Sarawak to launch microalgae production facility in Feb 2023


Abang Johari said the five-hectare algae production facility will mark the state government’s commitment to achieve greener and cleaner coal power generation. – AFP file photo

KUCHING (Dec 1): Sarawak’s microalgae production facility is expected to be launched by February next year, said Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He said the five-hectare algae production facility will mark the state government’s commitment to achieve greener and cleaner coal power generation.

“I am proud of the collaboration and progress of the industrial scale microalgae production facility. This facility will absorb CO2 (carbon dioxide) waste stream from the Sejingkat Coal Power Station to grow algae in a carbon circular economy.

“This project is a collaboration among Sarawak Biodiversity Centre, SEB (Sarawak Energy), Chitose Laboratory and ENEOS (Corp).

“Simultaneously, it creates downstream opportunities across various sectors through reduction of CO2 emissions via carbon capture and utilisation,” he said when delivering his winding-up speech at the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting here today.

Abang Johari, who is also the Minister for Finance and New Economy; Natural Resources and Urban Development; and Energy and Environmental Sustainability, said it was necessary for the state government to step up its effort in developing renewable energy to ensure the state will be at the forefront in mitigating climate change.

“In 2019, I launched a 1,000 square metre algae facility at the Sarawak Biodiversity Centre for research and to test the growing of algae outdoors.

“Research in producing algae-based renewable biofuel is part of Sarawak’s efforts to develop its Sustainable Green Agenda, particularly green energy.

“Advancements in research and modern technologies are now able to rapidly grow algae and extract its oil to be converted into biofuels for energy, while taking advantage of the other components in algae such as proteins, carbohydrates, and nutrients.

“This, I think, is an important step as we aim to use various technologies to produce algae biomass on a large scale. When algae are grown, carbon is absorbed, and therefore it can be used as carbon capture and storage technology.

“Algae cultivation or farming for biofuels will be mainly carried out by the SEDC (Sarawak Economic Development Corporation) Energy, together with Petronas Research Sdn Bhd,” he said.

He also said that Sarawak will explore more of its natural resources to identify how the resources can be monetised responsibly and sustainably.

He said this would enable the state to know how it can diversify its sources of revenue stream and at the same time offer natural-based solutions for current and future consumption.

“All these new economic initiatives are to diversify our economic base for the creation of more investment, new businesses and job opportunities for our people to increase their income and livelihood.

“As a recognition for our initiatives, I have been invited to share our initiatives in many renowned international platforms this year such as World Hydrogen Summit, Rotterdam, Japan Time to Act Forum and Singapore International Energy Week,” he said.