Sarawak signs deal with Gentari to build hydrogen production hub

Article by Adam Duckett

MALAYSIA’S Sarawak state is gearing up to develop a world-scale hydrogen production hub following the signing of a new partnership with a subsidiary of the state energy major Petronas.

The Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) has signed an agreement with Gentari, the clean energy business of Petronas, to jointly develop a centralised hydrogen production facility called Sarawak H2 Hub. It will be built in Bintulu, which is already home to a large number of industrial plants whose products includes LNG, methanol, fertiliser, and palm oil.

The partners have not said how much hydrogen the new hub is set to produce, only that it will serve as the sole supplier of hydrogen for downstream facilities in the Bintulu area. The state of Sarawak, which is located on the island of Borneo, wants to become a leading player in the hydrogen economy with commercial production starting by 2027.

Michèle Azalbert, Gentari’s chief hydrogen officer, said: “Hydrogen’s role in decarbonising sectors like energy, transportation, and petrochemicals globally cannot be understated, and the demand for low carbon hydrogen-derivatives is a testament to its rising significance.”

Robert Hardin, CEO of SEDC Energy, said the new hub should attract new investments in the energy sector. Hydrogen is expected to play a key role in the decarbonisation of heavy industry where it can be used as a cleaner source of fuel and feedstock.

Gentari is wholly owned by Petronas but was set up as an independent business in 2022. It is working on a wide range of clean energy projects and has a target of producing 1.2m t/y of hydrogen across the world by 2030. In October it signed a deal with neighbouring country Singapore to study the feasibility of building a pipeline to transport hydrogen to the city state.  

Article by Adam Duckett

Editor, The Chemical Engineer

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