Hong Kong gives green light to three more hydrogen fuel projects

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8th June 2023 – (Hong Kong) The Environment and Ecology Bureau (EEB) announced today that the Inter-departmental Working Group on Using Hydrogen as Fuel has given agreement-in-principle to three more applications for trial projects involving hydrogen fuel technology. The Working Group, led by the EEB, approved the applications at its meeting on 7th June.

The three projects given the green light involve one application by Sinopec (Hong Kong) Limited to test a hydrogen refuelling station at Au TauYuen Long; one application by MTR Corporation Limited to conduct a test run with a hydrogen-fuelled light rail vehicle (LRV) in Tuen Mun, not carrying passengers; and one application by Linde HKO Limited to test the use of a hydrogen tube trailer to deliver hydrogen to a hydrogen-fuelled LRV.

According to a spokesperson for the EEB, the Working Group received the three applications between September and November last year and has since examined them and provided advice to the applicants. After the applicants made improvements to the designs and technical details to ensure the trial projects can be carried out smoothly and safely, the Working Group agreed to the three applications at its meeting on June 7 this year. The trial projects on the hydrogen refuelling station and the two related to hydrogen-fuelled LRVs are expected to commence in mid-2024 and the second half of 2024, respectively.

Together with the first batch of three applications given agreement-in-principle on March 28 this year, the Working Group has now approved a total of six trial projects. The Working Group will closely monitor the progress of the various projects, continue to examine other applications, and require the applicants to incorporate the Working Group’s comments for enhancing their trial projects.

The government aims to prepare as early as possible for the local application and provision of supporting facilities in the future through the use of applicable interim standards, as well as data and experiences collected from various trial projects on hydrogen fuel technology. The Working Group will also examine the government departments’ plans to commence trials of hydrogen fuel cell heavy vehicles for street cleaning via a contractor engaged by them, with trials expected to begin next year.

The government’s target is to complete within this year the ongoing consultancy studies on the formulation of technical guidelines pertinent to a hydrogen fuel system, a hydrogen refuelling station, and quantitative risk assessment. The government also plans to engage a consultant in the third quarter of this year to study the details amending the Gas Safety Ordinance (Cap. 51) to cover hydrogen fuel and conduct the business impact assessment.

The spokesperson added that the government will closely monitor the development of other new energy transport technologies and keep pace with global development to work out a practicable strategy for Hong Kong to promote carbon emission reduction through green transport. The government’s targets by 2025 are to announce a roadmap for the promotion of electric public transport and commercial vehicles, as well as formulating long-term strategies for the application of hydrogen energy in land transport to help guide Hong Kong towards zero vehicular emissions before 2050.

The Working Group is formed by the EEB, Transport and Logistics Bureau, Development BureauSecurity BureauEnvironmental Protection Department, Electrical and Mechanical Services Department, Fire Services Department, Transport DepartmentMarine Department, Planning Department, Lands DepartmentBuildings Department, and Architectural Services Department.