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Letter from Clear The Air to SCMP

13 Sept. 2010

Dear Mr Lee

Hong Kong Government’s EPA issued a target of slashing local carbon emissions by up to 33 per cent in a decade whilst positive action is awaited on mandating  the city’s Air Quality Standards .

Green Groups quoted by SCMP (not Clear the Air) commented that increased nuclear imports  proposed by Government were not the solution to reducing local carbon emissions.  US EPA figures for CO2, Sulphur  and NOx emissions for coal powered generation per each MWh of electricity produced  (kgs) are 1,022 / 5.9 / 2.73 respectively ; for natural gas the emissions are (kgs) 516 / 0.045 /0.77 respectively.  The emissions for nuclear power generation are  0 / 0 / 0 respectively – zero.

Source: energy/impacts

The report on comparison of fossil fuel versus nuclear is available at the US Department of Energy site:

CLP’s  sustainability report states it intends to move towards 50 % fuel mix using natural gas and to import more nuclear power .   CLP also has rights to import  50 per cent of the capacity of Phase 1 of the Guangzhou Pumped Storage Power Station at Conghua.

CLP is converting its ‘A’ station at Castle Peak to natural gas powered turbines whilst its ‘B’ station has been retrofitted with Desulphurization units to allow it (unfortunately) to continue to burn coal.

In 2009 the fuel mix for CLP for locally supplied power was :

Coal : 44.5%, Nuclear: 30.6%; Gas: 24.7%; Oil: 0.2%. CLP Figures on the fuel mix (presumably mainly coal) for generation of CLP’s 13,433 Terajoules  of electricity exported to Guangdong in 2009 were absent.

Figures for HK Electric (HEC)  fuel mix in  2009 are 20% gas / 80% coal. HEC states it intends to increase its gas mix to 30% in 2010.  The figures  show which power company is relying more on polluting fossil fuel as its major source of energy production.

Hong Kong lacks the land area for large renewable energy solar plants as used in California and wind power stations  as in Scandinavia , China and India. Neither does it have rivers that could produce clean hydro electric power. It is however surrounded by sea and the relevant authorities  should explore the use of offshore wave / tidal  power in the long term.

The two local power companies should fully interconnect with the Mainland grid to reduce backup and hence less wastage and have a more flexible connection capability (as in Australia) where households can sell their excess solar power back to the grid.  The cost of a typical CO2 capture system for a small 800MW fossil fuel power station could cost US$ 750 million thus possibly affecting Scheme of Control agreements. By comparison  CAPCO local installed capacity is 6,908 MW and HEC installed capacity is 3,756 MW.  Meanwhile Hong Kong is in dire need of  shipping Emissions Control Area legislation to restrict the burning of  bunker fuel in local PRD coastal waters and the removal of pre Euro and Euro 1 diesel vehicles from our roads.

James Middleton

Chairman Energy Committee

telephone and contact address is listed on our website.

Relevant Hong Kong data


41,725 Terajoules of nuclear power imported (30.6% of CLP’s local supply)

139,420 Terajoules generated at local plants

13,433 Terajoules exported to the Mainland

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) identifies the following average emission levels in the production of 1 MWh of electricity
Kilos of Emissions per 1 MWh (converted from lbs as shown on the site)
Coal Oil Natural Gas Nuclear
Carbon Dioxide 1022 760 516 0
Sulfur Dioxide 5.9 5.45 0.045 0
Nitrogen Oxides 2.73 1.82 0.77 0 energy/impacts

  • Installed capacity factsheet * (excludes Daya Bay)

CLP Power Hong Kong Limited (CLP Power), founded

in 1901, supplies electricity to Kowloon and the New

Territories, including Lantau, Cheung Chau and most of

the outlying islands.

CLP Power’s local maximum demand in 2008 was

6 749 MW, while local sales amounted to 30.1 billion kWh.

At the year end, the company had 2.29 million customers.

At present, electricity is generated by three power

stations, namely, Castle Peak (4 108 MW), Black Point

(2 500 MW) and Penny’s Bay (300 MW), with the total

installed capacity being 6 908 MW. All these power

stations are owned by Castle Peak Power Company

Limited (CAPCO), 60% of which is owned by ExxonMobil

Energy Limited and 40% by CLP Power. CLP Power has

contracted to purchase about 70% of the power generated

at the two 984 MW pressurised water reactors at the

Guangdong Daya Bay Nuclear Power Station, some 50

kilometres from Hong Kong, to help meet the long term

demand for electricity in its supply area. It also has the

right to use 50 per cent of the 1 200 MW capacity of Phase

1 of the Guangzhou Pumped Storage Power Station, at


Wholly owned by CLP Power, the transmission

system operates at 400kV and 132kV while distribution is

mainly at 33kV, 11kV and 380V. The supply is 50Hz

alternating current, at 220V single-phase or 380V

three-phase. For bulk customers, supply is available at

132kV, 33kV and 11kV.

An extra high voltage transmission system, at 400kV,

transmits power from the Castle Peak and Black Point

Power Stations to the various load centres. It comprises

503 kilometres of double-circuit overhead line encircling

the New Territories, 52 kilometres of cables and 11 extra

high voltage substations.

By the end of 2008, CLP Power had 214 primary and

12 914 secondary substations in its transmission and

distribution network.

The company’s power system has been

interconnected with the Guangdong power system since

April 1979 and electricity is exported to Guangdong

Province. 80 per cent of the profit is given back to CLP

Power’s local customers

  • The Hongkong Electric Company Limited (HEC),
  • founded in 1889, supplies electricity to Hong Kong Island,
  • Ap Lei Chau and Lamma Island. Electricity is supplied from
  • the Lamma Power Station. At the end of 2008, the total
  • installed capacity of the station was 3 756 MW.
  • The maximum demand in 2008 was 2 589 MW, and
  • sales of electricity for the year amounted to 10.9 billion kWh.
  • At the year end, the company had 0.56 million customers.


Castle Peak Power Company

Limited (CAPCO), 60% of which is owned by ExxonMobil

Energy Limited and 40% by CLP Power

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