KUCHING: Sarawak aims to achieve full electricity coverage by 2025, which will boost economic development, particularly in rural areas, says Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.
The Chief Minister said the state government had allocated RM2.7bil this year for rural electrification, a task undertaken by state power company Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB).
"Once that is done, Sarawak will be well-placed to perform better in terms of our economic development," he said at the SEB's Gawai Raya celebration here on Monday (June 17).
According to him, power supply in rural areas will facilitate the transformation of the agriculture sector from relying on traditional methods to making use of technology.
This in turn would help farmers diversify their crops into food production as part of the state's target of becoming a net food exporter in future.
"We have all the ingredients - land and technology - meaning we can produce and export food.
"This is a new dimension in our economic development, therefore I think it is only fair that we must provide basic infrastructure in rural areas," Abang Johari said.
He also called on the SEB to be forward-looking and explore new products which could be marketed overseas to increase the state's revenue.
For instance, he said the SEB should continue with its research and development on hydrogen fuel cell technology.
"The world is shifting towards fuel cells and because of that I have requested SEB to find a new source of energy to move our cars by producing hydrogen from the water resources from our dams," he said.