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CTA Letter to EPD on Landfill Gas Levels in Hong Kong

From: EPD
Sent: 26 February, 2016
To: CTA
Subject: Query on current levels of Landfill Gas in Hong Kong

Dear Mr. Middleton,

Thank you again for your email dated 12 Jan 2016 regarding the use of LFG.

You may well understand that LFG is generated as a result of physical, chemical and microbial processes that undergo within the waste cells of the landfill. The processes and hence the generation rate would vary from time to time according to different waste intake history, environmental conditions (e.g. temperature, extent of leachate circulation), and configurations of the landfill site (e.g. landfill depth and thickness of cover material), etc. It is noted that the LFG generation at local landfills has been relatively steady over the past few years. In any case, we have been closely monitoring the management of the landfills to ensure landfill operations are in accordance with stringent environmental standards.

As you have already noted that it is a government policy to encourage utilization of LFG recovered from the landfill sites. Apart from on-site utilization at all three strategic landfills, there have been arrangements for off-site utilization at NENT and SENT landfills. In order to make best use of the LFG recovered, EPD has been working closely with the landfill contractor of WENT Landfill in exploring and identifying various practicable beneficial use of surplus LFG recovered at the landfill site. As part of our on-going effort, we have taken the liberty to pass on the information of overseas experience in your email to the contractor for reference/consideration.

May I thank you again for your interest in the Hong Kong environment, which is very much appreciated and important for the continual enhancement of our local environment.

Regards,
H. S. Chan
for the Director of Environmental Protection Department

—————————————————————————————————————-

From: CTA
Sent: 12th January, 2016
To: EPD
Subject: Query on current levels of Landfill Gas in Hong Kong

Dear Gary

Thanks for your reply

In 2008 the LFG at the 3 sites collected was as follows: 26,600 m3 per hour

Obviously as the landfills get older and larger the LFG would normally increase but I note that the 2014 rate is 12.400/6,450/7,185 = 26,035 m3 per hour
which is lower than 2008, of which you state approx 80% (20,828 m3 per hour) would be beneficially used and the remainder (5,200 m3 per hour/ 124,800 m3 per day / 45,552,000 m3 per year)
is flared off.

That seems an awful lot of wasted methane and relevant pollution caused by the flaring. I understand methane is 21 times more damaging to the environment than CO2 but surely some better use
could be made of the gas ?

For example I note that companies like SITA promote liquid biomethane from landfill gas in UK and Europe – why not here too ?

http://www.sita.co.uk/downloads/Gasrec-web.pdf

Kind regards,
James Middleton
Chairman
www.cleartheair.org.hk

 

CTA Letter to Legco on Hong Kong Waste Management

Download (PDF, 632KB)

45,552,000 cubic meters of landfill gas is currently flared off per year from the 3 HKG open landfill sites

Download (PDF, 356KB)

Building more landfills never an option

‘Building more landfills never an option’ shows the total lack of understanding of many HK people about incineration.

30% by weight of what is incinerated remains as ash, that has to be landfilled, ad infinitum. Moreover about 10% of that ash is highly toxic fly ash that has to be encased in cement. HK food waste 3600 m3 per day is ultra wet 90% water content with a calorific value less than 2Mj/kg whereas you need 7 Mj/kg for combustion.

Our daft Govt intends to burn the food waste, meaning accelerant needs to be added making incinerators a waste of energy , not waste 2 energy facility.

Using German test data, burning 1 kg of MSW releases 1kg – 1.2kg of CO2 into the atmosphere, as well as other toxic RSP’s. Interesting that the Environment chief expects to reduce CO2 emissions here on the one hand whilst intending to increase them on the other.

Incineration requires the MSW contacts the flame for at least 2 seconds at 850 deg C – if the waste is wet the burn temperature has to be increased or dioxins can & do form.

We have no source separation of waste legislation, we have no Zero Waste policy, Mass burn mixes batteries & plastics, it is impossible to recycle items tainted by food waste. Our sewer system has such capacity that Stonecutters could handle & treat our daily food slops if industrially garburated in a matter of minutes, a fact supported by CIWEM UK but conveniently ignored by local blinkered ENB officials.

Published on South China Morning Post > Letters to the Editor, August 27, 2015

Hong Kong-Developed Electric MyCar

Any colour so long as it’s green

The Hong Kong-developed electric MyCar is leading the drive for clean-fuel microcars in Britain

David Wilson – Updated on Mar 01, 2009 – SCMP

The time may have come to put the conventional gas-guzzling car in the garage and replace it with a compact electric vehicle. With fuel prices in a state of flux and our environmental vandalism becoming ever more apparent, demand for electric vehicles, or EVs, is increasing.

