Investment in hydrogen to generate spillover into Sarawak's economy, say industry players - MIDA | Malaysian Investment Development Authority
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Investment in hydrogen to generate spillover into Sarawak’s economy, say industry players

Investment in hydrogen to generate spillover into Sarawak’s economy, say industry players

14 Jun 2024

Sarawak’s bold investment in hydrogen-powered public transportation is expected to generate tremendous spillover into the local economy, said international and local renewable energy industry players.

They said the rolling out of hydrogen-powered vehicles such as the autonomous rapid transit (ART) system and buses, along with the establishment of hydrogen refuelling stations, would position Sarawak as a regional hydrogen power hub.

“I think Sarawak is a fascinating prospect for hydrogen. It’s excellent. I mean it’s great to see a lot of green energy, also with hydropower but you (Sarawak) have got the prospect here of manufacturing in a green way too,” said Dr Michaela Kendall, a green energy expert from the United Kingdom.

She spoke to The Borneo Post when met during a technical visit to Petroleum Sarawak Berhad’s (Petros) multi-fuel station at Darul Hana, and to Sarawak Metro’s ART assembly facility, here yesterday.

Kendall was one of the participants at the three-day Asia Pacific Green Hydrogen (APGH)

Conference and Exhibition 2024 at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching, which ended Wednesday.

The conference brought together 611 delegates, 72 speakers and presenters, and 96 participating companies from more than 19 nations.

Describing the visits as insightful, Kendall said the move by the Sarawak government to tap the field would leverage its potential and exponential growth within the hydrogen ecosystem once the technology becomes commercially viable in the future.

“The exciting thing here is, this is the first time I’ve been on a fully electrified autonomous vehicle, so it’s a hydrogenelectrified autonomous vehicle. I can see that the system is good.

“I can see and understand the technology because I know the providers of the fuel cells. Also, I’ve seen the hydrogen refuelling station, which is great,” she said.

Kendall also expressed her interest in exploring the hydrogen market in Sarawak, adding that her company produces green energy technology and is now looking for a place to manufacture its technology.

“Also with hydropower, you’ve got the prospect of manufacturing in a green way too. So we would like to manufacture our solar oxide fuel cells using green energy.

“We have a green product and we want to use green energy to produce it. Sarawak offers a very good option for manufacturing, so this is the future technology.”

Agreeing with Kendall was Dr Nuttapong Hariwongsanupab from Thailand, who leads the hydrogen business development team of PTT Public Company Limited Thailand.

He said yesterday’s visits provided deep insights in developing hydrogen’s ecosystem.

He said the hydrogen-powered ART would leverage Sarawak holding the highest prospect in hydrogen market throughout Southeast Asia “During the ART visit, we gained deep knowledge about the tram. We discussed this as well and went into detail on how they gather the hydrogen, how they fill it, and how to put it inside.

“To me, the ART is the very most promising one is Sarawak, even in Southeast Asia, because this is the first time that I have seen the tram which has already run in the last few months,” he said.

Meanwhile, Swagelok Malaysia service manager Mohd Hafifi Ismail said Sarawak’s hydrogen development would open up more opportunities to local entities and the economy.

He said while it may be a while before the local hydrogen export market picks up, he foresees tremendous positive spoil effects from the green hydrogen investments in the near term, as many local energy industry players including Swagelok are eager to explore Sarawak’s hydrogen development.

“I think it’s a great development and business opportunity, especially on this new hydrogen development. It’s a great opportunity for local companies like us, Swagelok.

“It also opens up more opportunities in terms of supplying and supporting local development, especially on hydrogen production as well as fuel cells.

“On top of that, it will be a great opportunity in terms of skills and manpower that can be further developed by the people here. This definitely will bring a great opportunity to build up Sarawak in terms of infrastructure as well as facilities,” he said.

Source: Borneo Post