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Chp 137, LNG Terminal at Soko Islands – Forty years champion for the environment

LNG Terminal at Soko Islands

China Light and Power (CLP) proposed to develop a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal receiving terminal on Soko Islands, south of Lantau in 1 September 2006.

CLP claimed that the existing source of natural gas off Hainan Island , i.e., Yacheng, which runs by pipeline to Hong Kong, would run out early next decase. An LNG terminal to supplement the shortage is required to meet the government’s 2010 emission targets. CLP submitted the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report to the government on 19 October 2006 and the report was approved by the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) on 3 April 2007.

CA was of an opinion that meeting the 2010 emission targets might not necessarily require to construct the LNG terminal on Soko Islands. On supply of clean fuel, the government should mandate flue-gas desulphurization (FGD) as a requirement for all coal-fired power generation. It should also set out clearly the preference for natural gas, and commit to conducting a detailed feasibility study on securing sustainable supply for LNG. In the latter case, sustainability means looking beyond electricity power generation and consumption, but taking a broader view of LNG as a central facility to fulfill our energy needs (including that of motor vehicles). It also means looking beyond Hong Kong’s boundary for possible solutions, although an LNG terminal within Hong Kong must not be precluded as an option. It does mean, however, that Soko Islands, a committed site for the extension of the Marine Park and an established site of ecological importance, must be excluded from the possible sites for LNG terminal.

CA wrote to the Legislative Council to express our following viewpoints:

  • The installation of FGD to reduce emissions should be accorded with priority by CLP; this would meet the 2010 emission reduction targets;
  • The Administration is responsible for mapping out a long-term sustainable energy policy taking into account the need for development of power infrastructure in the Pearl River Delta Region;
  • The water near the Soko Islands are of high ecological value and the habitat of the Chinese White Dolphins and Finless Porpoise; we are dissatisfied with delay in demarcating the Soko Islands as marine park which has been agreed by the Chief Executive in Council as early as 2002; and
  • Both the administration and CAPCO have the responsibilities to identify other sites or options to avoid affecting the Soko Islands.

By August, 2008, the Government announced that a energy MOU was signed with the Central Government in Beijing. Beijing agreed to gurantee supply of LNG to Hong Kong in the coming 50 years. CA welcomed the MOU a letter of endorsement was written to the Enviornmental Bureau head, Edward Yau. CLP was then forced to give up the plan on Soko Islands.

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August 27, 2015 Posted by | Dr WK Chan book | Leave a comment