ALTERNATIVE ENERGY

Hong Kong to study increasing use of biodiesel: Christine Loh Kung-wai

PUBLISHED : Monday, 21 July, 2014, 6:21am
UPDATED : Monday, 21 July, 2014, 12:07pm

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The Hong Kong government will commission a study and consult the biodiesel industry about widening the use of the clean fuel, including its mandatory blending into fossil diesel.

The study would look at such issues as the cost and benefits of using biodiesel and whether and how to ensure it came from sustainable sources, said the undersecretary for the environment, Christine Loh Kung-wai.

"We are commissioning a study on the potential and implications of the wider use of biodiesel in Hong Kong and will consult the relevant trades before introducing any mandatory measures," she said.

The study was targeted to be completed in the second quarter of next year and biodiesel makers, importers and major users in the transport, logistics and construction sectors would be consulted, she said. Any mandatory adoption would be years away.

"Anything that requires legislation takes several years to get done nowadays," she said.

The idea of introducing biodiesel consumption in Hong Kong is not new. A government-commissioned report in 2003 said 10 vehicles tested saw an average 14 per cent reduction in both carbon monoxide and unburned hydrocarbons emission.

The government has launched two pilot programmes for various departments to use diesel blended with 5 per cent biodiesel.

Ken Chan, policy, government and public affairs manager at Chevron, which runs the Caltex chain of petrol stations in Hong Kong, said it was not supplying biodiesel in the city, but would do so if required.

He said the government needed to consider that many diesel vehicles travelling across the border would likely escape mandatory biodiesel blending by filling up on the mainland.

A spokesman for KMB, the city's biggest franchised bus operator, said it had "no position" on the adoption of biodiesel.