Hong Kong can be proud in the knowledge that a locally developed EV is attempting to lead the charge for clean-fuel microcars overseas, starting in Europe. The conservatively branded MyCar is an electric microcar – defined as a small, fuel-efficient car, powered by petrol engines of up to 700cc or electricity – manufactured by Kwai Chung-based EuAuto Technology, with funding from the Hong Kong government.

The MyCar was unveiled in Britain in January with a sticker price of £8,995 (HK$99,824). It comes in seven colours including pearl white and metallic green. The two-seater EV, made from fibreglass-reinforced plastic body panels, has a maximum speed of 64km/h and can travel 112km on a full charge. It takes six to eight hours to completely power the car.

EuAuto chief executive Chung Sin-ling says the MyCar should appeal to eco-conscious Britain, which has so far built a network of 73 public battery-charging stations, mostly in London. Owners who join the EV Network (www.ev-network.org.uk/) can charge their cars at the homes of other members.

The vehicle’s top speed might seem slow but it should be enough for London motorists, who drive at an average speed of 16km/h – about 3km/h slower than horse-drawn carriages travelled in Edwardian times.

Precisely because a microcar cannot hurtle around at high speeds, the accident rate is half that of standard cars, says Chung, who estimates microcar insurance and running costs should be about 25 per cent lower the conventional vehicles. Better yet, the MyCar is exempt from road tax as well as central London’s £8 daily congestion charge. In addition, in designated areas of the city, the typical £4-per-hour parking fee is being waived for EVs.

“We expect to get some very good sales over the next few months,” says Chung, noting the MyCar’s low running costs, zero carbon emissions and convenience for short-distance travel.

Unfortunately, the British MyCar launch ran into the heaviest snowfalls the country has seen in 18 years and the vehicle has so far registered only four sales.

EuAuto’s MyCar initiative was originally funded by Hong Kong’s Innovation and Technology Commission. The microcar’s driving system was co-developed with the Electrical and Electronic Engineering Department of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, while its initial design is credited to Italian car designer Giorgetto Giugiaro. Lee Tak-chi, a professor at Polytechnic University’s School of Design, was involved in the design of the prototype, introduced at the 2003 Bologna Motor Show, in Italy.

Peter Sun, chairman of EuAuto, points out that the MyCar’s future plans include a coupe, a four-seater and a pick-up.

Chung says the target markets for MyCar do not include Hong Kong – not because of safety issues but because “there is no such thing as a microcar in Hong Kong”. In other words, there is no classification that covers such a vehicle and would allow for its licensing.

The usual snag with EVs is that they handle badly but Chung describes the MyCar – which weighs 726kg with batteries – as “very stable” and capable of turning in a tight circle. The car measures 2.6 metres by 1.4 metres by 1.4 metres with a ground clearance of 12cm. Its maximum load is 200kg. The MyCar also needs minimal upkeep. “Besides its four-battery pack, there is nothing else that needs maintenance,” says Chung, adding that the car’s Italian-made parts should last a long time because they are made from the highest quality materials. It also has electric windows and central locking.

“You get a lot more features and functionality,” says Chung, noting that rival microcars from France and India are comparatively clunky. “And, of course, by emitting less carbon dioxide you’re also saving the world.”

There is, however, some uncertainty over the MyCar’s battery. Currently made of lead-absorbent glass mat cells, it will be upgraded to lithium. The change will probably increase both the vehicle’s mileage and the cost of the battery.

Early last century, American industrialist Henry Ford, father of the modern assembly line, teamed up with inventor Thomas Edison on a doomed mission to introduce an EV to the market.

Interest in electric vehicles was rekindled in the late 1960s and again in the 70s, following the Arab oil embargo.

Innovation consultant Jeff Lindsay paints a bright future for the MyCar, which he describes as “impressively styled”.

“It may be a compelling vehicle for urban dwellers, who rarely need to exceed 64km/h,” says Lindsay, adding that a microcar that can deliver basic performance and convenience should do well in today’s market. He warns, however, that pricing is critical and urges MyCar’s makers to publish their safety test results.

Europe is only a starting point for the MyCar, Chung says. Future plans include selling the EV in Asia, including in Greater China. She intends to lobby the Hong Kong government to change transport regulations, paving the way for the MyCar’s entry into its home market.

