Sarawak able to produce sustainable aviation fuel from microalgae, says Abang Jo


KUCHING: Sarawak has the capacity to produce sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) from microalgae to help mitigate climate change, says Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

The Premier said he just came back from the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (Lima) exhibition in an aircraft powered by SAF from a joint venture between PETRONAS and SEDC Energy.

"This is the world's first SAF produced using algae and clearly proves that Sarawak is able to produce safe and reliable SAF for commercial use," he told the state assembly in his winding-up speech on Wednesday (May 24).

Abang Johari said SAF was crucial to the aviation industry's efforts to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

He said Sarawak had taken steps to explore microalgae as a potential source of renewable energy, with two facilities cultivating algae in the state.

The first facility is a collaboration between Sarawak Energy, Sarawak Biodiversity Centre, Eneos Corporation and Chitose Group from Japan at Sejingkat, while the other facility is a collaboration between SEDC Energy and PETRONAS in Demak Laut.

"We have plans to scale up the cultivation to 1,000 acres (405ha) that can produce about 500,000 tonnes per annum of crude algae oil or renewable oil, according to our scientists.

"That can be equated to about 10,000 barrels of oil per day with about 37% extraction rate of crude algae oil from algae biomass," Abang Johari said.

He added that the unit cost per barrel was below USD50 (RM229), while the oil might fetch a price of USD110 (RM505) per barrel if sold to a biorefinery.

"As such, this innovative technology will not only be a valuable addition to drive our economy, but also a significant contribution towards achieving our green economy agenda for 2030," he said.

Abang Johari also said the state government remained committed to build a sustainable future for Sarawak, balancing economic growth with environmental stewardship and social inclusivity.

"We must ensure that our progress benefits all Sarawakians," he said.

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