Premier reiterates S’wak won’t commission new coal-fired power plants

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Abang Johari speaks during the C4 Sarawak launch. – Photo by Chimon Upon

KUCHING (May 10): Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg has reiterated the government’s stand not to commission new coal-fired power stations.

The last time Sarawak commissioned a new coal-fired power plant was in 2019, when the Balingian Power Station began operations.

“It is going to be the last, no more,” he stressed when launching Chitose Carbon Capture Central Sarawak (C4 Sarawak), the state’s first industrial microalgae production facility today at Sejingkat Power Generation, Kampung Goebilt, Jalan Bako here.

Abang Johari, who is also Energy and Environmental Sustainability Minister, said Sarawak’s forward thinking and willingness to innovate and experiment with technology have already yielded benefits in other sectors.

“Our ground-breaking investment in Southeast Asia’s first hydrogen production plant and refuelling station here in Kuching using predominantly green electricity is laying the groundwork for today’s growing hydrogen economy.

“We are developing multi-fuel stations in Sarawak to cater to vehicles powered by standard fossil fuels, electricity, or hydrogen,” he said.

He added Sarawak has partnered with global players from Japan and South Korea to develop an environmentally-friendly hydrogen and ammonia plant in Bintulu.

According to him, as Sarawak continues to move forward, the state needs to align and collectively commit its efforts to achieve a thriving society driven by data and innovation “where everyone enjoys economic prosperity, social inclusivity, and a sustainable environment”.

“With the advancement of science and technology, scientists and industries must play a leading role.

“We welcome local private sector and the multinationals from abroad to take this opportunity to develop similar partnerships and initiatives in circular economy-based projects in Sarawak,” he added.

The microalgae project, which began in 2020, is led by Japan’s Chitose Group – the primary contractor, Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB), and Sarawak Biodiversity Centre (SBC).

It is fully funded by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) and managed by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry.