Sarawak aims to be pioneer in hydrogen economy

Abdul Aziz (third left) presenting a memento to Abang Johari (third right) as a token of appreciation to be the guest-of-honour for the earth breaking ceremony for the multi-fuel refuelling station at Darul Hana today (Oct 20, 2020).

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By Adrian Lim

KUCHING, Oct 20: Sarawak aims to be a pioneer in developing the hydrogen economy in the Southeast Asian region.

Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Husain said with greater demand for clean energy such as hydrogen in the future, Sarawak is poised to become a green energy economic powerhouse in the future.

“Besides producing zero carbon green hydrogen, SEDC Energy (Sdn Bhd) will also be conducting studies on the feasibility to manufacture or assemble hydrogen fuel cell components.

“This is part of the efforts to expand the hydrogen economy in Sarawak.

“With many countries around the world rushing to establish their own hydrogen economies in the determination to control the worsening effect of pollution, Sarawak is in the right place and right time to establish its own hydrogen economy.

“There may be some challenges in establishing such an economy now but this is how we will learn to become the experts in this field.

“Subsequently, we will be able to contribute not only to Sarawak but be known as a leader in this industry globally,” he said in his speech prior to the earth-breaking ceremony for the country’s first multi-fuel refuelling station at Darul Hana here today.

The earth-breaking ceremony was officiated at by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg today.

Citing information from the International Energy Agency (IEA), Abdul Aziz said the world’s transportation sector’s demand for hydrogen will expand significantly by 2050.

He added hydrogen could power a global fleet of more than 400 million cars, 15 to 20 million trucks and around five million buses in the next 30 years.

“All of these developments have shown us that there is enormous potential in the global hydrogen economy which is expected to reach the US$2.5 trillion mark in the future.

“And when the time comes, Sarawak will be there as the pioneer for the hydrogen economy in this region,” he added.

Concurring with Abdul Aziz, Abang Johari believed that Sarawak has vast potential to develop its hydrogen economy as the renewable energy will be in great demand in the future.

“We are the first (state) in Malaysia and possibly the first in the region to produce hydrogen.

“I know that besides Japan and South Korea, the country which uses hydrogen is Malaysia, (the use) which is in Sarawak.

“The hydrogen economy is for the future and I strongly believe that it will contribute to the economic growth of Sarawak and enable us to become a developed state,” he said.

Abang Johari pointed out that the state government has conducted research on the potential of the hydrogen economy which could be another source of revenue for the state in the future.

He observed that taxis in France, South Korea and France use hydrogen fuel to run.

Thus, Abang Johari opined that hydrogen will become an important source of renewable energy and fuel especially for the transportation sector in the future.

He also disclosed that the state government is seeking tax exemption from the federal government, in particular the Finance Minister on vehicles which use hydrogen fuel.

He asserted that it is a new item which should not be taxable.

At a press conference following the earth-breaking ceremony, Abang Johari said the world will shift towards the use of hydrogen as a new form of renewable energy in the future, citing reports from IEA.

He expressed belief that Sarawak will play a significant role in contributing to the world economy in the future adding that by 2050, the world economy will be driven by the hydrogen economy. — DayakDaily