Oil company defends green goals in SAR

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 27 May, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 27 May, 2000, 12:00am

We refer to the letter from Alistair Chalmers (South China Morning Post, May 20) which shows concern over the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) programme.

As a committed corporate citizen of Hong Kong, we have always taken our responsibility for the environment seriously and have regarded environmental objectives as an integral part of our business. Shell recognises that the first important step to contribute to sustainable development is to meet Hong Kong's energy needs in an efficient, safe and environmentally responsible way.

We have been committed to supporting the LPG programme. Initiatives include organising a discussion forum in 1995; co-ordinating an overseas study tour in 1996; organising gas refilling training in 1997; and participating in the trial for LPG taxis since 1997.

Without doubt, LPG is a clean alternative to diesel. However, the problem we face is that most existing stations are not suitable for providing LPG refilling because of size, proximity to residential neighbourhoods and inadequacy of safety distance. Among 61 Shell stations across Hong Kong, 45 of our existing stations are not feasible for conversion to LPG due to regulatory and physical constraints, and five require government approval for extra land. The remaining 11 are subject to risk assessments and final approval by the Government.

None of the 11 potentially feasible stations are located on Hong Kong Island. Only one is located in Kowloon with the rest in either Kwai Tsing or the New Territories. Half of the 24 sites nominated by the Government for use in the first year of the LPG programme are also located in the New Territories. In Hong Kong, there are 18,000 taxis but most operate in urban districts. This problem cannot be resolved by Shell's existing station network alone.

Shell's Kowloon Bay Station is one of four existing LPG filling stations in Hong Kong. To cope with increasing demand of more than 600 taxis we have increased the gas replenishment frequency and arranged an LPG tanker to stand by overnight. We are doing our best to provide a quality service.

At Shell, we are committed to fulfilling our commitment to sustainable development.

IRENE CHAN Public Affairs Manager Shell Hong Kong Limited