KUCHING, Oct 3 — Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg today pledged that Sarawak will continue to lead the green economy agenda in the region for sustainable development in line with Post-Covid-19 Development Strategy 2030 (PCDS 2030) and the United Nations’ sustainable development goals (SDG) initiatives.
He said through the relevant ministries and agencies, the state is collaborating and partnering with experts around the world towards harnessing the full potential of the region and for a brighter and more sustainable future.
He said Sarawak is ahead of other states in Malaysia and other countries in South-east Asia in dealing with global climate change in accordance with the Paris Agreement 2015.
“This is done through our bold and systematic energy transition plan. We are the leading region in producing clean renewable energy, where currently about 70 per cent of our energy mix is from hydropower,” he said at the opening of the Sarawak region of the Malaysia Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs) Summit 2023.
The premier said the state is committed to maintain at least 60 per cent of its renewable energy capacity mix with hydropower.
He added hydropower offers a sustainable renewable energy option that can benefit the state beyond mere electricity generation.
“It allows us to reduce the carbon emission intensity of our power system by 73 per cent between 2010 and 2021, contributing to our Net Zero and sustainability commitments,” he said, adding that leveraging on renewable hydropower has allowed Sarawak to explore green hydrogen production and utility scale floating solar.
“Under our green energy agenda, we are exploring several ways to decarbonise our transport system and further transition towards a low carbon economy that already has predominantly green electricity as a pillar,” he said, adding that in 2019, the state commissioned its first hydrogen production plant and refuelling station.
He said Sarawak is also working with the Japanese and South Korea multinational companies to develop mega hydrogen production plants in Bintulu.
He also said the proposed Kuching Urban Transport System (KUTS) will be automated using the Autonomous Rapid Transit (ART) and integrated with digital solutions to create seamless experience using hydrogen fuel cells.
“With a modern and eco-friendly integrated public transportation system, we expect carbon footprint from land transport in Kuching City will be significantly reduced by 15 per cent by 2030,” he said.
Abang Johari said the state is now cultivating 1,000 acres of microalgae in Bintulu that can potentially produce 500,000 tonnes per annum of crude algae oil.
“This can be equated to about 10,000 barrels per day with about 37 per cent extraction rate of crude algae oil from algae biomass.
“Therefore, we are potentially ‘growing oil’ that will have a significant contribution to our green economy agenda,” he said.
The premier said the state is now undertaking its first offshore Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) project at the Petronas Kasawari Field near Bintulu.
He said this project is anticipated to reduce up to 3.3 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) annually and further contribute to the net zero emissions goal by 2050.
He said Sarawak is estimated to have about 30 trillion cubic metres of carbon storage capacity in the seabed of its continental shelf.