The Environment and Ecology Bureau (EEB) of Hong Kong has announced the approval of three additional trial projects involving hydrogen fuel technology.

The Inter-departmental Working Group on Using Hydrogen as Fuel, led by the EEB, granted agreement-in-principle for these projects, furthering the city’s efforts in exploring sustainable transportation options. The approved applications include a hydrogen refuelling station by Sinopec (Hong Kong) Limited, a hydrogen-fuelled light rail vehicle (LRV) test run by MTR Corporation Limited, and the use of a hydrogen tube trailer to deliver hydrogen to an LRV by Linde HKO Limited.

The applications were received between September and November of the previous year, and the Working Group carefully examined and provided advice to the applicants. After incorporating improvements to ensure safe and efficient trial projects, the Working Group granted approval during its meeting in June. The hydrogen refuelling station project is expected to commence in mid-2024, while the two LRV-related projects are slated for the second half of 2024.

These newly approved projects join the initial batch of three trials given agreement-in-principle earlier this year, bringing the total number of approved projects to six. The Working Group will closely monitor the progress of these projects and continue to evaluate other applications, providing feedback to enhance the trial initiatives.

The government of Hong Kong aims to prepare for future implementation of hydrogen fuel technology and supporting infrastructure by utilizing interim standards, as well as data and experiences collected from these trial projects. Additionally, the government plans to commence trials of hydrogen fuel cell heavy vehicles for street cleaning through contracted parties starting next year.

Key milestones for the government include completing ongoing consultancy studies on technical guidelines for hydrogen fuel systems, hydrogen refuelling stations, and quantitative risk assessment within this year. Furthermore, a consultant will be engaged in the third quarter of this year to study the necessary amendments to the Gas Safety Ordinance to cover hydrogen fuel and conduct a business impact assessment.

Hong Kong’s government is closely monitoring the development of other new energy transport technologies, aligning itself with global advancements to devise a practical strategy for carbon emission reduction through green transport. By 2025, the government aims to announce a roadmap for the promotion of electric public transport and commercial vehicles, as well as establish long-term strategies for the application of hydrogen energy in land transport, ultimately leading Hong Kong towards zero vehicular emissions by 2050.

The Inter-departmental Working Group comprises several government departments, including the EEB, Transport and Logistics Bureau, Development Bureau, Security Bureau, Environmental Protection Department, Electrical and Mechanical Services Department, Fire Services Department, Transport Department, Marine Department, Planning Department, Lands Department, Buildings Department, and Architectural Services Department.

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