To date, our fuel diversification strategy has enabled us to provide electricity in a reliable, environmentally friendly and reasonably priced manner. Looking ahead, we aim to contribute even more towards a greener Hong Kong, by using more natural gas for power generation.
Maintaining a certain level of coal-burning capability within our system is important for reducing our exposure to gas or other energy supply interruptions. While we are working towards reducing reliance on coal-fired generation in the long-run, we are using low emission coal for power generation to minimise emissions.
In 1996, CLP became the first electricity supplier in Hong Kong to use natural gas for power generation. Natural gas is a clean fossil fuel that produces much lower levels of emissions of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, respirable suspended particulates (RSP) and carbon dioxide compared with most of other fossil fuels. This has greatly helped CLP to reduce emissions from its operations.
The proportion of gas-fired power generation is expected to increase in support of Government's direction for better air quality and low carbon economy. To do so, we have been working closely with the Mainland authorities and relevant organisations to bring in new gas supplies in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on energy cooperation signed by the Central and the Hong Kong SAR governments in 2008.
Natural gas from the Second West-East Gas Pipeline, one of the sources contemplated in the MOU, has started supplying to Hong Kong since 2013. This plays a significant role in sustaining gas power generation in Hong Kong over the long term, as well as helping to improve the city’s air quality.
We have been using ultra low-sulphur coal (containing only 0.1% sulphur) among our fuel sources since the early years of the century.
Large-scale desulphurisation and nitrogen oxide emissions control equipment have been fully operational at the coal-fired Castle Peak Power Station since 2011. These facilities have been remarkable in enabling the power plant’s generating units to cut nitrogen oxide emissions by more than 50 per cent, sulphur dioxide emissions by more than 90 per cent, and RSP by over 99.8 per cent.
Nuclear power produces virtually no emissions and is largely free from carbon. Guangdong Daya Bay Nuclear Power Station, in which CLP is a joint venture partner, supplies around one-third of CLP's electricity demand in Hong Kong. The import of electricity from Daya Bay has enabled Hong Kong to cut carbon dioxide emissions by over 10 million tonnes a year whilst enjoying a reliable supply of electricity at a reasonable price.
We believe nuclear energy will continue to offer opportunities for Hong Kong as a clean, reliable and affordable energy source in a diversified fuel mix.
CLP has a robust emissions-management-and-monitoring system in place to collect and monitor emissions data around the clock. Consisting of professionals in environmental management and operations, the team examines some 400,000 pieces of emissions data a month. The emissions testing conducted at the chimneys within the power stations and the data collected from the continuous emissions monitoring system provide vital information that is incorporated into the daily operation of the power plants.
CLP Power Station environmental performance
Improving air quality is a paramount concern of CLP. Thus we continually seek to adopt new technologies, fuels and processes to help make the air in Hong Kong cleaner.
This policy has been successful as we have achieved significant system-wide emissions reduction through a combination of emission reduction technologies and fuel diversification. The air emissions of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and particulates have been reduced by nearly 80 per cent since 1990 despite an 80 percent increase in electricity demand during this period.
CLP also operates several air-quality monitoring stations that assess the ambient levels of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and nitrogen oxide in the vicinity of its power stations. Data from these outposts are published for information.