KUCHING (July 5): The Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) will play a crucial role in supporting the state’s efforts in facing the latest frontiers of the global economy, particularly on renewable energy development.
In saying this, Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg pointed out much has changed in the global economy over the past five decades since SEDC’s inception, with the focus now being tackling climate change and global warming
“Since I took over the office from the late Pehin Sri Adenan Satem, I have launched our digital economy agenda and economic prosperity depends on how efficient you can be,” he said during SEDC’s 50th anniversary dinner last night.
Abang Johari said SEDC was in charge of carrying out studies to uncover the potential of hydrogen energy and Sarawak is now on track to develop a public transportation network powered by hydrogen via the Autonomous Rapid Transit (ART) system.
He said the state has already launched its own multifuel station under the brand name Petros, which offers conventional fuels such as petrol and diesel, as well as hydrogen fuelling and electric vehicle charging stations.
He added the Sarawak government has also amended the State Land Code and Forests Ordinance as part of the overall approach to develop a hydrogen economy and mitigate carbon emissions.
The Premier pointed out SEDC has also been given the mandate to look into producing biofuels, particularly on aviation fuel, from algae.
“So, these are the new frontiers and the state government is going into this direction after careful studies. Although there are associated risks, we consider them as calculated risks for us to diversify the revenue streams for the state,” he said.
Abang Johari said with additional revenue streams, excess funds could be redirected into the proposed Sarawak Sovereign Fund, where a Bill on its establishment would be tabled in the State Legislative Assembly this November.
He also congratulated SEDC for securing financing for a methanol plant in Bintulu, where the sukuk issuance was oversubscribed.
He said the milestone reflected investor confidence in Sarawak’s future direction to be a developed state with a high-income economy by 2030.
Abang Johari also thanked SEDC for its commitment during the Covid-19 pandemic by rendering much-needed financial assistance to affected communities.