Christian Masset, chairman of anti-pollution group Clear the Air, says EVs such as the MyCar should be introduced on to Hong Kong streets.

“It would improve roadside air quality at no cost,” says Masset.

Additional reporting by Bien Perez.

Clear The Air Meeting with John Tsang Chun-Wah

Meeting with John Tsang Chun-Wah

Consultation on the 2008/09 Policy Address to be delivered by Donald Tsang, Chief Executive.

• Energy :

The recent agreement signed between the HK Govt and the mainland for the supply of gas to the SAR is a welcome step towards cleaning up electricity generation within Hong Kong. (Power generation by gas is 60% efficient and by coal only 38% since gas burns at approx 500degrees hotter than coal).

However Turkmenistan gas won’t be flowing into Hong Kong CLP power station before 2013 at least. Hong Kong Electric (HKE) already has its own LNG gas supply from Da Peng 93 kms pipeline but only has 335 Mwh capacity of gas generation.

China Light & Power (CLP) generated 23% of its output in 2007 by burning 2.5 billion m3 of gas. HKE generated 17% of its output in 2007 by gas.

Until such time as Hong Kong gets a guaranteed stable source of gas supply, CLP and HKE will have to burn more coal to match current production rates. In addition CLP needs to increase its sales to Southern China to help offset the burning of high polluting sulphur fuel by factories currently using their own generators due to a lack of grid supply.

We are aware steps are just now being taken by the two power companies to meet the 2010 targets and reduce emissions due to coal burning through the installation of FGD equipment and NOx burners – however recent research conducted by Clear The Air with what has been already implemented in the US revealed that NOx burners definitely increase the amount PM 2.5 released into the atmosphere since the Electrostatic precipitators in the stacks cannot catch the PM2.5.

It is precisely these PM 2.5 particles that contribute to our bad air quality, reduce the visibility and increase the burden of our healthcare to combat asthma and all kinds of respiratory diseases affecting all including the children. At the scale of the US, and based on published scientific studies alone, the American EPA estimates that the most likely benefits of meeting the revised 24-hour PM 2.5 standards will range from US$17 billion to US$35 billion.

How can we now immediately and drastically reduce PM 2.5 levels and clean our filthy air ? It is by the use of agglomerators – the technology exists it is proven largely in Australia , USA and Poland; CLP would have to install 2 agglomerators per boilers that means 16 in total (15 more to install).

Today, only one is installed. At an average cost of HKD 10M for purchase and installation this means a total bill of HKD 150M, (or 10 days of CLP’s current summer cost for its supply of coal).

Let’s keep in mind that the PM 2.5 are the ultra fine particles that refract the light and cause our “haze” and stay in the lungs for the long term – they are the most harmful ones – the NOx burners cause the soot particles to superheat, crack and break into superfine particles and escape –

What agglomerators do, they charge them with an electrostatic device which causes them to cling to larger soot particles which the precipitators then catch. The agglomerator technology can collect more than 75 % of those superfine particles currently emitted from the stacks of CLP and HKE, They are easily retrofitted to meet with the 2010 emissions caps proposed by the HK Government.

Mr Tsang, the agglomerators are THE answer to the air pollution we will be facing until LNG comes significantly into play.

Meanwhile Hong Kong needs to mandate to use of low sulphur bunker fuel in maritime use here and to consider mandating aircraft run their engines for 2 minutes at half throttle prior to take off to remove the unburnt JetA fuel blasted in the Tung Chung air.

Clear the Air – Meeting With John Tsang Chun-Wah

Consultation on the 2008/09 Policy Address to be delivered by Donald Tsang, Chief Executive.

  • Energy :

The recent agreement signed between the HK Govt and the mainland for the supply of gas to the SAR is a welcome step towards cleaning up electricity generation within Hong Kong. (Power generation by gas is 60% efficient and by coal only 38% since gas burns at approx 500degrees hotter than coal).

However Turkmenistan gas won’t be flowing into Hong Kong CLP power station before 2013 at least. Hong Kong Electric (HKE) already has its own LNG gas supply from Da Peng 93 kms pipeline but only has 335 Mwh capacity of gas generation.

China Light & Power (CLP) generated 23% of its output in 2007 by burning 2.5 billion m3of gas. HKE generated 17% of its output in 2007 by gas.

Until such time as Hong Kong gets a guaranteed stable source of gas supply, CLP and HKE will have to burn more coal to match current production rates. In addition CLP needs to increase its sales to Southern China to help offset the burning of high polluting sulphur fuel by factories currently using their own generators due to a lack of grid supply.

