Sarawak aspires to become major hydrogen exporter


SARAWAK can join the league of hydrogen-producing nations by 2050 if it succeeds in tapping into the potential of its resources to produce this renewable energy source, its Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg (picture) said.

He said the state government has been seriously embarking on the research and development (R&D) of hydrogen after studying its viability to be produced in a massive scale and its rising global demand as an energy source as touted by the European Union (EU).

“The EU Hydrogen study cited that by 2030-2050, the hydrogen market will be about US$11 trillion (RM45 trillion). During that period, Australia will be the main country that will export hydrogen, and I think we (Sarawak) can be part of that league to produce hydrogen,” he said.

Fielding a question during a webinar yesterday on “Sarawak 2021 Budget: Towards a High Income Society in 2030”, he said the state had been monitoring the development of hydrogen energy over the last three years, after taking the cue from the International Energy Commission on the need to control carbon emission while providing replacement to fossil fuel.

“It seems that other countries are monitoring us. Lately, we have received interest by Japanese companies, Sumitomo Corp and Eneos Globe Corp, a subsidiary of Nippon Oil Corp, to set up a hydrogen plant in Bintulu,” he said.

Abang Johari who is also the State Finance and Economic Planning Minister said the national oil corporation, Petroliam Nasional Bhd, had also embarked on a collaboration with Sarawak Energy Bhd to carry out the R&D activities for hydrogen production.

He said the state had initiated a prototype project after studying the methods that have been employed in other countries that are already producing hydrogen as fuel, such as in Germany, Italy, France, South Korea and Scotland.

“It (the prototype project) seems to be quite successful although the cost is still expensive. I noticed it is viable and we have to keep on doing research and development on this particular subject of hydrogen,” he added.