KOTA KINABALU: Sabah is looking at becoming a major producer of hydrogen gas and other renewable energy in South-East Asia by 2025, says Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin.
He said the state government had identified a 50,000ha area for the generation of hydrogen as an alternative power source that would become a means of new revenue for the state.
Sabah, with its high humidity of between 60% and 70%, can produce mass quantities of hydrogen, making it a potential generation hub for the gas, he told a press conference here on Monday (Nov 29).
He said the project will involve a comprehensive generation hub for hydrogen and renewable energy through upstream and downstream business activities, logistics management as well as the sale of energy.
The state government, through its wholly-owned company, Smart Sabah Corporation Sdn Bhd, has identified a few main projects including the development of a large-scale plant for the generation of hydrogen gas, the development of a 3,500MW green independent power plant, and the development of ocean thermal energy conversion.
He said the project is expected to bring in direct investment of no less than RM25bil to the state and indirectly create 20,000 job opportunities in various sectors in Sabah.
Among areas identified for the development of the projects are sites in Kalabakan, Pulau Layang Layang, Kudat and Pulau Kelumpang in Tawau.
Smart Sabah Corporation Sdn Bhd signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Malaysia Green Technology and Climate Change Corporation (MGTC), an agency under the Federal Environment and Water Ministry, on Nov 9 with the purpose of finalising a feasibility study on the project, which is expected to commence next year.
He said MGTC would help find suitable locations in Sabah that the state government could gazette for hydrogen production.
Bung Moktar said investors from South Korea, Japan and Dubai have shown interest in the project and working with Smart Sabah Corporation.
He said the state's involvement in renewable energy technology would bring a new source of income to Sabah.
"It is green technology, it is good for the state. It will not pollute the environment but instead protect it. We also have ready buyers for hydrogen gas but priority is for the state's use," he added.