We are aware steps are just now being taken by the two power companies to meet the 2010 targets and reduce emissions due to coal burning through the installation of FGD equipment and NOx burners – however recent research conducted by Clear The Air with what has been already implemented in the US revealed that NOx burners definitely increase the amount PM 2.5 released into the atmosphere since the Electrostatic precipitators in the stacks cannot catch the PM2.5.

It is precisely these PM 2.5 particles that contribute to our bad air quality, reduce the visibility and increase the burden of our healthcare to combat asthma and all kinds of respiratory diseases affecting all including the children. At the scale of the US, and based on published scientific studies alone, the American EPA estimates that the most likely benefits of meeting the revised 24-hour PM 2.5 standards will range from US$17 billion to US$35 billion.

How can we now immediately and drastically reduce PM 2.5 levels and clean our filthy air ?
It is by the use of agglomerators – the technology exists it is proven largely in Australia , USA and Poland; CLP would have to install 2 agglomerators per boilers that means 16 in total (15 more to install).

Today, only one is installed. At an average cost of HKD 10M for purchase and installation this means a total bill of HKD 150M, (or 10 days of CLP’s current summer cost for its supply of coal).

Let’s keep in mind that the PM 2.5 are the ultra fine particles that refract the light and cause our “haze” and stay in the lungs for the long term – they are the most harmful ones – the NOx burners cause the soot particles to superheat, crack and break into superfine particles and escape –

What agglomerators do, they charge them with an electrostatic device which causes them to cling to larger soot particles which the precipitators then catch. The agglomerator technology can collect more than 75 % of those superfine particles currently emitted from the stacks of CLP and HKE, They are easily retrofitted to meet with the 2010 emissions caps proposed by the HK Government.

Mr Tsang, the agglomerators are THE answer to the air pollution we will be facing until LNG comes significantly into play.

Meanwhile Hong Kong needs to mandate to use of low sulphur bunker fuel in maritime use here and to consider mandating aircraft run their engines for 2 minutes at half throttle prior to take off to remove the unburnt JetA fuel blasted in the Tung Chung air.

Regulate CO2 from Power Plants Now

Hong Kong green groups’ joint campaign

Filed under: Hong Kong Climate change — Jacqui Dixon @ 20:28 pm – CSR Asia

Six green groups in Hong Kong have been running a campaign over the last few weeks to encourage the Hong Kong government to incorporate carbon dioxide into the Air Pollution Control Ordinance, which limits air pollutants from the two local power companies CLP and HEC. The groups argue that “the government only regulates power plants’ so called ‘conventional’ air pollutants, such as sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and continues to turn a blind eye to capping their CO2″.

Regulate CO2 from Power Plants Now!

Six Green Groups Urge You to Sign a Petition to the Government

Dear friends,

Climate change is accelerating! Hong Kong Observatory said our winter will disappear after 20 years. The government is amending the Air Pollution Control Ordinance to limit air pollutants from the two local power companies, CLP and HEC after 2010. Yet emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), the major greenhouse gas (GHG) causing climate change, is not regulated at all. Six green groups now urge for your support to combat global warming by escalating the urgency for the government to restrict CO2 emissions from the power plants.

The two power companies are the biggest local sources of GHG emissions, accounting for 70% of the total CO2 released. They definitely contribute to climate change. However, the government only regulates power plants’ so called ‘conventional’ air pollutants, such as sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and continues to turn a blind eye to capping their CO2.

Send the following letter to the Chief Executive and the Secretary of Environment Bureau today. Request for CO2 emission caps for power plants in the Air Pollution Control Ordinance. Let’s stop allowing the power companies to cook the climate!

Friends of the Earth (Hong Kong), Greenpeace, Greensense, Greeners Action, WWF Hong Kong, Clear The Air

http://write-a-letter.greenpeace.org/407

Green Groups Push For CO2 Caps in Scheme of Control

Nishika Patel

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Six green groups have accused the government of not doing enough to curb greenhouse gas emissions, saying the new scheme of control will not force power companies into line.

Staging a protest at the Environment Bureau yesterday, members of the alliance urged authorities to cap carbon dioxide emissions for power plants and deduct their profits if the targets are not met.

Greenpeace said CLP Power and Hong Kong Electric are responsible for emitting 70 percent of carbon dioxide in the SAR and are the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions

The groups are angry that the government only regulates emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and respirable suspended particulates, but not the chief greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide .

