KUCHING: Sarawak plans to set up three-in-one fuel stations catering for vehicles powered by fossil fuel, electricity and hydrogen fuel cells.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said five stations will be built initially, starting at the end of this year.
“I have directed Petros (Petroleum Sarawak Bhd) and the Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) to set up three-in-one refuelling stations throughout the state.
“That is our next move,” he told reporters after launching Sarawak Energy Bhd’s (SEB) integrated hydrogen production plant and refuelling station here on Monday (May 27).
Abang Johari said the hydrogen plant and refuelling station – touted as the first in South-East Asia – were in line with the state government’s green energy agenda.
He said Sarawak, with five hydropower dams, had the potential to produce hydrogen from water as an alternative source of energy.
“The Sarawak government is going in the direction of green energy. We have hydropower, now we are producing hydrogen.
“This is still under research but we believe over time, there will be new technology that will make the process cheaper,” he said.
Abang Johari also said Sarawak could potentially export hydrogen in the future.
“There is already interest shown by one country to invest and set up a plant to produce hydrogen and they buy it back. This country wants to replace nuclear fuel with hydrogen,” he said, adding that he could not reveal the country as the matter was still being negotiated.
Earlier, SEB chairman Datuk Amar Abdul Hamed Sepawi said the hydrogen plant can produce 130kg of hydrogen daily and is capable of fully refuelling up to five fuel cell buses and 10 fuel cell cars per day.
At present, three buses operated by SEDC and two cars in SEB’s corporate fleet will be served by the facility.
“We are working together with SEDC, who leads the hydrogen-fuelled bus pilot project to improve and green our public transportation system.
“In addition, we have added two Hyundai Nexo hydrogen fuel cell vehicles into our corporate fleet,” Abdul Hamed said.
SEDC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Husain said the buses would be used as a pilot project to demonstrate the capabilities of hydrogen fuel cell technology for public transport in Sarawak.
He said the buses will commence operations as soon as SEDC receives the necessary permits from the relevant authorities