Mr CHAN Kin-por was pleased to note that the Administration had been joining hands with GPG to explore mandating the fuel switch for OGVs so as to attain greater environmental benefits and ensure a level playing field amongst the ports in the PRD area. In response to Mr CHAN’s questions about the progress of the discussions with GPG, Under Secretary for the Environment said that HKSAR Government had been liaising with the Mainland authorities on the feasibility of mandating fuel switch at berth and establishing an emission control area within PRD waters. In order to improve the emission performance of vessels, there was a need for operators of OGVs and river-trade vessels to reduce the sulphur content of their fuels to 0.5% and 0.05% respectively. Corresponding measures would be taken by the Guangdong side to encourage the fuel switch.
Noting that 474 OGVs were registered under the incentive scheme as at 15 October 2012, Mr CHAN Kin-por enquired about the percentage of visiting OGVs registered so far. Deputy Director of Environmental Protection (3) said that the application for reduction in port facilities and light dues for port calls had started on 26 September 2012. Since then, 474 OGVs were registered while 129 applications had been received and 97 applications had been approved as at 15 October 2012. The number of applications received and the number of OGVs registered under the scheme were relatively low as compared to the number of OGV trips to Hong Kong, which were about 30,000 in 2011. As the scheme had only been implemented for three weeks, the Administration would step up the publicity efforts.
CategorySpeech at Panel on Environmental Affairs