Sarawak plans to export green hydrogen

KUCHING (BERNAMA) – Sarawak is planning to export green hydrogen overseas by developing a plant to produce the gas in Bintulu through a collaboration with two
Japanese companies.

A tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to build the plant was signed on Friday by Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) subsidiary SEDC Energy Sdn Bhd, Sumitomo Corporation and Eneos.

Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg who witnessed the virtual signing ceremony via Zoom application said the state aimed to leverage the abundant raw materials it has, to produce hydrogen.

“This includes cheap electricity tariffs produced by our dams via hydropower to produce the hydrogen gas in a cost-effective way, where the production system would be viable to achieve sustainability in the long haul,” he said at the ceremony.

He said hydrogen economy is not just a promotional gimmick but the latest trend in pursuit of renewable energy among developed countries like Japan, the European Union, China and the United States.

“The timing of today’s MoU by SEDC, Sumitomo and Eneos is just nice because the large-scale hydrogen production facility in Bintulu can be completed and ready by 2023 to meet the needs of potential buyers,” he said.

As the use of hydrogen-powered vehicles is expected to pick up by then, he said the state-of-the-art plant can be scalable and further expanded for production of 10,000 tonnes per year as the need arises.

Since the project is still at the research and development stage, he said there would be further development especially on cost-reduction measures.

Meanwhile, SEDC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Husain said the signing ceremony would mark a significant step to define the roles of the parties involved to study the development of the proposed plant at the Bintulu Petrochemical Park.

Once completed, the plant would have the capacity to export zero-carbon or green hydrogen to Japan and other countries as the partnership could generate good investments and job creation for Sarawak, he said.

“The MoU signing also reflects SEDC’s corporate strategy of having good partners worldwide who can become an important asset to its business endeavour moving forward,” he added.