Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg today said Putrajaya has agreed to give Approved Permits (APs) to the state to import 1,000 units of electric vehicles and hydrogen-powered vehicles.
He said the federal government has also agreed to give tax exemption to import electric vehicles and hydrogen-powered vehicles to the state.
“These are the first incentives that we have received from the federal government,” he said when officiating at the commencement of delivery of gas by the Bintulu Additional Gas Facility (BAGSF-2) to a new state-owned methanol plant Petchem Sdn Bhd in Bintulu.
He said the incentives were accorded to Sarawak after he gave a briefing to the federal Cabinet and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in Kuching two days ago.
The premier also stressed that petrochemical and power industries are two important approaches to achieve the state’s Post-Covid-19 Development Strategy (PCDS 2023) that is designed to upgrade the state as a developed status.
He said he is very keen to see the growth of these two sectors contributing to the creation of 195,000 jobs in Sarawak in the effort to narrow the development gap between urban and rural Sarawak.
“With an improved access to energy, we can accelerate our digital adoption, ease doing business and optimise the use of our assets,” he said.
Abang Johari also said he has requested Petchem Sdn Bhd to review its decision to build a second methanol plant, and instead switch to the setting up of a blue ammonia plant in Bintulu.
He said there is a market for blue ammonia, especially in Europe, Far East and Asean countries.
“This is something new and I think if you calculate the returns on this investment, more or less, guaranteed, depending on how you market your products.
“Generally, it is based on demand,” he said.
The premier expressed hope that the gas from Petronas will be sufficient to produce blue ammonia for the market.
He said the Petronas-Sarawak collaboration can be further expanded, particularly on the downstream activities that will add value to the available feedstock of gas.
He said the Sarawak government intends to explore the possibilities of other products from the gas.
He said he also briefed the federal Cabinet two days ago on the state’s direction as far as energy is concerned.
“I also briefed Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on the need to manage prudently, at the same time, try to explore technology for us to produce energy, not only for Sarawak, but also our neighbours,” he said, adding that Anwar had given his acknowledgement.
“So I urge Petronas, Petros and other entities to explore the higher products of the gas and at the same time become the hub to produce energy,” he said.
The premier said Sarawak has already positioned itself by supplying power to West Kalimantan and Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) has invested in a hydro dam in East Kalimantan.
He said SEB is upgrading its power plant in Miri that will supply power to Sabah and Brunei.
“We are also going to develop the cascading dams which have the potential to produce 20,000 megawatts of power that will be environmentally friendly,” Abang Johari said.