KUCHING: Sarawak aims to improve its public transport system by using hydrogen-powered buses, which will also enable the state to tap into its renewable energy resources.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said the “abundant” water resources in the state’s hydroelectric dams could be used to produce hydrogen as a clean source of fuel for vehicles.
“It has been the ambition of the state government to upgrade our public transport system by using our clean renewable energy resources.
“I have confidence that hydrogen is the energy of the future. There is a move worldwide to transform energy from fossil fuel to clean energy.
“Against that background, the state government decided to have a study whether we can apply hydrogen as a source of energy in our move to transform our economy to a digital economy,” he said.
Abang Johari was speaking at the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) and China’s Foshan Feichi Automobile Manufacturing Co Ltd here yesterday for the supply and delivery of hydrogen fuel cell buses to the state.
For a start, three buses, which will arrive by March next year, will be used in a pilot project in the state capital.
Abang Johari said the pilot project would help to educate the public about the feasibility of hydrogen-powered vehicles.
“We have seen the success of these vehicles in other countries like China and Germany.
“For Sarawak we will try with three buses first. Sometimes the public is skeptical so we have to educate them,” he said.
SEDC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Husain said the bus pilot project was part of the state government’s hydrogen fuel cell research and development programme, which includes the setting up of a plant to produce hydrogen to power the vehicles.
“The emission-free bus programme is part of the state’s long-term plan to ensure that Sarawak’s public transport system will run using clean energy, in tandem with the worldwide trend to protect the environment,” he said.
Abdul Aziz said SEDC would provide the necessary support to ensure the success of the pilot project.
“The MOU is another step in the state’s journey towards a hydrogen economy, whereby the entire transport system will be run on hydrogen produced from clean energy sources,” he added.