“While countries around the world are actively fighting global warming, the SAR government simply allows carbon dioxide emissions to damage the climate without regulation. The government should not shirk its responsibility,” Greenpeace climate and energy campaigner Frances Yeung Hoi-shan said.

The alliance also wants a new scheme of control to set targets to reduce energy consumption and sanctions imposed if the power firms fail to meet the targets.

“Energy saving is the most cost- effective means to control greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality. However, the government has suggested offering incentives to power plants to improve energy saving and demand-side management which, however, are not compulsory and only serve as foil,” Yeung said.

The groups included Friends of the Earth, Greeners Action, Green Sense, WWF Hong Kong and Clear the Air, along with Carbon Dioxide Foundlings.

Power Plant Emission Figures

The following statistics were gatherered from both China Light and Power and HK Electric Holdings in reference to the total electricity sent out and the resulting emissions of Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Sulphur Dioxide (SO2), Nitrous Oxides (NOx) and Particulates emitted.

Year 2006

CLP

HK Electric Holdings

Total/Year

Daily Amount

Total Electricity Sent Out 2006 (Gwh)

25,024

12,199

37,223,000 Mwh

101,980.82 MwH

C02 emitted – Kilo Tonnes (Kt)

17,990

9,850

27,840,000 tonnes

76,273.97 tonnes

S02 emitted (Sulphur Dioxide) Kt

36

30

66,000 tonnes

180.82 tonnes

N0x emitted (Nitrous Oxides) Kt

24.5

17.3

41,800 tonnes

114.52 tonnes

Particulates emitted Kt

1.5

1.3

2,800 tonnes

7.67 tonnes

2006 emissions by HK Power plants Source:

https://www.clpgroup.com/SocNEnv/SER/Performance/KeyPerofrmance/Pages/default.aspx
https://www.clpgroup.com/Abt/Res/Pub/Pages/default.aspx
http://www.heh.com/NR/rdonlyres/031CA156-3A44-447D-B598-7866268825F7/0/13InPursuitofExcellence.pdf

The following letter was sent by James Middleton on behalf of Clear The Air Hong Kong, to the Director for Environmental Protection:

Dear Sir,

I refer to a letter in another local English language daily last week ‘Naive view of HK pollution’ by Angela Jackson which refers to the administration chief’s intention to match Hong Kong with London’s and New York’s pollution levels by 2005. For this we must now read ‘2010’.

The Hong Kong Government has frequently stated that most of Hong Kong’s pollution emanates from the Pearl River Delta. I think they have been watching too many ‘Yes Prime Minister’ shows and tried to copy the antics. Strange then that on major chinese public holidays when the factories over the border were shut that Hong Kong was still in pea soup air.

If one follows the weblinks on the two local power company websites to audited emission figures provided by the coal burning local polluters it shows that the two between them emitted 76,576 tonnes of pollutants and greenhouse C02 gas into Hong Kong’s air on average every day of the year in 2006 (yes that is three thousand one hundred and ninety tonnes per hour) – then we have the old diesel buses, trucks and PLB roadside pollution and ship emissions in the harbour on top of this number and that’s before anyone smokes tobacco.

Having raised this with the EPD we received the following reply:

Dear Sir,

Thank you for your messages addressed to this department on 15 and 16 November 2007.

Curbing emissions from power plants is one of the top environmental agenda of the HKSAR Government. Under the Air Pollution Control Ordinance, power plants are classified as specified processes requiring licensing control and the use of the most advanced control technology to prevent the emissions and ensure the meeting of the relevant air quality objectives.

Also, from 1997, we have established the policy that all new generating units have to be natural gas-fired plants which emit virtually no sulphur dioxide and particulates, 80% less of nitrogen oxides and about half of the carbon dioxide emissions.

To improve air quality, the Hong Kong SAR Government reached a consensus with the Guangdong Provincial Government in April 2002 to reduce the emission of SO2, NOx, RSP and volatile organic compounds by 40%, 20%, 55% and 55%, respectively by 2010 compared to 1997 levels. Both power companies are required to cap their emissions progressively during their licence renewals to achieve the 2010 emission reduction targets.

Please be assured that the HKSAR will continue its best efforts to ensure the maximum reduction of power companies’ emission for protecting the public from any adverse health effects. On carbon emissions disclosure, you may have noted that the two power companies have provided CO2 emissions data of their power plants in Hong Kong at their corporate websites.

Yours faithfully,

Louis Chan for Director of Environmental Protection