Council set up to oversee technology and energy research

Abang Johari (left) chairs a press conference with Hamed at Wisma SEB.

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KUCHING, Nov 7: The state government has set up a research council to oversee various technological and energy research efforts including research into electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cells.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said this was done in pursuit of sustainable development to achieve high income status by 2030 where technological innovation will play a major role in realising this vision.

“The state government, under my direction, is forming a research council to oversee various sectors including technology.

“One primary area of focus will be energy related areas such as alternative energy potential, electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel research.

“Sarawak Energy (SEB) has been entrusted to spearhead this starting with research in hydrogen fuel application in the state.

“As such, I am pleased to announce that SEB is setting up a team to do this,” he said at a press conference held at SEB Complex here today.

He said SEB’s research in hydrogen and fuel cells will form an integral part of the government’s new emphasis in developing the state, leveraging on research and development towards reaching the 2030 vision.

The findings and recommendations from this study will be shared with the research council, he said.

“We are taking pioneering steps to explore the commercial and public application of hydrogen and fuel cell technology with this study.

“It is hoped that hydrogen can be the primary fuel of choice for areas such as the transportation sector and energy storage as the technology matures and becomes commercially attractive in the future,” said Abang Johari.

From left: Mohd Morshidi, Rundi, Abang Johari, Hamed and others at the press conference at Wisma SEB today.

He said Sarawak aspired to transform the public transportation sector with clean and green technologies such as hydrogen and fuel cell technology which are known to be clean since water is the only byproduct in the process of producing electricity.

Meanwhile, SEB chairman Datuk Amar Abdul Hamed Sepawi said SEB was honoured to be given the trust of the state government to lead the research initiative.

“SEB has reduced its carbon generation intensity by over 70 per cent since 2009 with Bakun and Murum hydroelectric plants coming into the generation mix.

“Hydrogen and fuel cells can complement hydropower and extend the use of this alternative energy source in other applications such as the transportation sector.

“In responding to the state government’s call, we have set up a team under the guidance of SEB Group CEO Sharbini Suhaili to conduct a feasibility study on hydrogen and fuel cell development,” said Hamed.

Also present were Utilities Minister Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom, State Secretary Tan Sri Mohd Morshidi Abdul Ghani and Sharbini. — DayakDaily