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Air Pollution Levels Cut on Power Station Cleanup, CLP Says

CLP Holdings Ltd., Hong Kong’s biggest electricity producer, said it reduced levels of air pollutants last year after introducing emission-cleaning equipment at its Castle Peak power station.

Sulfur dioxide emissions fell 58 percent from 2009 levels, while nitrogen oxides and respirable suspended particulates in the atmosphere both declined 32 percent, according to a CLP statement released at a media briefing in Hong Kong today.

The city recorded the highest levels of roadside smog last year since records began in 1999, according to calculations made by Bloomberg based on government data. Hong Kong has set power companies targets to reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions and allows them a higher rate of return to invest in cleaner energy sources.

The government is proposing that half the city’s electricity be generated by nuclear power by 2020 to reduce the amount produced by coal-fired generators.

About 30 percent of CLP’s electricity is now generated by nuclear power, 30 percent from gas turbines and 40 percent from coal generators, according to the company’s earnings statement on Feb. 24. The government’s targets are feasible if a reasonable lead time is given to make the transition, CLP’s Chairman Michael Kadoorie said in the statement.

CLP needs to further reduce sulfur dioxide levels by 64 percent and nitrogen oxides by 34 percent by 2015 to meet future government targets, the company said in today’s statement.

Lo Pak Cheong, commercial director at CLP Power Hong Kong, declined to comment on the cost of the emissions reduction measures in the city.

About 67 percent of greenhouse-gas emissions in Hong Kong in 2008 were produced by electricity generation, according to a government consultation document on climate change published in September last year.

CLP is developing an offshore wind farm, with capacity of up to 200 megawatts, near Sai Kung in the New Territories to increase its use of renewable energy.

The utility met its target of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions in the Asia-Pacific region last year to 0.8 kilograms of carbon dioxide for every kilowatt hour of electricity produced, according to today’s statement.

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