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Two more trial projects on hydrogen fuel technology given agreement-in-principle by Inter-departmental Working Group on Using Hydrogen as Fuel
     A spokesperson for the Environment and Ecology Bureau (EEB) said that the Inter-departmental Working Group on Using Hydrogen as Fuel (Working Group) led by the EEB has given agreement-in-principle to two more applications of trial projects on hydrogen fuel technology at its meeting yesterday (October 12).
     These projects concern an application jointly submitted by China State Construction Engineering (Hong Kong) Limited, Hong Kong Nation-Synergy International Hydrogen Power Technology Co., Limited, and Sinopec (Hong Kong) Limited, which involves providing electricity for a site office at a construction site in Lok Ma Chau with hydrogen fuel; and an application submitted by the Hong Kong and China Gas Company Limited and a padel company, which involves extracting hydrogen from the existing towngas network at the site of the latter in Sai Kung to generate electricity for charging electric vehicles. 
     The spokesperson for the EEB stated, "Upon receipt of the applications for the two trial projects in July 2023, the Working Group promptly initiated the examination process. Following the applicants' enhancement on the designs and technical details to ensure that the trial projects can be carried out smoothly and safely, the Working Group has given agreement-in-principle to the two applications at its meeting yesterday."
     Since March 24 this year, the Working Group has given agreement-in-principle to a total of nine valid applications of hydrogen energy trial projects. The various trial projects will provide data and field experience to formulate an operational safety framework for the local use of hydrogen fuel in the long run. The Working Group is closely monitoring the progress of the projects, as well as other cases with an interest in submitting an application. When examining the applications, the Working Group will request the applicants to take into account the Working Group's comments in order to optimise the trial projects, with a view to enabling the smooth and expeditious commencement of more trial projects where their hydrogen fuel technologies are feasible. 
     As regards the trial project on the first hydrogen fuel cell (HFC) double decker submitted by Citybus Limited (Citybus), Citybus expects the bus to arrive in Hong Kong within this month for the final preparation for the commencement of its trial.  The Working Group noted that that Citybus is proactively following up, with a view to commencing the trial project within this year as scheduled.
     With respect to trials on heavy vehicles, the Working Group noted that relevant departments have awarded the leasing contracts for three HFC street washing vehicles in early October this year, and is following up closely on subsequent issues, including future procedures such as testing, delivery, and acceptance.
     The spokesperson said, "The Working Group also listened to the results of the studies conducted by two consultancy companies, including the formulation of the safety guidelines for a hydrogen fuel system on vehicles and hydrogen refueling stations as well as the technical guidelines for quantitative risk assessment of hydrogen refueling stations by benchmarking relevant regulations and standards in Mainland China and overseas. Apart from making reference to the work of the consultancy studies in formulating the interim standards for relevant trial projects, the Working Group also considered that these guidelines suit the needs of hydrogen development in Hong Kong. Further consultation with the professional bodies, trade and stakeholders will be carried out with a view to refining these guidelines for incorporating into the Code of Practice under the future regulatory framework."
     The spokesperson supplemented, "The Working Group also noted that the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) has commissioned a consultant to study the amendment of the Gas Safety Ordinance (Cap. 51) to cover hydrogen as fuel, and will conduct a business impact assessment in consultation with the trade and stakeholders. The Government will introduce the proposed legislative amendment to the Legislative Council at an appropriate time. In addition, the Working Group also had an initial discussion on the strategies and measures for hydrogen development in future."
     The Working Group is formed by the EEB, the Transport and Logistics Bureau, the Development Bureau, the Security Bureau, the Environmental Protection Department, the EMSD, the Fire Services Department, the Transport Department, the Marine Department, the Planning Department, the Lands Department, the Buildings Department and the Architectural Services Department.
Ends/Friday, October 13, 2023
Issued at HKT 15:10
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