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By Karen Bong
KUCHING, Nov 23: With the first multi-fuel station in Malaysia and perhaps Southeast Asia at Darul Hana here nearing completion and expected to be operational by next month or early next year, construction will begin on a second station at MJC Batu Kawa following an official groundbreaking ceremony today.
Built and operated by Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) Energy and licensed to use by Sarawak-owned Petrolium Sarawak Berhad’s (Petros) brand, the multi-fuel station will cater for regular petrol and diesel engines as well as electric charging for electric vehicles (EV) and hydrogen fuel cells refuelling.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg emphasised that in the long-term, Sarawak is also looking at building multi-fuel stations along the Pan Borneo Highway as well as the coastal highway.
“Some of the stations will be like rest-and-stop areas commonly seen along Peninsular Malaysia’s interstate highways.
“We are also going to transform our public transport system with clean energy,” he said during his address at the groundbreaking ceremony for the multi-fuel station at MJC, Batu Kawa here.
SEDC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Hussain pointed out the first-of-its-kind multi-fuel station will also be set up in Sri Aman, Sibu, Bintulu and Miri.
“This multi-fuel station will be equipped with high speed charges for EVs as well as hydrogen fuel cell vehicles which is unlike any other station in Malaysia. This is in line with achieving net zero carbon emissions in the future.
“We are also planning to set up dealer operated stations in the future so that others have the opportunity to participate in this business,” he said.
According to him, the Petros multi-fuel stations are expected to minimise the need for manual labour and will be very much technology-driven with Internet of Things (IOT), automated sensors, big data analytics and cashless payments integrated to SPay Global.
“Manual labour during the operations of the station will be minimised and different skill sets will be required compared to conventional petrol stations.
“Aside from refueling, it will also provide commercial spaces for local and global brands to market their products and at the same time, spur the local economy especially in areas surrounding the station,” he added.
Aziz said such stations are needed to encourage public use of low carbon emission powered vehicles, more so when Sarawak is set to expand its hydrogen economy with the ability to produce hydrogen on a large sale given the energy resources from the State’s hydroelectric dams.
“Many people will ask why we are building such stations when there are no hydrogen cars around. But the question is, if there are no stations, will people buy hydrogen cars or do they need to have stations to encourage them?”
He said Sarawak will also look into manufacturing or assembling hydrogen fuel cell components as part of efforts to expand the hydrogen economy.
“With many countries rushing to establish their own hydrogen economies in an effort to control worsening pollution, I believe Sarawak is at the right place and time to reduce carbon emissions,” he added.
Minister for Local Government and Housing Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian, Petros chairman Tan Sri Hamid Bugo and Economic Planning Unit (EPU) director Datu Muhammad Abdullah Zaidel were among those present. — DayakDaily