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SEDC Energy to mass produce electrolysers

SEDC Energy to mass produce electrolysers

24 Jan 2023

SEDC Energy Sdn Bhd will invest in a manufacturing plant in Bintawa Industrial Estate here for the mass production of electrolysers by next year.

The wholly-owned subsidiary of Sarawak Economic Development Corp (SEDC) is currently working together with Petroliam Nasional Bhd (PETRONAS) to produce electrolysers using technology that has been developed by the national oil company, according to SEDC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Hussain.

An electrolyser is an apparatus which separates hydrogen and oxygen molecules from water using electricity. Via the electrolysis process, the electrolyser system creates hydrogen gas.

In July 2022, SEDC Energy signed a supply arrangement on hydrogen production technology with PETRONAS Technology Ventures Sdn Bhd to expand the application of green hydrogen technologies in Sarawak.

The arrangement covers the supply and operation of PETRONAS’ proprietary Proton Exchange Membrane electrolyser for the production of green hydrogen that would be delivered to Petroleum Sarawak Bhd or Petros’ three-in-one multi-refuelling stations in Darul Hana and Batu Kawa here which were built by SEDC Energy.

These refuelling stations offer conventional fuel, electric charging and hydrogen refuelling for vehicles. Similar refuelling stations have also been planned in other major towns in Sarawak.

Abdul Aziz said besides producing electrolysers to meet the demand in Sarawak, SEDC Energy is looking into supplying electrolysers to other countries, including those which have requested Sarawak to produce for them.

“We need to produce hydrogen because it is possible that the automated rapid transit (ART) that will be operating next year will require about two tonnes of hydrogen per day and we need to ramp up to five tonnes per day,” he added after witnessing the delivery of several units of Toyota Mirai, a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, at Menara Pilita here last week.

Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg received one unit of Toyota Mirai while Sarawak Energy Bhd got four units.

Johari said the mass production of electrolysers will help to reduce the cost of producing hydrogen, which is currently quite expensive, in the next five to 10 years.

According to the premier, the high-tech Toyota Mirai can travel 1,000kms on a single “tank” of hydrogen, which is the distance between Kuching (in southern Sarawak) and Limbang (Northern Sarawak), and only needs three to four minutes to be refuelled.

Another SEDC’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Sarawak Metro Sdn Bhd, has been tasked by the Sarawak government to implement the RM6bil Kuching Urban Transport System (KUTS) project.

Under KUTS ART phase one, covering 69.9kms, it will involve the construction and operation of three lines (the Blue, Red and Green Line) and 31 stations in the Kuching and Samarahan divisions.

The ART vehicle is a hybrid vehicle – a cross between a train, bus and tram – powered by hydrogen fuel cells, and uses rubber tyres and runs on virtual tracks on dedicated lanes. The ART will have three coaches, and each can accommodate 100 passengers.

According to KUTS project director Zafrin Zakaria, SEDC Energy will construct and operate a hydrogen production plant next to the ART and feeder bus depot in Rembus.

The Rembus depot on 33ha is scheduled to begin operations in the second half of 2025, which coincides with the opening of stage one of ART passenger service for the Blue Lane.

Abdul Aziz said there was a need to further develop and improve the technology for electrolysers in the coming years. “Hopefully, we will be able to have a larger plant for mass production of hydrogen in Bintulu later.”

In September 2022, SEDC Energy inked a memorandum of understanding with South Korean companies – Samsung Engineering, Lotte Chemical and Posco Holdings – to build a large-scale green hydrogen plant (H2biscus project) in the petrochemical hub, Tanjung Kidurong in Bintulu.

The plant is expected to produce 220,000 tonnes of green hydrogen, 630,000 tonnes of green ammonia and 600,000 tonnes of blue ammonia per year.

Source: The Star