Dr Yii questions cost-effectiveness of Sarawak’s hydrogen venture

Dr Kelvin Yii

KUCHING, Oct 22: The question on whether the hydrogen economy Sarawak is venturing into is cost-effective remains debatable.

This is the view of Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii as he opined that the majority of Sarawakians would not be able to even afford refilling their vehicles with hydrogen.

To support his claim, he revealed some cost calculations for the processing of hydrogen from water, compression of hydrogen for storage, transportation and finally distribution of hydrogen to the multi-fuel refuelling stations.

From there, he cited an example of the hydrogen fuel-cell Hyundai Nexo with a 6.3kg capacity to cost more than RM160 for a single refill of hydrogen.

“And yet this price does not include the profit margin, capital, operational and maintenance cost which will definitely increase the price up to RM200 per refill.

“Not only is the cost of hydrogen car beyond the reach of most ordinary Sarawakians, but majority will not be able to afford the cost of pumping hydrogen into their vehicles,” he explained, adding that the Hyundai Nexo alone costs approximately RM300,000.

In stating this, Dr Yii urged Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg to reconsider the state’s direction into the hydrogen economy and reveal to the people the economic feasibility study and cost-effectiveness analysis of such plans.

“In order to convince Sarawakians that this is a worth-while direction, the state should head it.

“It is only right that they (state government) reveal all the necessary information to the public so that there is proper scrutiny to avoid unnecessary spending of funds meant for the people on mega projects that will just turn out to be a huge financial burden to the state in the long run,” he added in a statement today.

With that, he suggested the Sarawak government to consider battery technology and electric vehicles (EVs) instead, seeing that the state already has abundant renewable resources to support the alternative and thus would be cheaper.

“Just because we (Sarawak) have the money or a big reserve, we do not want our money to be spent simply on projects that are not cost-effective for the people and probably meant only to enrich certain groups of people (with) big contracts,” he added. — DayakDaily