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Advisory Council on the Environment

Proposed Amendments to Air Pollution Control Ordinance, Cap. 311

(ACE Paper 49/2001)
For advice

Making Ultra Low Sulphur Diesel the Statutory Standard for Motor Diesel

PURPOSE

This paper seeks Members' advice on a proposal to amend the Air Pollution Control (Motor Vehicle Fuel) Regulation (hereafter referred to as "the Regulation") to -
 

      (a) make ultra low sulphur diesel (ULSD) the statutory standard for motor diesel; and
  (b) make minor amendments to the existing section 2 ("interpretation") and schedule 2 of the Regulation ("specifications of unleaded petrol").

BACKGROUND

2. Emissions from motor vehicles are the major cause of roadside air pollution in Hong Kong. To reduce vehicle emissions, one of the Administration's policies is to require the use of the most stringent motor vehicle fuel standards where technologically practicable and available. The current statutory standard for motor diesel is equivalent to Euro III, i.e. sulphur content of not more than 0.035% by weight. However, as we reported in ACE Paper 26/2001, ultra low sulphur diesel that has a maximum sulphur content of not more than 0.005% by weight has become the only motor diesel available at petrol filling stations in Hong Kong. Franchised buses have also switched to this environmentally cleaner fuel since February this year.

3. A motor vehicle running on ULSD emits about 20% less particulates and 5% less nitrogen oxides than one using regular motor diesel. As ULSD is now the only motor diesel being sold in Hong Kong, we propose to formalise the arrangement by making it the statutory motor diesel standard. The proposal will not disrupt the operation of oil companies or the transport trade.

THE PROPOSAL

4. We propose to amend the Regulation to -
 

      (a) raise the specifications of motor vehicle diesel to those of ULSD;
  (b) make minor amendments to section 2 ("interpretation") to update certain test procedures; and
  (c) make minor corrections to schedule 2 ("specifications of unleaded petrol") to replace "the International Standards Organization" with "the International Organization for Standardization" to reflect the proper full name of that organization, and tidy up the language.
  Details of the amendments are set out at the Annex.

CONSULTATION

5. We have consulted the Legislative Council Panel on Environmental Affairs and operators of petrol filling stations in Hong Kong. No adverse comment has been received. Some oil companies and the Hong Kong Motor Traders Association support the introduction of ULSD for vehicle use.

LEGISLATIVE TIMETABLE

6. We plan to table the amendment Regulation at the Legislative Council for negative vetting in early January 2002. Subject to the Council's approval, the proposed amendments will take effect in March 2002.

ADVICE SOUGHT

7. Members are requested to advise on the proposed amendments as set out in paragraph 5 above.

Environment and Food Bureau
December 2001





 

Annex

 

Schedule 1 substituted

Schedule 1 is repealed and the following substituted -

 

SCHEDULE 1 SPECIFICATIONS OF MOTOR VEHICLE DIESEL

Any motor vehicle diesel shall -
 

      (a) contain not more than 0.005% by weight of sulphur as determined by ISO 14596;
  (b) have a cetane number of not lower than 51.0 as determined by ISO 5165;
  (c) have a viscosity at 40OC of not lower than 2.00 mm2/s and not higher than 4.50 mm2/s as determined by ISO 3104;
  (d) contain not more than 11% by mass of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons as determined by IP 391;
  (e) have a 95% distillation temperature of not higher than 345OC as determined by ISO 3405;
  (f) have a distillation percentage recovered at 250OC of not higher than 65% by volume as determined by ISO 3405; and
  (g) have a density at 15OC of not higher than 0.835 kg/L as determined by ISO 3675.

Note: In this Schedule -
 

      "ISO" followed by a numerical symbol ("ISO number") means the test procedures of the International Organization for Standardization commonly known by that ISO number;
  "IP" followed by a numerical symbol ("IP number") means the test procedures of the Institute of Petroleum commonly known by that IP number;
  "viscosity" means the viscosity of diesel as determined by ISO 3104.".

Specifications of unleaded petrol

Schedule 2 is amended -
 

      (a) in paragraph (c), by repealing "less" and substituting "lower";
  (b) in paragraph (d), by repealing "less" and substituting "lower";
  (c) in paragraph (i)(i), by repealing "stablizing" and substituting "stabilizing";
  (d) in paragraph (q), by repealing "condition.gif" and substituting "time.gif";
  (e) in paragraph (r), by repealing "condition.gif" and substituting "time.gif";
  (f) in the Note, in the definition of "ISO", by repealing "Standards Organization" and substituting "Organization for Standardization".

Interpretation

Section 2 of the Air Pollution Control (Motor Vehicle Fuel) Regulation (Cap. 311 sub. leg.) is amended -
 

      (a) in the definition of "cetane number", by repealing everything after "procedure" and substituting "of the International Organization for Standardization commonly known as ISO 5165";
  (b) in the definition of "motor octane number", by repealing everything after "procedure" and substituting "of the European Standards commonly known as EN 25163";
  (c) in the definition of "research octane number", by repealing everything after "procedure" and substituting "of the European Standards commonly known as EN 25164".

 

 

 

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