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LCQ19: Gas refills for LPG vehicles

    Following is a question by the Hon Li Wah-ming and a written reply by the Secretary for the Environment, Mr Edward Yau, in the Legislative Council today (April 16):


    Regarding liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) vehicles queuing up for gas refills, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the average time currently taken by LPG taxis and LPG public light buses (PLBs) waiting at LPG filling stations for gas refills during rush hours, and whether the figure has increased as compared to the annual average figures for 2005-2006 and 2006-2007;

(b) whether it has any plan to increase the number of dedicated LPG filling stations, so as to reduce the time taken by taxis and PLBs waiting at such filling stations for gas refills; if so, of the details of the plan; if not, the reasons for that;

(c) of the names of manufacturers, models and the relevant specifications (including the cylinder capacity) of LPG PLBs which have been approved by the Government for registration; 

(d) whether it will consider allowing the introduction of LPG PLBs with larger cylinder capacity; and

(e) whether it has studied if existing PLBs can be modified to increase their cylinder capacity, and if there is a need for legislative amendments to make way for that; if it has, of the outcome of the study; if it has not, the reasons for that?


Madam President,

(a) At present, Hong Kong has 58 LPG filling stations including 12 dedicated stations and 46 non-dedicated stations. They can meet the refilling demand of the whole taxi and light bus fleets. However, when a large number of taxis go to dedicated stations for refilling concurrently, such as around day/night shift-changing hours, queuing for refilling is unavoidable. The current average queuing time at peak hours is about 20 minutes, similar to that in 2006-2007 but much shorter than that in 2005-2006, which was about 30 minutes. The queuing time has been shortened because of the introduction of a new LPG ceiling price adjustment mechanism for dedicated filling stations in March 2006, which revises the ceiling price every month instead of every six months. The new mechanism makes the LPG prices at dedicated stations follow more closely with the changes in international LPG price and reduces the occurrence of unreasonable LPG price gap between dedicated and non-dedicated stations that attracts a large of number of taxis queuing at dedicated stations for refilling.

    If a taxi goes for refilling in off-peak hours, it in general needs not queue for more than 10 minutes, even at a dedicated station. To solve the problem of long queuing time at dedicated stations during day/night shift-changing hours, the taxi trade should change the current practice of going for refilling in such a period. The Government will continue to encourage LPG vehicle users to go for refilling during off-peak hours through the quarterly liaison meetings between the operators of dedicated stations and the LPG vehicle trades.

(b) As explained above, the existing LPG refilling network can meet the refilling demand of the whole taxi and light bus fleets. The queuing problem at dedicated stations during peak hours is due to a large number of taxis going there for refilling concurrently. Hence, the Government has no plan to increase the number of dedicated stations. However, to extend the LPG refilling network, the Government has since June 2000 implemented a policy that petrol filling stations in the land sales
programme have to provide LPG filling facilities, subject to safety requirements being met.

(c) At present, there are two LPG light bus models complying with the statutory requirements. The specifications of the two models are as follow:

Make    Model    Engine    LPG Tank    Wheel Base
                Capacity  Capacity    Distance             
                (c.c.)    (litres)    (mm)

Toyota  Coaster  4104      122        3200 
Toyota  Coaster  4104      122        3935 

    The Government has all along been encouraging vehicle suppliers to supply more LPG light bus models that meet the statutory requirements to the local market.

(d) The Government will allow LPG light buses with a larger LPG tank to be introduced into Hong Kong if their overall design and construction can comply with the requirements of relevant legislation including the Road Traffic (Construction and Maintenance of Vehicles) Regulations and the Gas Safety Ordinance.

(e) The capacity of the LPG tank of an LPG light bus is an important part of the overall design and safety of the vehicle. Retrofitting an existing LPG light bus to increase its LPG tank capacity may impair its safety. Based on safety considerations, the Government will not allow retrofitting existing vehicles to increase the size of its LPG tank.

Ends/Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Issued at HKT 14:30


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