Hong Kong Environmental Protection Department is monitoring the proposed Guangdong Nansha integrated oil refinery and petrochemical project's development and its potential environmental impact on Hong Kong, a Hong Kong official said Wednesday.
Secretary for the Environment Edward Yau told lawmakers the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government has written to Guangdong authorities expressing concern over the project's environmental impact.
The matter has also been followed up at meetings of the Hong Kong-Guangdong Co-operation Joint Conference's Special Panel on Pearl River Delta Air Quality Management and Monitoring, Yau said.
The project was first put forward by the Kuwait National Petroleum Corporation in 2005. Guangzhou commissioned studies to assess the potential environmental impact on the city and its vicinity. Hong Kong's Environmental Protection Department is aware of the report findings.
The Guangdong Provincial Environmental Protection Bureau said stringent environmental protection requirements on development and planning of new petrochemical projects have been adopted.
"New oil refinery and petrochemical development projects have to undergo the 'environmental impact assessment' process and are subject to other statutory and approval requirements. Project approval would only be granted when all the environmental protection and other requirements are met. As far as we understand, the impact assessment of the proposed project has yet to be approved," Yau said.
Individual projects in Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao are considered and approved by their respective governments under local regulations and requirements. Where necessary the three governments will liaise to consider any issue of concern, Yau added.
(Xinhua News Agency March 4, 2009)