KUCHING (May 26): Sarawak is exploring the production of the alternative Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), said Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.
Delivering his winding up speech today, he said the SAF could be the key to sustainable air travel in the transition to low carbon fuel in the aviation industry.
According to him, the Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) is collaborating with Airbus and Rolls Royce through the Aerospace Malaysia Innovation Centre (AMIC).
He said the collaboration is on research and development on green hydrogen and fuel cells in Demak here as future aviation fuel.
“Meanwhile, Sarawak Energy Berhad and Sarawak Biodiversity Centre are undertaking proof of concept (POC) on the utilisation of algae as biofuels to complement our quest in the hydrogen economy,” he told the august House today.
Quoting the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, he said: “The quicker we switch to renewables and hydrogen, combined with more energy efficiency, the quicker we will be truly independent and master our energy system.”
Abang Johari said hydrogen is an essential component of a net zero energy system for deep decarbonisation that is required to meet the current climate targets and limit the temperature increase below 2°C.
He observed that the global hydrogen market is picking up speed.
“Recently, the Hydrogen Council estimated that approximately 520 projects are gaining momentum around the world. Clean hydrogen production capacity has increased more than doubled since January 2021.
“Globally, US$160 billion of direct private investments have been created until 2030, and more than US$400 billion additional private investment have been made to realise government targets and commitments,” he said.
Given this, Abang Johari said the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government must now actively shape Sarawak hydrogen market throughout the entire value chain, if not Sarawak will be left behind.
He asserted that Sarawak should create an ideal ecosystem for the hydrogen economy to be a pioneer in Asia Pacific to explore, innovate and produce green hydrogen.
“Therefore, we must spur investments in integrated hydrogen facilities and infrastructure. I believe this may bring down hydrogen production costs and will stimulate demand for hydrogen,” he said.
He said the SEDC had partnered with South Korean companies Samsung Engineering, steel-making company POSCO and Lotte Chemical to develop an environmentally friendly hydrogen and green ammonia plant in Bintulu.
Once completed, he said the plant will produce 630,000 metric tonnes of green ammonia, 600,000 metric tonnes of blue ammonia, 220,000 metric tonnes of green hydrogen, of which 7,000 metric tonnes will be for domestic use and the rest will be exported to South Korea.
“This new development will further diversify Sarawak’s export, besides the traditional oil and gas exports,” he added.