Black Point Power Station licence renewed

Press Release

Black Point Power Station licence renewed

The Environmental Protection Department (EPD) today (December 31) issued the renewed licence for Black Point Power Station.

"The renewed licence under the Air Pollution Control Ordinance will come into effect tomorrow (January 1) and remain valid until the end of 2009," said an EPD spokesman.

"Having regard to the need to keep the emissions to the minimum and the current level of natural gas supply, the emission caps of the Black Point Power Station will be maintained at the current levels," he said. 

Details of the emission caps in tonnes are as follows:

                                    2008            2009
Sulphur dioxide         520 tonnes      520 tonnes
Nitrogen oxides         2,500 tonnes    2,500 tonnes
Respirable suspended    65 tonnes       65 tonnes

"As natural gas for power generation emits significantly less air pollutants than coal-fired units, it is the Government's policy to encourage the use of natural gas in place of coal to reduce emissions. For this purpose, we have provided in the licensing conditions for an increase in the use of natural gas at the Black Point Power Station whenever this is become feasible.

"When there is an increase in electricity generation due to increase in the use of natural gas at the Black Point Power Station, the increase in emissions at the station has to be offset by a corresponding reduction at the Castle Peak Power Station by a ratio ranged between 5.6 to 58 times, depending on the particular different pollutants. In other words, for an increase of one tonne of emission above the emission caps at the Black Point Power Station, CLP is required to reduce the emission of that particular pollutant at the Castle Peak Power Station by 5.6 tonnes to 58 tonnes," he said.

"This offsetting arrangement will ensure a greater net reduction of the overall emissions from power generation, which is the biggest local source of air pollutants. It is consistent with the Government's policy to progressively tighten emission caps to ensure that Hong Kong will achieve the 2010 emissions reduction targets.

"We have told the power companies the emission caps for 2010 and are in the process of amending the Air Pollution Control Ordinance to stipulate these emission caps by legislation to ensure a smooth, timely and transparent implementation of these caps," he said.

Other than the Black Point Power Station, the Government tightened the emission cap for the Castle Peak Power Station earlier this year, effectively bringing down the emission of air pollutants from the power plants.

To improve air quality, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) Government reached a consensus with the Guangdong Provincial Government in April, 2002, to reduce, on a best endeavour basis, the emission of four major air pollutants - sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, respirable suspended particulates and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) - by 40%, 20%, 55% and 55% respectively in the region by 2010, using 1997 as the base year.

To achieve the reduction targets, the Hong Kong SAR Government has implemented a series of measures to improve air quality, including the tightening of fuel and vehicle emission standards, requiring the retrofitting of emission control device to trap the particulate emission from diesel vehicles, strengthening vehicle emission inspections and enforcement against smoky vehicles, incentivising early replacement of old diesel commercial vehicles with vehicles that comply with Euro IV standard, encouraging the use of environment-friendly vehicles through tax concession, limiting the emissions of volatile organic compounds from paints, printing inks and consumer products, requiring the installation of vapour recovery systems in petrol filling station and tightening the emission control on power stations.

Ends/Monday, December 31, 2007

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