The Sarawak government plans to introduce fuel stations that cater to vehicles powered by hydrogen, electricity, as well as conventional fossil fuels (petrol and diesel), The Star reports.

According to chief minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, five of these three-in-one stations will be built initially from the end of this year. “I have directed PETROS (Petroleum Sarawak Bhd) and the Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) to set up three-in-one refuelling stations throughout the state,” he said.

The decision comes following the recent launch of Sarawak Energy Bhd’s (SEB) integrated hydrogen production plant and refuelling station, which was undertaken in collaboration with Linde EOX Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Linde Malaysia. Abang Johari touts the Kuching-based facilities as the first of their kind in Southeast Asia.

The new hydrogen plant is capable of producing 130 kg of hydrogen daily at a purity of 99.999%, which would fully refuel up to five fuel cell buses and 10 fuel cell cars per day. For now, the plant will service three hydrogen fuel cell buses operated by SEDC that are part of a pilot project, as well as two Hyundai Nexo cars in SEB’s corporate fleet – SEB also owns four electric cars and 24 electric scooters.

Abang Johari stated the push for hydrogen power was in line with the state government’s green energy agenda. He added that with five hydropower dams in the state, there was a potential to produce hydrogen from water as an alternative source of energy.

“The Sarawak government is going in the direction of green energy. We have hydropower, now we are producing hydrogen. This is still under research but we believe over time, there will be new technology that will make the process cheaper,” he explained.

The idea of exporting hydrogen in the future was also mooted, with the chief minister revealing there was interest shown by one country to invest and set up a hydrogen production plant. The identity of the country was not revealed, but it is looking to replace nuclear fuel with hydrogen instead.