HONG KONG, July 28 — Hongkong Electric is counting down to using liquefied natural gas (LNG) to power Hong Kong’s energy needs, as its new gas-fired unit (L9) was connected to its network at a synchronization ceremony at the plant on Lamma Island today.
Built on reclaimed land to the south of the existing Lamma Power Station, the 335MW combined cycle gas-fired generating unit will be used as a base-load machine.
Following the synchronization, a series of performance and reliability tests will be carried out in the next two months and commercial operation is expected to commence later this year. L9, together with other coal-fired generating units already in use, will bring the total installed capacity of Hongkong Electric’s facility to 3,755MW.
Managing Director of Hongkong Electric, Tso Kai-sum, said at the ceremony that the synchronization represents a significant milestone in the Company’s commitment to supplying clean electricity for its customers.
“The gas-fired unit ranks first in Hong Kong on many fronts – it is not only the first machine using LNG as primary fuel but also the most environmentally friendly and most efficient generating unit using the combined cycle technology,” he said.
“Compared with coal-fired generation, sulphur dioxide and dust particulates emissions of unit 9 are minimal, while carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxides emissions will be greatly reduced,” Tso said.
“By using combined cycle technology, the waste heat from the gas turbine will be utilized for steam generation to drive the steam turbine, boosting the unit’s operation efficiency to over 55%,” he said.
A 25-year contract has been secured for gas supply through a 93km long submarine pipeline from the LNG terminal in Shenzhen.
The new unit will account for 15% of the plant’s total electricity output in 2007. “We are committed to improving the air quality in Hong Kong. In addition to switching to gas, plans are also in place to retrofit two existing coal-fired units with flue gas desulphurization (FGD) plants and low nitrogen oxides (NOx) burners. We expect that after 2010, over 90% of our annual output will be electricity generated by gas-fired unit and coal-fired units fitted with FGD and low NOx burners,” Tso said.