Sarawak is set to have the first state-of-the-art, integrated fuelling station in the country, which can cater to cars powered by conventional fossil fuels (petrol and diesel), electricity or hydrogen. The plan was first mooted back in May last year and is well and truly underway following a groundbreaking ceremony held at Darul Hana on October 20, The Edge reports.

The station in Darul Hana will be the first and is expected to be completed next year. It is one of six stations planned for the state, all of them parked under state-owned Petroleum Sarawak (Petros). According to Dayak Daily, the second station will also be located in Kuching, namely the Batu Kawah New Township, also known as “MJC.”

As for the four remaining stations, they will be built in Sri Aman, Sibu, Bintulu and Miri. SEDC Energy, a subsidiary of Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC), will be responsible for building all six stations in the state.

Speaking at the event, Sarawak chief minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said, “this integrated fuelling station will supply three main components, namely petrol and diesel, water-based hydrogen, and lastly, battery [electric charging].” He also requested that the federal government not impose taxes on cars that use hydrogen as fuel to encourage more consumers to purchase them. Abang Johari personally owns a Hyundai Nexo, picking it over a Mercedes-Benz S-Class, as reported by Daily Express.

SEDC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Husain revealed the stations will feature Internet of Things (IoT) systems, automated sensors, big data analytics and cashless payments with integration to existing platforms such as Sarawak Pay.

“Manual labour in the operation of these stations will be minimised and thus, different skill sets are needed compared to conventional workers at conventional stations,” he said. Abdul Aziz also noted that the design of these stations can be fully converted to electric charging and hydrogen refuelling in the future, when the usage of battery and fuel cell vehicles have increased.

The stations will also have commercial spaces for local and global brands to spur the local economy of where they are built. “With such a network, opportunities are also created for franchises to flourish in areas where they couldn’t before, especially along the Pan Borneo Highway and the Sarawak Coastal Highway,” said Abdul Aziz.