Sarawak Energy-Shell sign MoU to explore green tech

Sharbini said the MoU follows the construction of SEB’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 here by the first quarter of next year. — Picture by Sulok Tawie
Sharbini said the MoU follows the construction of SEB’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 here by the first quarter of next year. — Picture by Sulok Tawie

KUCHING, Dec 7 — State-owned power provider Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Shell MDS (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd (SMDS) to explore green technology for Sarawak.

Under the MoU, both will work together in assessing potential opportunities in lower cost hydrogen production technology via electrolysis.

The MoU also 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.

SEB group chief executive officer Datuk Sharbini Suhaili and senior vice president for legal and enterprise risk Nooruddin Abdullah signed the MoU for SEB while SMDS was represented by managing director Omar Sheikh and general manager for marketing Chris Schultz.

Sharbini said today the MoU follows the construction of SEB’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 here by the first quarter of next year.

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

He added the first such plant in South-east 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”.

On the collaboration with SMDS, 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 SEB is already doing via hydropower to provide clean, renewable and affordable energy for Sarawak,” he said.

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 76 per cent so producing hydrogen in Sarawak from the grid would be less fossil-fuel intensive.

Last September, Sarawak Economic Development Corporation Corporation (SEDC) signed an MoU with Foshan Feishi Automobile Manufacture Co Ltd of China for the supply and delivery of three buses to be used in a pilot project for the state.

Chief Minister Datuk Abang Johari Openg, when witnessing of the MoU between SEDC and the Chinese company, had said the state would try three buses first, as part of the pilot project and research to improve and provide better public transportation system in Kuching.

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