Hydrogen fuel cell EV assembly in Kuching planned, assembly plant to be set up by foreign company

Plans have been made for the setting up of an assembly plant for hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles, The Borneo Post reports.

This assembly plant will be set up by a foreign company and is part of the state government’s overall emphasis on renewable energy for its economy, according to Sarawak deputy minister of energy and environmental stability Hazland Abang Hipni; the minister did not disclose the identity of the company that will be setting up the assembly plant.

“Also, we will import more hydrogen-powered vehicles for the usage of the state Cabinet members and government officials. We will shift [into the use of electric vehicles],” Hazland said.

“During our visits to Norway recently, 75% of the vehicles there are EVs and they could do it in four years. When I asked them how they managed to do it, the answer given was it was due to the craze over Tesla vehicles,” the state’s deputy minister said.

In addition to import tax on EVs being abolished in Norway, ‘discounts’ were also offered on income tax for drivers of electric vehicles in the country, he also noted.

Hazland also revealed that a meeting was recently held with prime minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob as well as with representatives of other states on how the federal government can push for wider adoption of electric vehicles in the country. Sarawak is a carbon-negative state with 65% of its land area still covered by forests and greenery, Hazland noted in his officiating speech according to The Borneo Post.

Hydrogen is one of the most attractive forms of renewable energy, said Hazland, and Sarawak offers a favourable business climate for the setting up of a hydrogen plant along with cheap and clean electricity available from hydropower, affordable labour costs and substantial land area, he added.

In terms of energy generation, two hydrogen plants are being set up in Bintulu by companies from South Korea and Japan, and most of the hydrogen produced at those sites will be exported back to those countries, The Borneo Post wrote. Each of these plants is capable of producing around 100,000 tonnes of hydrogen, and almost 10% of that output will be for local consumption in Sarawak.

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