Sarawak Energy, Shell MDS to jointly explore future of hydrogen economy in Sarawak

Renewable Energy

Sharbini (left) and Omar Sheikh exchange documents as Nooruddin (ninth left), Schultz (sixth left) and other senior representatives from both sides look on after the MoU signing ceremony.

KUCHING: A milestone in the exploration of a green energy agenda for Sarawak that potentially includes hydrogen was reached when Sarawak Energy and Shell MDS (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd (SMDS) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a collaboration in the area yesterday.

The agreement would see both parties working together in assessing potential opportunities in lower cost hydrogen production technology via electrolysis .

A press release said the MoU includes a joint study and knowledge exchange on hydrogen production technology, education and drawing up best practices as well as assessing opportunities for green certification in hydrogen production.

Signing for Sarawak Energy were the group chief executive officer Datu Sharbini Suhaili and senior vice president for Legal & Enterprise Risk Nooruddin Abdullah while SMDS was represented by managing director Omar Sheikh and general manager for manufacturing Chris Schultz.

The MoU follows Sarawak Energy’s pilot hydrogen production plant and refuelling station scheduled to be ready in time for a test- run of three hydrogen powered buses due to arrive in Sarawak by the first quarter of 2019.

The production plant and refuelling station is part of several initiatives being undertaken by Sarawak Energy as part of the state-owned energy developer’s research into greening the transportation sector through low carbon fuels for Kuching city.

The first such plant in Southeast Asia, the pilot facility lays the foundation for research on the commercial viability of a hydrogen economy for Sarawak through the production, delivery, storage and utilisation of this “fuel of the future”.

Commenting on the collaboration, Sharbini said the development of hydrogen and fuel cell technology is regarded as the missing link in the value chain of the renewable energy business.

“This collaboration with SMDS sees us working to achieve a common goal in supporting the state’s aspiration to decarbonise our energy system, augmenting what SarawakEnergy is already doing via hydropower to provide clean, renewable and affordable energy for Sarawak,” he said.

Hydrogen is a versatile molecule that acts as an energy carrier and delivers a cleaner fuel in mobility and energy storage as well as a feedstock to industrial chemical processes. Sarawak’s generation mix is primarily renewable hydropower at 75 per cent so producing hydrogen in Sarawak from the grid would be less fossil-fuel intensive.

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