KUCHING: Sarawak's hydrogen-powered buses could be ready for public use before the end of the year if their trial run proceeds smoothly.
State Transport Minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin said the three buses had resumed their trial run on various routes in the city after a recent fuel contamination issue was resolved.
He said the contamination at Sarawak Energy Bhd's (SEB) integrated hydrogen production plant and refuelling station, which was discovered last month, had now been rectified by SEB and its technology partner Linde EOX Sdn Bhd.
"The problem arose because of the difference in the pressure used at the plant here. There was a bit of a technical problem but it's not major and it has been rectified.
"The refuelling station has been re-commissioned and the buses came back for refuelling on Oct 13," he told reporters after a site visit to the station at Bintawa here on Wednesday (Oct 23).
Lee said the buses, which are operated by the Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC), were scheduled to complete their trial run by the end of this month.
The buses, which cost RM1.2mil each, were supplied by China's Foshan Feichi Automobile Manufacturing Co Ltd after the company signed a memorandum of understanding with SEDC last year.
"(SEDC) is working with the manufacturer to do tests and collect data during the trial run to make sure everything is in proper order.
"They will recommend an actual date when we can launch it for public use. We'll try to do it before the end of the year," Lee said.
He said two of the buses would be allocated for public use while the third one would be for special functions.
"We are working towards modern transportation, so I've asked SEDC to install free WiFi on the buses as well as CCTV for security," he added.