn, Deputy Minister of Education and Innovation Dr Annuar Rapaee as well as Centexs chairman Tan Sri Morshidi Abdul Ghani and its chief executive officer (CEO) Syeed Mohd Hussien Wan Abdul Rahman. — DayakDaily