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Clean Fuel Project Kicks Off In Shenzhen

Fox Yi Hu, SCMP – Feb 08, 2009

Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen attended a ceremony in Shenzhen yesterday to mark the beginning of a national natural gas pipeline project that will eventually supply clean energy to Hong Kong.

Vice-Premier Li Keqiang also appeared at the ceremony, marking the start of construction of the 93 billion yuan (HK$105 billion) eastern part of China’s second west-east natural gas pipeline.

Mr Tsang said clean energy from the mainland would help ensure the sustainable growth of Hong Kong’s economy.

Secretary for the Environment Edward Yau Tang-wah, who was also at the event, said the construction of the pipeline represented a “big step” towards building a greener Pearl River Delta.

“For Hong Kong itself, it will bring an additional supply of natural gas which increases the portion of cleaner fuel for our power generation, which in effect would bring in clean air,” Mr Yau said.

A Hong Kong government source said Mr Tsang had a brief meeting with Mr Li after the ceremony.

“Mr Li said the central government decided to connect the gas pipeline to Hong Kong at the request of the Hong Kong government and the move aims at facilitating the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong,” the source said.

The source said the cost of lengthening the pipeline from Shenzhen to Hong Kong was not high but would bring huge benefits to Hong Kong.

In a statement, the government said some Hong Kong firms were planning the construction of a conduit connecting to the national pipeline, with an aim to complete it by 2013.

Xinhua said the national pipeline would cross 15 provinces and carry 30 billion cubic metres of natural gas a year to places including Zhejiang, Shanghai, Guangdong and Hong Kong.

The 8,704km pipeline will be made up of one trunk line and eight sublines. Construction of the western segment of the pipeline started in February last year and is expected to be completed by the end of this year. The whole line will be operational by the end of 2011.

The total investment in the second west-east natural gas pipeline project is 142.2 billion yuan, with the 2,472km eastern part costing 93 billion yuan.

After completion, the second natural gas pipeline is expected to reduce coal consumption by 11.06 million tonnes every year, according to Xinhua.

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