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Power Firms In Air-Quality Pact

Anita Lam – SCMP – Updated on Aug 04, 2008

The government has reached a pact with the two power companies to boost air quality during the Olympic equestrian competition.

Secretary for the Environment Edward Yau Tang-wah said Hongkong Electric and CLP Power had agreed to use cleaner fuels during the events in an effort to cut emission of pollutants during the Olympic and Paralympics events.

“The two electric companies will increase their use of natural gas by about 20 per cent … we hope this will help improve the city’s air quality,” he said.

Natural gas is the cleanest of all fossil fuels, in releasing 2,591 times less sulfur dioxide and five times less nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide than coal.

But it makes up only 17 per cent of energy generation for Hongkong Electric and about a third for CLP Power due to cost concerns and technical constraints.

The two companies said gas use would revert to normal when the Games were over but they would continue to review supplies to decide whether to increase its use in the long run.

Other green measures for the events include a ban on idling engines at the venue. The Equestrian Company will also confine its fleet to vehicles with emission standards of Euro three or above.

Mr Yau said that in the long run, the government would further strengthen co-operation with Guangdong over a standardised set of air pollution indices and the two governments would also continue to assist the 60,000 Hong Kong enterprises in the Pearl River Delta to reduce emissions. Speaking on a radio programme, the minister said the government had already poured HK$93 million into a Cleaner Production Partnership Programme.

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