• Sat
  • Sep 20, 2014
  • Updated: 8:57am
NewsHong Kong

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

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.


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This article is now closed to comments

I wonder if, seeing that a certain lawmaker from the catering sector functional puppet sector was earning consultant fees from a large Biodiesel setup here, whether that had anything to do with the EPD 'interest' which was already shot down by the joint study below by EPD/HKU in 2003
It is a government’s usual perfunctory act when comes to improving environmental quality in Hong Kong by commissioning a study. This time it is the biodiesel to be use in Hong Kong. Not only there will be a study but we are forewarn that mandatory adoption of the fuel would be years away.
It is very much a rehash how government had handled the use of LPG despite decades of use in Japan. The stalling tactic can’t be ignored as well this time Caltex our local patrol supplier a bit more accommodating that it will do so when Hong Kong is ready. I am sure it is a deflection from public criticism. Biodiesel is cleaner but cheaper.
So let us wait 20 years to see there is a change. At the mean time keep the public noticing that the government seems to be acting in the interest of public health.
Coincidentally saw the documentary "Fuel" yesterday. Brilliant eye opener on the whole biodiesel debate and it's benefits. Must watch.
Complete red herring
ULSD became mandatory in August 2000. Sulfur content of diesel fuel was lowered from 500 ppm to 350 ppm on 1 January 2001.
On December 1 2007, the Govt introduced Euro V diesel, which has a sulphur content of 0.001%. Since then, all filling stations in Hong Kong are exclusively offering this fuel. As compared with ULSD, fuelling existing diesel vehicles with Euro V diesel can reduce their sulphur dioxide & particulates emissions by 80% and 5% respectively
Adding biodiesel will have negligible effect on Euro V diesel
Meanwhile Solena /British Airways UK plant & Solena / Lufthansa plant will be producing biojet fuel from the plasma gasification of waste – perhaps HKG Govt should open its blinkered eyes ?
there was a reduction of 40-46% ( -2 to -9 HSU) in smoke opacity while the NOx concentration was increased by 4 to 12% (with a maximum increase of 40ppm)
Issues of concern
Notwithstanding the environmental benefits of using biodiesel, there is considerable concern about roadworthiness & compatibility issues on the use of biodiesel. The following concerns were identified after summarizing all the available information from previous meetings & testing, which need to be addressed before making final decision regarding the use of biodiesel in HKG:
Fuel line compatibility to biodiesel & roadworthiness for in-service vehicles
Vehicle warranty & insurance when using biodiesel


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