Government to further reduce emissions from power plants

     A spokesperson for the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) today (October 10) said that the Government will publish on October 13 (Friday) in the Gazette the Seventh Technical Memorandum for Allocation of Emission Allowances in Respect of Specified Licences, which aims to further reduce the emissions of air pollutants from power plants from 2022 onwards. This will help to further improve air quality in both Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta (PRD) region.

     The new technical memorandum (TM), which has been issued under the Air Pollution Control Ordinance (APCO), caps the annual emissions of sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and respirable suspended particulates (RSPs) from the power generation sector from 2022 at 5 290 tonnes, 17 530 tonnes and 490 tonnes respectively. As compared with the emission allowances for 2021 set under the Sixth TM, the proposed Seventh TM will further tighten the emissions of SO2, NOx and RSPs by 25 per cent, 15 per cent and 11 per cent respectively for the electricity sector.

     "In setting the new emission caps, we have taken into account factors including the progress of the two power companies in increasing local gas generation to around 50 per cent of the total fuel mix for electricity generation by 2020 (2020 Fuel Mix Target), new technology to upgrade existing gas-fired generating units for improving their NOx emission performance and thermal efficiency, and projected electricity consumption," the spokesperson said.

     The Hongkong Electric Company, Limited is building a new gas-fired generating unit for operation in 2022. The gas generation ratio will increase, thus allowing room for further reduction of the emission allowances. There is a reduction in the forecast electricity demand for 2022 and 2023.

     CLP Power Hong Kong Limited is building a new gas-fired generating unit at its Black Point Power Station for commencement of operation in 2020. It has also upgraded one gas-fired generating unit, and will upgrade two more by 2018, which will further reduce its NOx emissions. There is only a limited increase in the forecast electricity demand for 2022 and 2023.

     "As emissions from the power generation sector accounted for 37 per cent, 28 per cent and 11 per cent of the territory-wide emissions of SO2, NOx and RSPs respectively in 2015, the tightened emission allowances will help improve the air quality in Hong Kong and the PRD," the spokesperson added.

     "For any new electricity works, we will allocate emission allowances based on the emission performance of a new gas-fired generating unit adopting the latest technology for emission reduction. The Seventh TM will continue to retain the mechanism in the Sixth TM to cater for the intake of renewable energy."

     The Government announced in March 2015 the 2020 Fuel Mix Target, which will contribute to attaining the Government's pledged environmental targets for 2020, i.e. to reduce the carbon intensity by 50 to 60 per cent by 2020 when compared to 2005, and to reduce the emissions of SO2 by 35 to 75 per cent, NOx by 20 to 30 per cent and RSPs by 15 to 40 per cent by 2020 when compared to 2010. The EPD will review the TM again not later than 2019 to enable timely revision of the emission allowances.

     The new TM will be tabled at the Legislative Council on October 18 for commencement before the end of 2017. The new set of emission allowances will come into effect on January 1, 2022, in accordance with the APCO.

Ends/Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Issued at HKT 19:10