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Towards a Green Hong Kong - LPG Vehicle Scheme Marks Milestone

The LPG Vehicle Scheme is working to reduce harmful vehicle emissions in the futureResponsible for around 98% of respirable particulates and 75% of the nitrogen oxide emitted by vehicles, diesel vehicles are a significant source of air pollution in Hong Kong. To provide a practical and clean alternative, the Government is promoting LPG vehicles particularly among the Territory's 18,000 taxis.

Moving from the improvement of indoor air quality, EMSD is also involved in the LPG vehicle initiative to improve outdoor air quality, on several levels. Firstly, as Hong Kong's Authority on Gas Safety, our Regulatory Services have been responsible for all the safety and infrastructure aspects of the scheme. These include the safety guidelines, controls and approvals for the LPG vehicles, filling stations, vehicle workshops and competently trained LPG mechanics. Secondly, as the Government's technical adviser, we sit on the various committees of the LPG Vehicle Scheme advising on technical, infrastructure and transport issues.

An LPG taxi fills up with LPG at an existing filling station. The LPG fuel tank can be seen in the background The Scheme passed a major milestone in February this year when we awarded two contracts on behalf of the Government, for the construction and operation of 5 dedicated LPG filling stations in Chaiwan, Sheung Wan, West Kowloon, Kwun Tong and Tai Po with a total of 108 dispensing nozzles. These stations are expected to come into operation by the end of the year with auto-LPG prices being fixed at very attractive levels. According to the present programme, facilities with a total filling capacity for 8,000 LPG taxis will come on stream by the end of 2000. The filling capacity will grow to cover the entire taxi fleet by the end of 2001.

Apart from our involvement with regard to the tenders and contract placements for LPG filling stations, we have also issued Safety Guidelines and type approvals for the use of LPG fuel tanks, various vehicle models as well as the setting up of LPG vehicle workshops. So far, about 200 trained LPG mechanics have also been enlisted by the Gas Authority.

The Director of Electrical & Mechanical Services signs the contracts with the two contractors for the five new dedicated LPG filling StationsDiscussing these activities, Mr. S.C. Wong, senior engineer, who has been closely involved with the project from the start said: "This project has been particularly rewarding for us. Not only is it benefiting the environment and the people of Hong Kong, but within EMSD, we have had to pool our expertise to help get this project off the ground. As the use of LPG vehicles become more widespread, we are gaining in experience which will help us to help our customers in the future."

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