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Sarawak step closer to becoming hydrogen hub
Published on: Saturday, June 08, 2024
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Sarawak step closer to becoming hydrogen hub
Abang Johari said the facility brings Sarawak closer to achieving its aspiration as a hydrogen hub in the region and will make green hydrogen into a cost-effective energy source option for consumers.
KUCHING: Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg on Thursday launched Sarawak’s and the nation’s first electrolyser assembly and distribution facility at Demak Laut Industrial Park here.

Set as a mass electrolyser production hub, the Sarawak Electrolyser Assembly and Distribution Facility (SEA-DF) is also said to be one of the first in Southeast Asia to incorporate an automated assembly line.

Abang Johari said the facility brings Sarawak closer to achieving its aspiration as a hydrogen hub in the region and will make green hydrogen into a cost-effective energy source option for consumers.

He said the electrolysis technology used at SEA-DF would help reduce the cost of producing hydrogen which is currently quite expensive.

“The conversion of H2O into hydrogen and oxygen – this is a game changer in the process of producing hydrogen because we produce the electrolyser ourselves, meaning this facility will reduce the cost of converting water into hydrogen.

“I first saw this when I visited the Petronas research centre in Bangi in 2022. Following my visit, I requested that Petronas share this technology with us.

“Now, through collaboration with Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) Energy, we are able to establish this assembly plant. This plant not only meets domestic demands but also supplies for users outside Sarawak,” he said.

Adding on, the premier said electrolysers produced at the facility would be delivered to Petroleum Sarawak Berhad’s (Petros) three-in-one multirefuelling stations for hydrogenfuelled vehicles.

He also cited the portable hydrogen generators as one of the technologies that could become among the alternatives for Sarawak Energy to supply power to rural areas.

“Shipping energy production to hydrogen is our objective instead of relying on hydrocarbons. Moreover, with hydrogen, I witnessed technology that uses hydrogen to generate electricity, which could be transformative for our rural areas.

“Portable hydrogen generators could replace diesel, providing cleaner energy and reducing pollution. This new technology offers an alternative to SRS (our rural electricity programme) which relies on solar power. If hydrogen technology proves cost-effective and sustainable, it could replace solar solutions in rural areas.

“Technological advancements continue to improve hydrogen production, and we are closely monitoring these developments,” he said.

On the capacity of electrolyser production, Abang Johari said the initial capacity running at the facility would be able to produce 25 tonnes of hydrogen per day, using not use more than 40 kW per hour (kWh) of energy to produce 1kg of hydrogen.

“Our goal is to reduce this to 30 kWh or even 20 kWh, resulting in considerable savings,” he added.

The operation of SEA-DF is undertaken by SEDC Energy and Lestari H2GaaS, a new subsidiary of Petronas.

Meanwhile, SEDC Chairman Tan Sri Datuk Amar Abdul Aziz Husain said SEDC Energy will be working together with its partners to produce electrolysers to meet the growing demands for hydrogen through the SEA-DF.

He said the facility with a capacity of 50 megawa s (MW) per year will meet the local demand in Sarawak.

“But we have also orders not only from Sarawak but also outside the country. We will be shipping three (units of) electrolysers before the end of this year to another country and further orders will also be coming in,” he said in his welcoming remarks.

Abdul Aziz said SEA-DF will further enhance Sarawak’s capacity to produce and distribute hydrogen, a key component in the global shift towards clean new energy sources.

“As all of you may know, hydrogen is poised to play a critical role in the transition to a low-carbon economy, and Sarawak is well-positioned to be at the forefront of this movement.

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