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Green is way to go for biodiesel plant

Samson Lee

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

A Hong Kong-based company is investing US$164 million (HK$1.28 billion) to build a biodiesel plant to produce 100,000 tonnes of fuel each year.

“As a clean, alternative transport fuel made from waste, our biodiesel has the potential to make a valuable contribution to improving Hong Kong’s environment,” ASB Biodiesel chief executive Anthony Dixon said yesterday.

Dixon said emissions of greenhouse gases from biodiesel are 85 percent less than those of fossil diesel.

Widespread use of biofuel has sparked controversy, with opponents seeking to taint the diversion of crop supplies toward biofuel production as disastrous for food supply.

Dixon said the problem may be overcome by producing biofuel from waste.

He also said rising food prices will have little impact on production costs.

Noting that local demand for biodiesel currently stands at 70,000 tonnes a year, Dixon urged the government to provide more support for producers.

He said the fuel his firm produces will be distributed to local petrochemical and oil companies, as well as the international marketplace.

Construction of ASB Biodiesel’s plant – located on an 18,000-square-meter site in Tseung Kwan O Industrial Estate – will be completed in December 2012, with production starting in 2013.

Greeners Action executive director Angus Ho Hong-wai said biodiesel use can reduce our dependence on fossil diesel, which generates large amounts of air pollutants, such as sulfur dioxide.

Ho suggested the government offer incentives, such as providing land, for producers to build their plants. There are currently three biodiesel production plants in the territory.

In order to promote the use of biodiesel locally, motor vehicle biodiesel is duty-free.

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