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Results of leakage survey of underground towngas distribution pipelines

    Subsequent to the towngas leakage and explosion at Jordan Valley North Road, Ngau Tau Kok on April 11, 2006, the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) instructed the Hong Kong and China Gas Company Limited (HKCG) to conduct a comprehensive leakage survey for the same type of underground towngas distribution pipelines in the territory within three weeks in order to ensure public safety. An EMSD spokesman said today (May 3) that the survey had been completed.

     The leakage survey was started on April 13 and completed on May 1, covering a total of 450 km of underground towngas pipelines. The HKCG deployed nine survey teams to conduct walking survey of all the underground pipelines, and EMSD audited the survey by on-site inspections through random sampling.

     Upon completion of the leakage survey, the HKCG has submitted survey findings to the EMSD, detailed as follows:

1. Minute leakage was detected at three locations, namely the junction of Wong Chuk Hang Road and Nam Long Shan Road on Hong Kong Island, Prince Edward Road West in Kowloon, and Lai Yiu Street at Kwai Chung. The leakage was due to pipe corrosion, and replacement and repair works were duly completed by the HKCG.

2. Of more than 200,000 pipe joints along the towngas pipelines, minute leakage was detected at 30 joints which were duly rectified by HKCG.

3. While conducting the leakage survey of underground towngas pipes, the HKCG also inspected its above-ground installations, and carried out necessary maintenance and repairs on 18 above-ground installations at which minute leakage was detected.

     The EMSD spokesman said that the survey results demonstrated the sound integrity of underground towngas distribution pipelines in general.

     The HKCG regularly conducts leakage surveys of its underground towngas distribution pipelines. The EMSD will continue to closely monitor the HKCG's safety management system, and to constantly review HKCGs regular maintenance programme of its towngas distribution network.  

     In the light of the incident, the EMSD is now exploring with the HKCG measures to further enhance gas safety.

Ends/Wednesday, May 3, 2006
Issued at HKT 20:11