Exploring aviation fuel production, Sarawak Premier envisions hydrogen-powered helicopters

May 9, 2022by

By Lian Cheng

KUCHING, May 9: Sarawak is exploring the production of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), and its Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg foresees helicopters being fuelled by hydrogen.

He said to accelerate Sarawak’s Green Energy Agenda further, the Sarawak government is exploring SAF to sustainably produce jet fuel that will contribute to the reduction of carbon emissions across its life cycle — beyond 80 per cent — even when emissions created in the production of SAFs are accounted for, compared to fossil fuels.

He explained that alternative aviation fuels such as SAF could be the key to sustainable air travel, contributing hugely to the industry’s emissions-reduction strategy and net-zero emissions goal.

“Through our development and investment agency, SEDC Sarawak (Sarawak Economic Development Corporation), we are collaborating with the Aerospace Malaysia Innovation Centre (AMIC) in the development of biofuels, green hydrogen and fuel cells for aviation.

“With recent advancements in hydrogen fuel cells for aviation, particularly recent developments in drones, I envision that soon, hydrogen fuel cells could be fuelling up hydrogen-powered helicopters.

“Therefore, we want to work together with the aviation industry, including the marine industry, to accelerate efforts and enhance the development of SAF — biofuels, E-methanol, and the potential of hydrogen fuel cells,” said Abang Johari while delivering his opening keynote address at the World Hydrogen 2022 Summit and Exhibition held in Rotterdam today.

He believed that the time is right to tap into hydrogen’s immense potential to play a key role in clean, secure and affordable energy.

“Going back to the question of ‘Wherein lies the balance between protecting the environment and growing the economy’, I can safely say that there is no real option — only real actions.

“I believe that if we all work to accelerate hydrogen markets in a coordinated way, it can help to spur investments in integrated facilities and infrastructure that will bring down costs and enable the sharing of knowledge and best practices,” said Abang Johari.

To him, global trade of the shared commodity will benefit from common international standards that will ultimately stimulate commercial demand for hydrogen.

“I, therefore, welcome collaboration to contribute further to the body of local and global knowledge regarding hydrogen technology and its application, especially in a tropical environment, to accelerate the growth of versatile, clean hydrogen for the world,” said Abang Johari. — DayakDaily

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