New gas deal reduces need to build terminal in Hong Kong

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 09 September, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 09 September, 2008, 12:00am

I refer to the letter by Bill Barron and Alexis Lau ('Will HK's gas pipeline really clean our skies?', September 5).

Regarding the concerns they expressed on the level of gas supply (that 1 billion cubic metres of gas will be provided to Hong Kong per year, which is less than 40 per cent of what CLP Power is getting from the Yacheng field), under the Memorandum of Understanding, the central government has guaranteed the supply of natural gas from three sources, that is, offshore gas, piped gas and a liquefied natural gas terminal (LNG) to be jointly built on the mainland.

The future level of gas supply to Hong Kong will, as a result, be over and above the current level.

Because of this the need for Hong Kong to build an LNG terminal within the SAR will be greatly reduced.

Hong Kong can also benefit from improved air quality by increasing the use of clean energy and reducing the emission of power plants.

The chief executive signed a memorandum of understanding with Zhang Guobao, vice-chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission and administrator of the National Energy Administration on August 28, on the continuous supply of nuclear electricity and natural gas to Hong Kong in the coming two decades. According to the memorandum:

The central government supports the decision by the China National Offshore Oil Corporation to renew its supply agreement to Hong Kong for a further term of 20 years based on the current gas supply level;

It was also agreed in principle that the feasibility of supplying natural gas to Hong Kong via the second west-east natural gas pipeline will be studied and the annual gas supply will not be less than one billion cubic metres, which is an additional source over and above the current level of supply; and

An LNG terminal will be jointly built on the mainland for supply to Hong Kong.

The supply quantity will be negotiated between the enterprises on both sides based on commercial principles.

Katharine Choi, for secretary for the environment