First public hospital to use landfill gas to generate electricity (with photos)
The Hospital Authority (HA) has been proactive in promoting awareness of environmental protection. A Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant has recently commenced operation at Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital. The first such system installed in HA premises, it utilises landfill gas to generate electricity and supply steam and hot water at the same time for various hospital facilities. It also helps to reduce carbon emissions and energy costs. To promote energy saving and carbon reduction, a competition was organised earlier in which students in Tai Po were invited to design the mural for the CHP plant room.
The Secretary for the Environment, Mr Wong Kam-sing, today (January 24) officiated at a ceremony to open the facility and present awards of the competition. Addressing the ceremony, Mr Wong said, "One of the real life examples of practising waste-to-energy is the beneficial use of landfill gas generated from our three operating strategic landfills in Hong Kong. At present, the strategic landfills utilise some of the landfill gas to generate electricity and heat for use in offices and other infrastructure on-site. Surplus landfill gas, a source of renewable energy, can be exported off-site for other beneficial uses.
"Utilising landfill gas to fuel its newly installed combined heat and power generating system, Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital is the first hospital in Hong Kong to adopt such an environmentally friendly system. The new system not only saves electricity costs for the hospital, but also reduces more effectively its carbon emissions. It also adds another new milestone in the development of renewable energy in Hong Kong. This project is also a timely response to the Government's recently published Hong Kong's Climate Action Plan 2030+, taking practical action to foster our transformation into a low-carbon society. Mitigating climate change, saving energy and reducing waste are the responsibilities of all in the community."
Other officiating guests at the ceremony included the HA Chief Executive, Dr Leung Pak-yin; the Chairman of the Tai Po District Council, Mr Cheung Hok-ming; the Director of Electrical and Mechanical Services, Mr Chan Fan; the Cluster Chief Executive of New Territories East Cluster, Dr Lo Su-vui; the Hospital Chief Executive of Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital and Tai Po Hospital, Dr Man Chi-yin; the Managing Director of Hong Kong and China Gas Company Ltd, Mr Alfred Chan; the Chief Executive Officer of the Environmental Association, Dr Yau Wing-kwong; Representative of the Association of Secondary School Heads, Tai Po District, Ms Caroline Yee; and the Chairman of the Tai Po District Primary School Heads Association, Mr Sin Kim-wai.
According to the hospital spokesman, combined heat and power is a form of distributed energy supply system. It captures waste heat produced during on-site electricity generation, and converts it into usable steam and hot water, which reduces energy loss and achieves much higher energy efficiency than a conventional, centralised type of electricity generating and supply system. The HA is working with Towngas to transfer landfill gas via underground pipeline to the CHP plant at the hospital. The landfill gas is produced during waste decomposition in the North East New Territories Landfill and is purified before being transferred for use.
The burning of landfill gas in the combustion engine powers the generator, which then supplies electricity to run the hospital's central air-conditioning system. Simultaneously, the waste heat from the generator's cooling and exhaust is captured and converted via a heat exchanger and a waste heat boiler respectively into clean hot water and steam used for showering, sterilising medical equipment, cooking and laundry.
Dr Man said, "The system commenced operation in November 2016. It is estimated that the system can save us $2.7 million in energy costs each year, which can be used to further improve our healthcare services and benefit more patients. Furthermore, the system uses renewable fuel to generate electricity. It can reduce up to 2 000 tonnes or 12 per cent of the hospital's annual carbon emissions, which helps to improve air quality and protect the environment."
To raise awareness of energy saving and carbon reduction among the younger generation and engage the community, the hospital and Towngas jointly organised a mural design competition earlier. Among the over 600 entries submitted by 26 schools in Tai Po, one winning design was selected as the final mural of the combined heat and power plant.
Ends/Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Issued at HKT 20:05
Issued at HKT 20:05