Malaysia Should Look for Alternatives to Diesel Such as Hydrogen in Light of Subsidy Cuts: Abang Johari - - Latest Global News

Malaysia Should Look for Alternatives to Diesel Such as Hydrogen in Light of Subsidy Cuts: Abang Johari –

Malaysia should look for alternatives to diesel fuel amid subsidy rationalization that began this week, Sarawak Prime Minister Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg said, according to a report by The Star.

Sarawak is currently actively exploring hydrogen as a form of renewable energy, including reducing its production costs, the Sarawak premier said. “Find an alternative to diesel, then you don’t need subsidies. Why should we talk about diesel when we have hydrogen?” Abang Johari said yesterday.

While diesel fuel subsidies are being cut in Peninsular Malaysia, the retail price of diesel in Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan remains at RM2.15 per litre. A similar move for the eastern Malaysian states would be overwhelming as diesel-powered SUVs are, by necessity, the vehicles of choice, Warisan vice-president Datuk Junz Wong said in a statement last October.

If the cost of hydrogen could be reduced, there would be no need for gasoline and diesel, said Abang Johari. “That is the solution. If we continue to use diesel, people will continue to ask for subsidies. Why is there no cheap alternative energy so that you don’t have to use diesel?”

The Sarawak premier added that the state government, in collaboration with Petronas, has reduced the electricity requirement for hydrogen production from 60 kW to 38 kW. This development aims to reduce the cost of hydrogen production by 50% and more and “significantly improve its profitability and competitiveness as an energy source,” he said.

The price of diesel in Peninsular Malaysia was fixed at RM3.35 per litre based on the non-subsidised fuel price under the Automatic Pricing Mechanism (APM) formula for last month. The Malaysian Ministry of Finance has released an infographic stating that the price of diesel at the Malaysian pump remains the lowest in Southeast Asia, excluding Brunei.

Last September, the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) announced that hydrogen refueling stations and public hydrogen buses would be launched in Peninsular Malaysia this year. After the first hydrogen refueling station is launched, several hydrogen vehicles would be deployed for test drives, it said at the time.

In January 2023, Sarawak became home to the first four examples of the second-generation Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel cell vehicle in Malaysia when UMW Toyota Motor handed over four examples of the hydrogen fuel cell vehicle to SEDC Energy and one example to the Prime Minister of Sarawak.

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