By Emma Victoria
THE SARAWAK government has been urged to reconsider its decision to venture into the hydrogen economy as it was wasteful and unnecessary for the government to fund impractical mega projects.
Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Abang Openg needs to reveal the economic feasibility study and cost-effectiveness analysis of the whole venture, including the construction of the multi-fuel refuelling stations and hydrogen buses, in comparison to other renewable energy powered buses that includes electric buses.
“If the government wants to convince Sarawakians that this is a worthwhile direction the state should head, it is only right that they reveal all the necessary information to the public. This is for proper scrutiny to avoid unnecessary spending of funds meant for the people on mega projects that may turn out to be a huge financial burden to the state in the long run,” he said in a statement.
He said the recently launched multi-fuel refuelling station in Darul Hana, Kuching, has raised questions on the safety and security of having two highly flammable materials on top of multiple high voltage electric charging ports.
Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) has planned to build six multi-fuel refuelling stations in Sarawak. The stations that will operate under the brand name PETROS, will offer conventional fuels, electric charging and hydrogen refueling.
According to Abang Johari, Sarawak is looking into hydrogen production through electrolysis process as there was abundant water resources in the state.
However, Yii said over 95% of the world’s hydrogen is produced using the steam methane reforming process (SMR) as it is currently the most economical way of producing hydrogen.
“Thus, the government should instead look at investing into battery electric vehicles as 70% of our power comes from hydropower, which is renewable energy.
“An electric vehicle in Sarawak can be charged using the power grid anywhere anytime, without investing in a costly hydrogen infrastructure and distribution network,” he said.
“Not only the cost of hydrogen cars are beyond the reach of most ordinary Sarawakians, the majority will not be able to afford the cost of pumping hydrogen into their vehicles,” he added.